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Turbo UTVs join the fray in 2018

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Corona, CA (February 7, 2018) – Following the wildly successful debut season for the Production 1000 UTVs in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series national stage, the series is now proud to announce that a second UTV class for turbocharged UTVs will be available in the 2018 season: Production Turbo UTV.

"All the types of UTVs have become so popular now, and to exclude any of them would be shooting yourself in the foot," says series official Bill Smith. "Years ago, buggies used to be the affordable way to get into the sport, but some of the old classes like Limited Buggy started to price themselves out of existence; the UTVs have filled that niche. Turbos are becoming commonplace; a lot of production cars are going that way, and for us, the technology is good if it doesn't raise the cost of racing."

While the drivers running in the Production 1000 UTV class will have now had a full season (in the national series; the class has been around for years at the regional level) to fine tune their vehicles and really learn what makes them quick, the additional power available in their turbocharged counterparts will doubtless soon see the turbo drivers going even quicker. Moreover, the fans will now get to enjoy an all-new sound on the track, as the turbocharged engines will produce their own unique pitch, one not yet heard in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, presented by GEICO. "It will be interesting to hear what a group of them will sound like," Smith said enthusiastically.

Initial interest in the class seems promising, and while the new class will have a tough time matching the excellent numbers pulled in by the Production 1000 class, initial expectations of 10-12 entries per event for the first few events seem attainable. "We have high hopes," Smith says.

Another major benefit of this new class is the potential to draw additional manufacturer interest from manufacturers like Can Am, who previously were without a class to showcase their production UTVs. Moreover, it seems as though Can Am has already jumped at the opportunity, with their bringing UTV queen Corry Weller onboard to campaign one of their X3 DS model UTVs in the national series this season.

Much like the Production 1000 UTV class, the new Production Turbo UTV class will feature store-bought, production-based models, which will be held to a very tight rule package, whose aim is to keep the cost of racing down and the availability to get involved in short course off-road racing at a relative budget level as open as possible. Minimal modifications beyond safety upgrades are allowed, but the vehicles will maintain their stock turbos and engine internals, suspension links, most original plastics, and much more. Air intakes, exhausts, tuning, and an ECU flash are permitted, as are after market suspension arms, and there will also be the ability to experiment with shocks and tires, but the main theme of the class is that it's primarily about the driver. This class has already been in place at the regional level since 2017, and the first regional of 2018, set for February 17-18 at Glen Helen Raceway, should see many drivers looking to try their hand in this new class bringing their cars out for a shakedown ahead of the first national series race, which will be right back at Glen Helen one month later.

About the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series:
The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series is the evolution of the long-standing support of short course racing by Forrest Lucas and Lucas Oil Products. Steeped in the Midwest tradition of short course off-road racing infused with a West Coast influence, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing brings intense four wheel door-to-door action to challenging, fan-friendly tracks. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series: This is Short Course. For more information, please visit www.LucasOilOffRoad.com.

Written by Scott Neth for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series