Off-roading….underwater?

Cars are not meant to go underwater, right?  Well, iafrica.com by a staff reporter highlights a video of a Toyota Landcruiser attempting to cross a river in Australia.  The river gets rather deep as the jeep gets half way through before it begins to sink.  Somehow, the driver keeps the engine going and the snorkel above the water.  Eventually, the Landcruiser regains traction and crosses the river.

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Tierra Del Sol 50th Anniversary

Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, as documented by off-road.com.  Thousands of off-road enthusiasts descended upon Southern California for the weekend of intense off-roading and fun.  The event was put on by the 4-Wheel Drive Club of San Diego and was a huge success.  “Even the new off-road park was abuzz with off-roaders testing their new rigs, setups, or trying to tackle some of the more challenging obstacles.”  The trails were packed with Jeeps, trucks, and even the occasional dirt bike.  The below video will highlight the events from an ideal off-roading weekend in Southern California.

Robby Gordon Racing San Felipe

On March 9th, 2012, the day before the San Felipe 250, Robby Gordon heads back to the United States after a week of practice and qualify for his number 7 SPEED energy Dodge in Mexico. Robby and his Cup team focus on qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 400, while completing their final checklist before the 250-mile race on Saturday.  “Robby Gordon and his Off-Road team are proud to add MAPEI Products for Building to their program for the 2012 San Felipe 250, as well as for the rest of the 2012 Off-Road season as MAPEI will be featured on Robby Gordon’s Trophy Truck for the famous Baja 500 and Baja 1000 races.”  This video was sighted on The Auto Channel and follows Gordon’s practice run on San Felipe. Last year, Gordon had some bad luck when a broken shock shaft and drive shaft ruined his chances to finish on the podium for the third consecutive time.  After his 2012 Parker 425 overall victory in February in a RPM Off-Road Truggy, Gordon is back in his 900 hp No.77 SPEED Energy/Toyo Tires Trophy Truck. “This year the fans won’t see the signature bright orange truck as Gordon is ‘Back in Black’.”

Off-Road Power Products Teams up with Bruiser Turbo Diesel

Off-Road Power Products is proud to announce that they have formed a new partnership with Bruiser Turbo Diesel of Clearwater, FL.  Bruiser manufactures and installs the first turnkey conversion kit that allows a 4 cylinder Cummins Diesel engine to function flawlessly in the 2007-12 Jeep JK.  Off-Road Power Products will be a certified sales and installation facility for the conversions.  The kit will consist of a new or performance built Cummins engine, new transmission rated to handle up to 650 ft. lbs. of torque, completely integrated wiring harness and all other component pieces to complete the “factory look” upgrade.

In addition to the standard motor options, OPP will be offering a performance build option which will include options for different turbos, injectors, fuel pumps, cams, valve springs, pistons and the option to have a completely balanced rotating assembly.

The customer will also have the option to add any other standard Jeep aftermarket accessories while the vehicle is at OPP headquarters for the build including suspension, wheels, tires, bumpers, tops, axles, lighting, winches, interior accessories, body armor, stereo options etc.

Bruiser and Off-Road Power Products will announce their affiliation at the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, UT which takes place from March 31- April 8th.  Both companies will be showcasing a Bruiser conversion.  Bruiser is bringing the original Bruiser, a 2007 JK  which was featured at last year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas as well as several off-road publications including the May issue of 4 Wheel Drive Magazine.

Burning Rock Outdoor Adventure Park Announces New Trails Opening

Jon Crowley from Side x Side Industry News reports that five new off road trails in Burning Rock Outdoor Adventure Park is opening.  The trails total to 11 miles in length and allow park visitors and residents direct access to the trail system and the town.  The trails on Burning Rock are denoted by a color coded system: green (easy), blue (medium), and black (difficult).  These additions bring the parks total number of trail to seventy-four and a total of 106 miles.  Woody Duba, who is the General Manager of Beaver Coal Company Limited, believes that the new off road trail access with assist in the town’s economic growth.  Burning Rock have plans to continue the development of more trails as the Slab Fork area continues its expansion efforts.  “According to Lisa Gale, Burning Rock’s Director of Marketing, “‘We have something for almost everyone to enjoy, whether they ride the trails or not. But looking at off-road riders specifically, they demand new trails and new challenges regularly –that’s what keeps them motivated to keep coming back…’”

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King of the Hammers

Image Courtesy of off-road.com

Jon Crowley from Side X Side Industry News writes about the origins of King of the Hammers, which takes place each year in February on public lands in Johnson Valley, CA.  This race started with 12 teams competing for bragging rights, now more than 150 teams compete in front of thousands of fans live and online.  Hammerking has led to the Ultra4 Racing series, which challenges drivers to race in a variety of off road terrain from desert racing to competition-style rock crawls to short course racing.  Hammerking currently runs 5 of the 6 races in a series on their own.  “The races take place on both public lands and in private motorsports parks across the country including; Exit 28 Motorsports Park in Nevada, Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania and Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.”

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Ford Explorer is Saudi Auto’s 4×4 of the Year

Courtesy of Albawaba

Albawaba announced that the new Ford Explorer has received the 4×4 of the year award from Saudi Auto, which is a leading Saudi Arabia car publication.  The contenders for the award were assessed by the “Saudi Auto jury panel based on five criteria – value, practicality, durability, off-road capability and technology.”  The 2012 Ford Explorer has received many honors, which has included the North American Truck of the Year award for 2011, “while its innovative and industry-first rear inflatable seat belt technology won the 2011 Best New Technology Award from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada and has been named a Breakthrough Product Award winner by Popular Mechanics.”  In the Middle East the new Ford Explorer was unveiled in October last year, showcasing its off-road capabilities with its new Terrain Management System.  This system improved driving dynamics, segment-exclusive technologies, and segment-leading safety innovations.  The 3.5-liter V6 engine enables highway fuel economy; featuring six-speed automatic transmission, electric power-assisted steering and aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff, and wind-skimming aerodynamic shape to maximize fuel economy.

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Winter of the Rocks

Image Courtesy of TheSpectrum.com

On January 28th off road enthusiasts traveled to Washington City fault line for the third annual Winter on the Rocks, covered by The Spectrum & Daily news, in the wilderness connecting the city to Hurricane.  The West Rim and Fault Line trail is one of a handful near Washington Dam Road and the Sand Hollow recreation area to create environmental consciousness.  The Marketing Director of Utah 4×4 Club, Kelly Jenson, is quoted as saying “‘We do cleanup events throughout the year…everybody has a garbage sack, and we’re telling them, ‘If you see a can out there, pick it up.’”  Brian O’Conners of Fort Carson, Colo., said the emphasis on wilderness duty is a reason he, Hurricane Mayor Tom Hirschi, enjoys this event.  The Bureau of Land Management is also supportive of Winter on the Rocks, for their promotion of a cleaner environment.  This event provides the riders with a sense of camaraderie, while giving the drivers peace of mind as they rely on trail-side spotters.  This event is welcoming to all off road drivers, regardless of experience level.

Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races

Crandon, Wisconsin for the past 42 years has held an exhilarating off-road race; Todd Kaho in “Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races” explains this excitement from a firsthand experience. This race consists of off road power trucks that top speeds of 101 mph and going airborne for more than 100 feet. The first race started way back in 1970, riding on a 101 mile trail through the woods. The race evolved to a short-course competition and moved to his current location in 1984. Crandon is a town of less than 2,000 people but graciously welcome off-road fans for the Spring Run and the Labor Day weekend “World Championships.” The Crandon raceway is a “13/4-mile circuit is natural terrain carved out of the rolling hills in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.” The course continues to go through alterations, which has led to track records falling.

Image Courtesy of Petersen's 4 Wheel & Off-Road

The weekend is capped off with the running of the Amsoil Cup, which consists of pitting the Pro 2WD trucks against Pro 4x4s. “The Pro 2WDs are given a head start, since their lap times are a little slower. To win, a Pro 4×4 must catch and pass the entire Pro 2WD field.” This feat was actually reached last year, when Scott Douglas broke away to lead the 4x4s then weave through the 2WDs to take the checkered flag. The rush you receive from off-road truck racing is very addicting, leading to the religious return to “the best short-course off-road racing in the world.”

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