The Ultra4 European Series kicked off last weekend with Maxxis Tyres King of Italy, the new Formula 1 of the 4×4 world.
Nestled into the Varano de Melegari mountains pit areas have sprung up, cars are being tuned and the roar of engines echo amongst the hills. Greetings to fellow competitors are shouted, tools borrowed and banter exchanged as the event is set to begin. A fantastic communal atmosphere surrounds the site but all this is left behind at the start line, if you get in the way out on the track it’s two horns, two taps then two tonne of truck shifting you aside.
Three categories distinguish the cars Ultra4, Modified and Legends, all battling on the same terrain. Twenty-six cars made the start line; the course had already punished a few on pre- runs like Dan Elias of Wrex Racing Team who’d broken his rear differential.
Friday’s prologues began the serious test of man and machine against nature and course designers. Later in the day spectators were treated to the “Super 7” Europe’s version of the US Power hour, where the the top 7 teams demonstrate what these trucks can do. The King Shocks arena included a hundred meter stretch of whoops followed by a tight hairpin which on day one, flipped a few enthusiastic teams on to their roof, after being pulled back onto their rubbers, engines were gunned and they were away on a fast straight followed by the next obstacle, a pit or jump. Rock sections, gullies and cannons tested axles to the limits providing onlookers with some awesome sights. Coupled with long straights, steep hill climbs demonstrated the amazing torque output of the machines, filling the mountainsides with the glorious noise of growling engines.
The Pembs Mudslingers team competing in Modified had to throw in the towel after day one having exhausted all spare parts and mechanics, Walter Philippo in the Ultra4 category admitted defeat too having blown his engine. Spirits were not dampened however; they came, they took part and they swore to return.
Day two started with just four laps left, Team Gigglepin a major competitor were out with gear box problems and the team rivalry was hotting up with toots ringing out everywhere, less then half the cars finally reached the finish line by lunch time.
Victory went to Rob Butler and Paul Lundstrom, both now ‘King’s of Italy 2015’ from team Off Road Armoury with their self-built Eurofighter snatching the glory, Rob also had the pleasure of seeing second and fourth place filled by cars he’d constructed.
Round 2 is to be held in Wales at the Walters Arena, Glynneath, August 6th 2015, if you’re into 4×4’s, it’s a must for the diary.
Ultra4 Europe is holding a demonstration at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed with the chance for you to ride in an Ultra 4 car, (this weekend, 27, & 28th).
A ‘short race’ called the Ultra 4 Rampage is being held in 3 weeks time on July 10-12th at Kirton off road course, North Lincolnshire. This will be the first event of it’s kind in the UK, with huge obstacles placed around the circuit for cars to navigate, all within view of spectators from an elevated viewing area of 20 meters.
This is one not to be missed !!! event info; @ KORC
Future Ultra 4 Europe ideas being considered are a 5K race, which will cap the value of the entry car at £5000, and the possibility of a women’s category for Ultra 4. If you think you have the “right stuff” for this motor sport, get in touch with the organisation and join the ever growing Ultra 4 family, we guarantee you will not be disappointed.
For more information … Ultra 4 Europe
King of Italy footage to follow shortly, including exclusive team interviews & Ultra 4 Europe’s Director.