The muck stops here

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Down and dirty

Ultra 4 Europe is a racing series that almost defies description. See what we mean?

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Basically it involves racing a truck that is very loosely based on a 4X4. Say a Land Rover Defender. Except in the Ultra 4 class, the DNA is stretched to the limit and beyond. Yes they are 4×4. Yes their engines have the same underpinnings as the originals, more often than not a V8 being the powerplant of choice.

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Thereafter the rules are pretty much unlimited, except you need to build it tough to cross the most ludicrous terrain imaginable, yet fast so when the occasional flat bit presents itself you can go flat to the floor. But more important is torque. Tree stump pulling, mountain conquering torque. Because you’re going to need it.

Then there’s the suspension. And lots of it because these trucks will assume positions unknown to any other vehicle.

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Ultra 4 or Unlimited 4 wheel drive racing¬† doesn’t take place at your normal race track. Nor a rally stage. No these guys prefer things like dry river beds, the type that when they have water thundering through them would provide ideal white water rafting. So you’ll have boulders the size of small cars to climb and holes you could bury a small car in to cross. Often still filled with water or preferably mud. In fact it seems to us the messier the better because the competitors like nothing more than getting down and dirty.

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The events take place over a number days and their race names give you some idea of the challenge involved. Maxxis King of Britain. Maxxis King of France. You get the idea. Basically they are looking for competitors capable of conquering all they see before them. Seizing the day. Laughing in the face of adversity. Laughter that sometimes seems tinged with a little madness perhaps?

The trucks comprise of driver and navigator who not only points the way to go, but also leaps out to guide the driver over the extreme obstacles they encounter along the way. Which in other words means they spend a lot of time out of the vehicle!

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Just the same as in most forms of motorsport, you’ll find NGK the first choice for many teams. Gigglepin and Dirty Duck Racing are two UK based teams we’re proud to lend our support to and we wish them well as they barrel their way around Europe, competing in the Maxxis Championship, as well as several other events. Catch them if you can. As we said at the beginning, what they get up to almost defies description, so seeing is believing and you probably won’t believe what you see!

Published on 31st December 2016