July 13-14, 2012
An exciting weekend of racing filled with logistical challenges as racers tackled the second running of the VORRA USA 500. This year based in Fernley Nevada the 155 mile loop with a 40 mile “balloon string” or “lollipop” one-way leg in and out to the loop comprised the 535 miles of racing. A challenging course with lots of technical terrain, rocks, silt and elevation changes but still gentle and fun enough for the class 11’s and Zukiworlds: a class for stock production Suzuki Samari’s.
Race morning and by mile 70 the 7200 Group T truck of Koenig Racing was in the overall lead with other heavy hitters close behind. After a botched first gas stop for Koenig, Jerry Wood took over the top spot in his class 1. But in the tight overall race another Group T class 8 truck of Don & Chris German were soon out front and setting a strong pace. They would have some down time though as a front brake line came off and repairs dropped them back to 4th overall. This moved the 7200 Group T truck of Steve LaRoza to the point and we all thought he would go on to win but with just 100 miles to go he took an off course excursion blowing two tires and knocking the power steering cooler off the truck ending their day. This moved Wood to the top spot but with just 50 miles to go he would break a CV joint. Meanwhile German was around Koenig for 3rd overall and now with Wood down he was on top of the field with Koenig in 2nd. They were able to cruise the last 40 miles thru the tricky rocks and down to the finish line for first overall and first in Group T. Crossing the line just 6 minutes later the Koenig racing truck finished 2nd in class and 2nd overall just as the sun started to set. Wood made repairs and took top spot in class 1 and 3rd overall.
In other classes the nature of the race meant some classes were won by attrition, outlasting the field or just going one checkpoint further than the others. The Red Team Racing outlasted their competition for the class 10 honors while Skeeter Murphy bested the Sportsman class, the largest field. Two Larry’s Racing finished just under the time limit for a well-earned class 11 victory despite having to be towed up a couple of the hill climbs on the gas line road every lap. Dennis jean blew a motor early but went further than the other UTV’s for the class win. Don Hamilton was the lone class 9 entrant and went away with the hardware for the win. Dave Capell went the furthest in the Zukiworld class as his progress was stopped by a radiator damaged caused from hitting a donkey.
Another VORRA innovative first is the “bracket” racing sponsored by Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and Sly Daddy Racing. This award is presented to the winner in the class that improved the class overall average mph from past races. Designed to give all classes a chance at a bonus for being faster than their class has been with the most improved winning the award. Proving it can truly be won by any class this race it was won by a class 11 who topped their overall speed from the class’s predetermined average speed. Two Larry’s racing walked away with and extra $1000 for having the most improved average speed. Congrats guys.
VORRA’s next race will be the Night Vision Fallon 250 September 8-9. This race is a VORRA classic on a fast course east of Fallon Nevada.
Koenig Racing USA 500 video