Newry, Maine, Jan. 10, 2014 -- The Polar Vortex may have brought freezing temperatures across the country, but the action at Maine's Sunday River Resort was burning up as Red Bull Frozen Rush brought eight off-road trucks to the slopes in the first ever head-to-head race on snow. Regularly a sport reserved for the sand, dirt, mud and sunny conditions, about ten thousand winter weather worshippers and racing fanatics braved the single digit temperatures to witness motorsports getting an edge on Mother Nature.
Eight of the country's best professional off-road truck drivers traveled far and wide to conquer unprecedented terrain including snow and ice and tackle berms, jumps, and slalom-style racing. The high-octane racing proved to be intense from start to finish, with the final race pitting long-standing rivals Ricky Johnson against Johnny Greaves. With an extended four lap final (all other rounds were two laps), the two pushed their Pro4 trucks to the limit, with Greaves edging out Johnson by .24 seconds. Unfortunately for Greaves, he was docked 5 seconds for hitting a race gate, cementing both the victory for Johnson and the ongoing rivalry.
The Red Bull Frozen Rush concept was initially explored by Ricky Johnson in February 2013 as a proof of concept, when he tested the capability of his Pro4 truck on the rough and tough conditions of a New England winter. Due to the success and the potential to take Pro4 off-road truck racing to the next level, the event expanded to include multiple pro drivers competing on a two-lap snow covered course that would make any adrenaline seeker proud.
"It was great to bring motorheads to the mountain," said Johnson after barely beating his fellow Pro4 racer Johnny Greaves. "What a thrill to cover new ground, literally, with guys that I respect and have been racing with for years."
Trucks tearing up the slopes for the first time came with its own set of technical challenges, such as maintaining speed while keeping traction on slippery and icy surfaces. Each truck was specifically modified in order to adapt to the harsh weather conditions and one-of-a-kind, studded and specially designed Mud-Terrain tires from BFGoodrich's Research and Development team that armed all the veteran motorsports racers as they ripped up and down the nearly mile long course. While the tires provided maximum traction, they also created a dense cloud from the snow roost, obscuring the drivers' vision.
The race format was head-to-head, bracketed, single elimination with two drivers on course at a time. The United States Auto Club, one of auto racing's leading governing bodies and an international motorsports authority, sanctioned the race and oversaw safety and competition. For more information on drivers and time scores, please visit www.redbull.com/frozenrush.
Red Bull Frozen Rush is presented by BFGoodrich and is in partnership with Polaris, Sunday River, Dodge Dart and Casio GzOne Commando 4G LTE. It will air on NBC on Sunday, February 2, 2014 3pm as part of the Red Bull Signature Series, the most progressive action sports property in the world. For more information, please visit www.redbullsignatureseries.com.