900 Horsepower. 700 Studs. 20 metre gaps. Sound wild? Now throw in snow. Not just a little snow. Lots of snow. Enough to ski on. In fact, let’s chuck the whole ski slope in there too, just for fun.
Now take nine nutcases in Pro 4 racing trucks, point them up the hill, ask them to turn around at the top and come back down – fast. Put some snow banks in the way, maybe some walls, a few narrow channels, some moguls, and a few big ugly jumps.
Why? Because Red Bull. Because BF Goodrich. Because insanity.
The trucks are all-wheel-drive weapons used to shooting it out on dirt, but for this event they run winter tires from BF Goodrich, specifically, BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A FR2 tires with studs.
And while a regular studded tire might have 100 studs with a height of around 5 mm, these tires have 700 spikes with a height of 20 mm. They’re sharp too. Walk too close to a set on the ground and say goodbye to your jeans, socks and Achilles tendon.
The tires are a one-off tire based on BFG’s short course racing tire and studded specifically for this event. That tire is itself related to the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 winter tire for off-road use on light trucks. We’ll have more on that tire and its performance fitted to a Jeep Wrangler another day.
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So effective are these tires that Red Bull Frozen ace Rob MacCachren says he has more grip out here on the snow and ice than he does on dirt.
In the Lucas Oil and TORC off-road series many of the drivers have tire sponsorships with other brands and tire choice is wide open, but out here they all run the BFGs, with scrubbed sidewalls on the tires used by people with other deals.
There are even studded BF Goodrich tires custom made for a pair of Polaris RZRs, which did an ultra-fun and really very ridiculous demonstration run. To say we onlookers were envious is a dramatic understatement.
The trucks are robust, and wild. Scott Douglas rolled his truck while leading his heat race, allowing Rob MacCachren to move forward. The races are knockout affairs. Lose and you’re out, win and you move on.
There are four stages: first qualifying for all nine trucks plus a last-chance qualifying race to determine the eighth truck. The loser of that is out.
From there, four-lap heats see the field whittled down to four, then two who race off in a six-lap final for the crown.
This year saw motocross and Pro 4 legend Ricky Johnson go up against reigning champion Bryce Menzies, and after a series of (very) near crashes scuppered Johnson’s chances, Menzies took the crown.
You can see all the highlights in the video below.