Dirt Riot – Mile High Hell Raisers
By Lindsey Fisher
Whether you’re into fast vehicles, loud vehicles, performance vehicles, or off-road vehicles, Dirt Riot Endurance Racing has something for all discerning performance people. With vehicles ranging from relatively stock Jeeps and Toyotas, to fully tricked out UTVs and Ultra4 cars, Dirt Riot offers a look into the competitive world of off-road racing but on a small enough scale that the events still feel home-grown and family friendly.
Recently, Dirt Riot hosted their second Mountain Series race at RAM Offroad Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado, one of the state’s premiere off-road facilities with plenty of jumps, tight curves, rock sections and even some go-fast areas. After a two year break from the facility due to issues with the county, the park once again opened its doors to competitors and spectators alike for the mid-season event.
Competition kicked off with the Stock Trail, Modified Trail and 4600 classes taking the green flag first. The least modified vehicles to compete in the event, the going was slow and steady, but that didn’t prevent a number of drivers from jostling themselves and their vehicles around a bit – some of which joggled themselves right out of the race with broken, twisted and used up parts. After an hour of racing around the vast off-road track, it was Jack Peterson (Stock), Carlos Banegas (Modified) and Josh Atteberry (4600) who took the checkered flags for their respective classes.
After the “slow and steady wins the race” type vehicles competed, entrants piloting UTVs hit the course. In this race, both normal and PRO UTV drivers competed, some having had many years of experience behind the wheel of the small off-road machines, while others had only recently opted to move from another class to race the utility vehicles. When the dirt clods and dust storm settled, it was Ray Mandel who took top honors in the PRO UTV class and Todd Soens who clenched first place in the regular UTV class.
Moving up the power and performance scale, the SuperMod Trail and 4500 class rigs took to the course next, spraying dirt at every corner, taking jumps like they were minor speed bumps and whipping the fans into a lather. Flat tires, fuel issues and brake system failures spotted the field throughout the hour race, but in the end, Daniel Sach (4500) and Jason Fish (SuperMod Trail) proved superior.
Taking the course last but certainly not least, were the 4400 class cars, also known as Ultra4s. It is these “big guns” that you see running the famous King of the Hammers race every February out in Johnson Valley, California.
While a bit of a different race setup, the 4400 drivers didn’t fail to impress at the Mountain Series race, launching their vehicles through the air at every jump, speeding down the go-fast sections with sirens blaring, and clouding the entire course with dust, making the hour and a half race go by in a flash. While many spectators were at the park all day, it was these guys that many came to see. They rocked the joint!
With a number of parts failures, flat tires, and roll-overs, the race was a tight one all the way to the end, but with an impressive 10 laps in 1 hour, 39 minutes and 24 seconds, it was Chris Hoyt who took the checkered flag, edging out Ben Swain by less than two minutes.
Dirt Riot is an awesome way to get a taste of off-road racing, whether you like the rigs that look like your daily driver, or you prefer the more beastly genres. Either way, there’s plenty to watch and a number of great drivers to cheer on as they go head-to-head playing in the dirt!