Frozen Rush: Off-Road Racing Hits the Ski Slopes

Eight 900-hp trucks race head-to-head on the slopes of the Sunday River ski resort.
By Carter Jung

On January 10, 2014, a stampeding herd of 900-horsepower trucks will attack Maine’s Sunday River ski resort for Red Bull Frozen Rush. Eight off-road drivers in Pro4 race trucks will square-off in head-to-head combat on a snow-covered mountain slope normally reserved for skiers and snowboarders. It’s snowsports, redefined.

In advance of the inaugural competition, three-time TORC Series Champion and legendary motocross rider Ricky Johnson tested the conditions of winter racing on a ski resort earlier this year.

“I was really inspired by what my Pro4 could do when challenged with the unique terrain earlier this year. [The testing session earlier this year] was a small step to the real thing,” said Ricky Johnson. “I’m excited to see what these trucks are made of when the action of racing head-to-head is thrown in there. There is a lot to look forward to.”

Yes, that's a truck on a half-pipe © Brian Nevins/Red Bull Content Pool

The race format for Frozen Rush is a one-on-one, bracketed, single elimination with two drivers on course at a time. A pair of 4x4 racing trucks will be roosting the snowy runs, launching jumps and drifting around slalom gates, while trying to beat their opponents. Overseeing the competition and safety on the slopes is the United States Auto Club, the sanctioning body behind racing series’ such as the Traxxas TORC and National Sprint Car.

Mastering the icy mountain required adjustments to the vehicles. Each racing truck had to be modified to endure the freezing temperatures. This is Sunday River’s North Peak in January, not Crandon in summer. BFGoodrich’s R&D team designed custom studded and treaded Mud-Terrain tires to provide the necessary traction to traverse the nearly mile-long course blanketed in snow.

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