Sims, Currie Finish Second, Third in KOH UTV Pro Class
Team ITP racers took part in the side-by-side portion of the annual King Of The Hammers desert endurance race held at the Johnson Valley OHV Area In Southern California, with two pilots earning a spot on the UTV Pro class podium. Bush Racing / ITP driver Branden Sims finished second overall and was joined on box by third-place finisher Casey Currie of Currie Racing / ITP.
“We had an outstanding showing in the King Of The Hammers UTV Pro class, on one of the world’s toughest off-road endurance race courses,” said Pat McGuire, Public Relations / Race Support. “Despite the rocky, desert conditions, drivers Casey Currie and Branden Sims overcame the elements and earned a spot on the podium with our durable and dependable 30-inch Ultracross tires.”
The 2014 King Of The Hammers event featured a rugged 115-mile course that cut through the Johnson Valley OHV Area, which is nestled between the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains. The Hammers course forced racers through technical, slow-speed rock sections, whoops, sand and runs with unforgettable names like Chocolate Thunder, Clawhammer, Aftershock and Fissure Mountain to name a few. The 2014 UTV portion of the KOH, which had both Pro and Sportsman classes, had qualifying on Tuesday and the start of the official race Wednesday morning.
Sims earned the top qualifying spot and put his ITP Ultracross tires to the dirt and into the lead ahead of 23 other Pros. Lap one of the race was mild compared to last year and the lead racers took full advantage of the course, conquering its open desert and whoops rather quickly. Sims held the lead at least twice during lap one and he also held the class lead on the second lap all the way to the Clawhammer trail. Even after losing the lead to the eventual class champion, Sims drove smart and stayed on the gas to record one of his best performances ever, and, in the process, secure a very solid second place overall on the UTV Pro podium.
“The tire-and-wheel combination worked phenomenal,” said Sims. “I’m extremely hard on my equipment and this is my first race without a tire failure and it’s also my first race on ITP tires. The ITP Ultracross worked great in the desert and really shined in the rocks. They are the perfect all-terrain tire.”
Currie, competing in the event for the sixth straight year, pushed his SxS all the way to finish line, earning a spot on the UTV Pro class box as well. Along with Sims, Currie was one of only seven UTV Pro class competitors to finish the race. Only 10 of more than 30 total side-by-side vehicles completed the King Of The Hammers course. Currie used an ITP Ultracross tire / SD Series Dual Beadlock wheel combination to overcome the challenging terrain.
“The KOH UTV race was intense. At the drop of the green flag, we had one thing in mind this year and that was to finish,” said Currie. “We made it through the first lap in around seventh place and crossed the finish line in third overall. We chose to run ITP tires and wheels this year and, once again, they proved to be an excellent choice. We did not have a flat and the rims were perfect at the end of the day.”
Image courtesy Ernesto Araiza // UTVUnderground.com