LetzRoll Offroad Racing takes Top 10 at the Ultra4 Nationals
The 2016 season wrapped up before a sold out crowd in Reno, NV, with the ESAB Welding and Cutting / Yukon Gear and Axle 4493 taking home a Top 10 in the Ultra4 Racing National Championship race. With such a strong finish, the team also earned a spot in the National Points Top 10 for the third year in a row, a testimony to our team’s dedication, consistency, and the performance and support of our quality partners. Thank you for another successful year. Next up on the calendar is SEMA, but in the mean time, check out the race recap below for more about the race and we will “See you on the Lakebed” for the 2017 King of The Hammers! ~LROR
[Andrew McLaughlin] I have been going on and on in my head trying to wrap my brain about what happened this week. There was so much going on I’m seriously drained by it. As usual, the race does not start when we get to the track. There are weeks and weeks of prep that we focus on. Also, the real adventure starts when we fire up the truck here in town. The drive up was.... FUN, as is expected. We have an awesome team and we had another great adventure/ road trip on the way up. Getting to the track and looking into the side of that hill, everything clicked. One of my guys (Mike Bradley) asked me "When does all this really get started for you?" meaning the excitement, energy, focus, adrenaline... all I could respond was "It already did".
We got ourselves settled into a location we were happy with and built our pit. Mom and Dad (Crew Chief and Wixom) flew up, and were happy that we were ready to go. We had some time to do some test and tune, and I couldn’t resist going out and ripping around the course. We really focused on our suspension after coming off our last race which was all open desert. I wanted a car that would carry speed though the turns, jump with control, but also be able to get on the rocks and really work. When we were finally happy, we put the car to bed and went back to the hotel. Here we had a 3 hour drivers meeting with Dave Cole and got a chance to talk about our sport and our future. I volunteered (or was volunteered) to set up a drivers advisory committee to help not only handle driver to driver issues, but be able to bring constructive ideas to the table for Ultra4.
Friday was Qualifying day. We had a chance to really get on the course and practice what the race would look like. Again focusing on shocks almost all day, we now had to qualify. As with all my qualifying, I want to drive fast, but also drive smart. This is a time to set yourself up for a great race, but you can also loose the weekend over a mistake. My goals were to keep the car fresh, and the team fresh, to handle any issue outside our control. I felt we put down a smooth and good time. This put us into 13th position (out of 60) for the heats the next day. A good place for us, and the car was still in perfect shape.
Race Morning. One of the most intense feelings I have ever felt! I didn’t know if I was going to get sick, cry, pass out, jump out of my skin, laugh, or what I was feeling... so I just kept my game face on and kept my focus. We were in first heat with some fast cars. The main goal was to make the main (7/20 cars), but also be high enough to have a good run at the race. I felt we did good. We pulled a fast 4th, and again the car, team, and myself were still in great shape. This allowed us a little down time and a chance to watch some exciting racing that AM.
The race was just like every other, only we knew we had to lay it down harder than we ever had before. We were sitting 14 (I think) in National Points, and being a Top 10 team is something I take pride in more than anything. I knew we had to do some work, not to mention, I wanted to sit on top of the boxes more than anything this weekend.
The race start was crazy. Never expereinced a start of a race like this before. I knew we could hold our own with just about anyone on the track, and coming into turn 1, I knew we were going to have a good race.... that was until it happened. One of my biggest nightmares: I hit that back of a fellow racer and not only messed us both up, but we stuck together like glue. I was in shock when I realized I could not move off of him. Finally, after watching the entire field run away, I broke free and peeled out as fast as I could. It’s a weird feeling knowing how far back I was. I just hammered down and drove like I was in first place. That was, until I started catching cars. I just kept the thottle down and would take each car on one on one. It was like I couldn’t even see the course, I could just feel it. We were not only passing cars, we were passing multiple cars at a time. I have no idea how many we got around, but it felt like it would never stop.
When the white flag came out, I knew we were on lead lap and not doing horrible at all. At the end of the day, I found out we started 11th and went instantly to 28th with the race field almost halfway around the course in front of me. We finished the race 10th and had a ton of fun doing it.
Skip to the awards.... I could not control myself waiting for the Ultra4 points to come out for the season. A lot needed to happen and I knew it was going ot be close. When Dave anounced the start of the Top 10, and he started with our car number, I was never so happy to hear my name called. It was a hell of a year. Ups and down, and most of all hard work on new equipment. The team stayed strong and got even stronger over this year. We were able to keep at it, and got the job done for this year. Watch out 2017! ~ Andrew McLaughlin
Wallerfield Circuit 24/4/2016
Andrew McLaughlin Owner / Driver LetzRoll Offroad Racing ESAB Welding & Cutting / Yukon Gear & Axle 4493 Jimmy’s 4x4 / LROR IFS 4400 Class Ultra4 Buggy Mesa, Arizona, U.S.A.
Based in Mesa, Arizona, LetzRoll Offroad Racing is the vision of Andrew McLaughlin and his business, LetzRoll Offroad. An avid off-roader since the age of 16, Andrew still owns and wheels his first Jeep: “’Ol Red”. After involvement with other race teams as a co-driver and pit crewmember, Andrew started his own racing program in 2012, fielding three cars in three different classes of Ultra4 Racing.
Today, Andrew and LetzRoll Offroad Racing has 4 cars in 3 series on 2 continents making up 1 team, including Ultra4 Unlimited (U.S.), Legends (U.K.), a SRRS rock bouncer (U.S.), plus a competitive rock crawling / cone dodging team (U.S.). In addition to heading the race program and running a successful business, Andrew is the owner and driver of the 4493 Unlimited class buggy for LetzRoll Offroad Racing and serves as a mentor to many “associate racer” LetzRoll teams in the Dirt Riot and Ultra4 series.
Andrew and the ESAB Welding & Cutting 4493 have been featured at the SEMA Expo in 2013, 2014 & 2015, co-hosted a full-length episodes of “Two Guys Garage” , have been featured and interviewed on Power Nation’s Xtreme4x4, Ultra4 Racing highlight videos, plus featured in NORRA 1000 , Dirt Riot, and the MINT 400 media.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/letzrolloffroadracing YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/letzrolloffroad Instagram and Twitter: @letzrolloffroadracing
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