TORC: The Off-Road Championship: Round 4 Twin Cities Takedown
Pulling into the TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota on Friday morning greeted fans and race teams with lightning storms and showers, creating rivers running across the track and through the pits. This facility was designed to take it though, with the right mixture of clay and sand the track dried fast. The track was helped along by what ended up being one of the hottest days of the year. This was day one of a three day race weekend, Friday being a make-up race from Round 4 where a strong storm and tornado force winds canceled the race. The track offered some changes to the drivers since the spring, with a couple added jumps, a different dirt mixture and a more technical rhythm section. The changes left the drivers trying to find new setups, as what worked for them in the spring left the trailing the pack in the fall.
The three race weekend made for lots of opportunities to make changes in the championship race and these guys were laying it on the line. With CJ Greaves only 2 points ahead of his father, Johnny, the PRO 4 Champion was far from being decided going into Friday’s race. Ross Hoek took the pole in qualifying and used it to his advantage to hold an early lead but was unable to hold off the calm and smooth line of CJ. CJ took the win with a three second victory over his father, gaining critical points towards his third straight PRO 4 Championship.
PRO 2 was one of the most exciting classes all weekend long as drivers fought their way around the ever changing ERX track. Mark Peterson took the lead on the first lap, being one of the only guys to take the inside lane of the split, leaving him on the inside going into the last corner. Mike Vanden Heuvel was on a charge during the first half quickly making it to second place from eighth. A restart on lap 5 due to a rollover in the outside split lane gave Vanden Heuvel the chance he needed to take the lead with an inside pass on the tight hairpin. Points leader Luke Johnson was running a solid second place, however the hard charging local, Andrew Carlson, dove to the inside of Johnson on a restart making contact spinning out Johnson. This allowed Brad Lovell to gain valuable points on Johnson going into the weekend. Vanden Heuvel took the win for his second time at ERX this year.
Stay tuned for our coverage of Round 12 and 13 from Elk River coming this week.
TORC: The Off-Road Championship is the nation’s homegrown short-course racing series. Built by drivers—TORC roots run deep, hosting world champions and descendants from all off-road disciplines. What started nearly a decade ago with a crew of dedicated drivers has evolved into a multigenerational sport of two-wheel and four-wheel drive trophy trucks, and UTV racing.
TORC seeks to preserve the spirit of short-course racing by working with the finest tracks throughout America’s heartland and hosting some of the sport's most competitive teams. Buckle up, because when you hear the engines rumble and witness a pack of trucks flying through the air, fighting for the inside line and taking the TORC National Championship, you’ll be hooked for life. Learn more at torcseries.com.