The energy-drink company is no stranger to motor racing, sponsoring and even running its own teams in countless motorsport disciplines – not least of them the reigning four-time world champion Red Bull Racing team in Formula One. Last year it brought Pro 4 truck racing legend Ricky Johnson out to Mount Snow in Vermont for a demonstration, but that was only to set the stage for this year's race.
For the first time, Red Bull placed eight Pro 4 racing trucks – each packing 900 horsepower, special studded BFGoodrich tires and enough suspension travel and attitude to make a Ford Raptor look like a Power Wheels toy – on a specially-designed race course (complete with jumps, slaloms and more) on the slopes of Maine's Sunday River Resort to battle for top honors.
The event brought out ten thousand spectators despite the single-digit temperatures, and after the final four-lap heat was done, Ricky Johnson just edged out longtime rival Johnny Greaves who was hit with a five-second penalty for hitting a race gate. Check out the action in the image gallery above and the video clips below.
Motorsports Icon Ricky Johnson Takes First Place as 900-Horsepower Trucks Master the Snow at
Red Bull Frozen Rush
Newry, Maine (January 10, 2014) – The Polar Vortex may have brought freezing temperatures across the country, but the action at Maine's Sunday River Resort was heating up as Red Bull Frozen Rush brought eight off-road trucks to the slopes in the first-ever head-to-head race on snow. A motorsport normally reserved for the sand, dirt, and mud surfaces, about ten thousand winter weather worshippers and racing fanatics braved the single-digit temperatures to witness motorsports getting an edge on Mother Nature.
Eight of the country's best professional off-road truck drivers traveled far and wide to conquer unprecedented terrain including snow and ice and tackle berms, jumps, and slalom-style racing. The high-octane racing proved to be intense from start to finish, with the final race pitting long-standing rivals Ricky Johnson against Johnny Greaves. With an extended four-lap final (all other rounds were two laps), the two pushed their Pro 4 trucks to the limit, with Greaves edging out Johnson by 0.24 seconds. Unfortunately for Greaves, he was penalized 5 seconds for hitting a race gate, cementing both the victory for Johnson and further fueling the ongoing rivalry.
The Red Bull Frozen Rush concept was initially explored by Ricky Johnson in February 2013 as a proof of concept, when he tested the capability of his Pro 4 truck on the rough and tough conditions of a New England winter. Due to the success and confirmed potential of taking a Pro 4 off-road truck racing to winter conditions, the event expanded to include multiple pro drivers competing on a two-lap snow covered course.
"It was great to bring motorheads to the mountain," said Johnson after barely beating his fellow Pro 4 racer Johnny Greaves. "What a thrill to cover new ground, literally, with guys that I respect and have been racing with for years."
Trucks tearing up the slopes for the first time came with its own set of technical challenges, such as maintaining speed while keeping traction on slippery and icy surfaces. Each 900-hp truck was specifically modified in order to adapt to the harsh weather conditions and one-of-a-kind, studded and specially designed Mud-Terrain tires from BFGoodrich's Research and Development team that armed all the veteran motorsports racers as they ripped up and down the nearly mile-long course. While the tires provided maximum traction, they also created a dense cloud from the snow roost, obscuring the drivers' vision.
The race format was head-to-head, bracketed, single elimination with two drivers on course at a time. The United States Auto Club, one of auto racing's leading governing bodies and an international motorsports authority, sanctioned the race and oversaw safety and competition. For more information on drivers and time scores, please visit www.redbull.com/frozenrush.
Red Bull Frozen Rush Results
1st place - Ricky Johnson
2nd place - Johnny Greaves
3rd place - Bryce Menzies
4th place - Rob MacCachren
5th place - Todd LeDuc
6th place - Scott Douglas
7th place - Greg Adler
8th place - Carl Renezeder
Red Bull Frozen Rush is presented by BFGoodrich and is in partnership with Polaris, Sunday River, Dodge Dart and Casio GzOne Commando 4G LTE. It will air on NBC on Sunday, February 2, 2014 3pm as part of the Red Bull Signature Series, the most progressive action sports property in the world. For more information, please visit www.redbullsignatureseries.com.