“Desert Racing Rules Over All Other Forms of Motorsport”
-Bj Baldwin, Team Hoonigan
This is a statement that most people outside the off-road racing world may not agree with. However, those that have seen an 800hp Trophy Truck come flying by at 100+mph through some of the harshest desert terrain imaginable will immediately know just how true that statement really is. That’s not to take away any of the badassery of other forms of motorsport, it’s just that there’s something special and unique about these off-road beasts and what they are capable of doing.
Bj Baldwin is one of the biggest names in desert endurance racing and when he’s not battling three foot whoops, he’s doing every thing he can to spread the word about just how incredible these trucks really are. By that I mean he’s willing to some slightly unconventional things in order to show the versatility and flat out brutal toughness of a Trophy Truck. You may already know some of the examples I’m referring to and that’s all four of the Recoil videos, including the most recent addition Recoil 4 shot in Cuba. In these videos, Bj launches his Toyota based truck off massive jumps and shows how agile it can be when in the right hands by flying over log piles and just about anything else you can imagine. But when he was asked to bring his truck to the Hoonigan Donut Garage he would put his truck through a test unlike anything other.
As a member of team Hoonigan, Bj was the perfect man to be featured on the 100th episode of Daily Transmission at the Donut Garage. In case you haven’t seen it before, it usually involves some high horsepower car doing massive burnouts and causing all kinds of automotive ruckus. So you would think it would be filmed in a giant parking lot or something along those lines right? Nope. Interestingly, the entire show takes place on a loading dock, and not a very big one. My point being is it’s really tight fit and requires some precise handling and car control. And that’s with a purpose built drift car that looks like a micro machine when compared to a Trophy Truck.
When I saw that Bj was appearing on the show, I had the feeling we were in for a treat. But in no way did I expect to see Bj push his truck as far as he did. He went wild. Not only was he smoking the hell out of those beefy 39-inch Toyo Tires, but he was jumping on and off the dock pulling what the Hoonigan boys were referring to as the “Man-Line Figure 8.” It was during one of these figure 8’s that Bj proved just how tough these trucks really are. As he’s going up the ramp, his passenger front wheel doesn’t quite bridge the gap between the ramp and the actual dock. When he didn’t make it, the suspension arm hit the solid concrete and it hit so hard that it stopped the truck dead in its tracks to the point that it lifted the rear of the truck off the ground.
Now that sort of impact would literally rip the front end off of any other vehicle. Especially the way it happened. Part me of me doubted whether even a Trophy Truck could survive such a brutal impact. But Bj just rolled with it and actually sent it off the dock right after. I’m sure his team checked the truck to make sure it was still in working order, but still. He proceeded to lay down the tightest, most impressive burnouts in such a small space. It was flat out spectacular, and really it needs to be seen in order to fully understand the magnitude of the situation.
And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, Bj wanted to be the first to “do a wheelie” at the Donut Garage. I’ll be damned if he doesn’t go out and get the front wheels up off the ground, without the use of any ramps. You quite literally must see this, and I’m willing to bet just about anything that you will gain an immense amount of respect for both Trophy Trucks, and Bj’s driving skills.
The action starts around 13 minutes in, but Bj’s stories of being a single driver during races like the Baja 1000 are absolutely worth hearing as well.