Well it pains me to say that the winter has come to an end. No more Snowmobiling, skiing, or just going out to do donuts in empty parking lots. But that doesn’t mean we cant pretend that it’s still winter. One of the funnest things to do in the winter, besides snowmobiling of course, is to drive in the snow. Yeah I know most people hate to drive in the snow, but if you ask me its just because they don’t know how. Sliding around in a semi controlled manner is one of the best feelings in the world. But one thing I have always dreamed of doing was to drive a high horsepower 4WD or AWD vehicle in the snow on an open course where I could really get wild with it. How about a 900hp four wheel drive trophy truck going balls to wall up and down a ski slope, that would do the trick right?
Apparently I am not the only one that feels that way. Back in 2013 Red Bull had their off-road team driver, legendary off-road and former motocross star Ricky Johnson, run one of his trophy trucks on the ski slopes of Mt Snow in Vermont. Now this was initially done as a one time thing as a promotional event for Red Bull like the do on so many other occasions. Get some sick footage of the truck getting some air and kick out huge snow roost, then call it a day. The videos were so successful that Red Bull decided to make a race out of it that would be held each year at various locations and bring in some of the best drivers and vehicles in the world to compete. The Red Bull Frozen Rush was born.
After just 3 years the Frozen Rush has turned into something special. It seems almost as if its similar to an “all star game” that you would see in other sports because usually only 8-10 drivers compete and pretty much every single one of them is a previous champion or well known for their driving achievements in some way. The 2016 running took place earlier this year in January and Bryce Menzies took home the win for the second year in a row. Other Drivers that competed in the 2016 event was Rob MacCachren, Rj Anderson, father and son Johhny and Cj Greaves, and of course the 2014 Frozen Rush winner, Ricky Johnson just to name a few.
The Trucks are the same Pro-4 trucks that are used in the TORC Off-road Series, the Pro-2 class wouldn’t stand a chance in the snow with their rear wheel drive only. Even the 4WD trucks need to use specially modified BFGoodrich tires that have spikes in them to gain traction. After all, they do compete going up and down on actual ski runs and have the same 900hp engines powering the trucks. The hair on the back of my neck stands up just thinking about how amazingly fun it must be to have that much power with all that beautiful trophy truck suspension travel playing out in the snow, with spiked tires. The feeling of sliding that truck into a corner in full counter steer as you feather the throttle to slide the ass end around the corner kicking all kinds of roost, I swear I can feel it in my bones. This must be such a blast for these drivers, since its not part of any racing series they can just go out and play without the normal stresses of racing. Although it can get pretty cold for most of the driver since they are used to hot desert racing style conditions, and remember these trucks don’t have windshields. So to combat that some use heated helmet and glove technology that is used in snowmobile racing.
The race itself is a cross between Rally Cross, Stadium Super Trucks and the TORC Off-road Championship. Two drivers face off where they have to run two laps around the course, only there is one lap that is referred to as the “joker” that is shorter and follows a different section similar to what you see on a Rally Cross event. There are a couple spots where the drivers come together and race on the same section, especially the end of the race because there seems to be a lot of really close finishes. So if you happen to be in Maine in January be sure to check out these 900hp Trophy Trucks putting on a show at the Red Bull Frozen Rush.
If you are interested in watching the Full 2016 Frozen Rush here is the video
Thanks to Red Bull’s YouTube Channel for all the videos. If you want to do a binge watch like I might have, ill put links to the 2014 and 2015 races also.