The 2017 King of Hammers week is taking place right now in Johnson Valley, California and thanks to the modern days we live in, you now can watch one of the most hardcore rock crawler races on earth in real time wherever you might be. That means that if you weren’t able to make it out to watch something like this in person, which I highly recommend, you can still enjoy it from the comfort of your home computer, phone, or tablet.
There have been attempts to stream the event live in previous years, but never with the results that I’m seeing so far. Ultra4 Racing has linked up with Livestream and what they came up with is impressive, to say the least.
The event lasts all week long with different things planned each day. The main event kicks off Friday morning at 6 a.m. and the course doesn’t close until after 10 pm P.S.T. and this is the one that you want to watch if you had to choose only one. However, the good stuff starts on Tuesday, February 7th with the qualifying for the main event as that’s when drivers will really push their vehicles to the limit without as much fear of breaking something because they still have a couple days to fix things. Once race day comes, it’s all about longevity versus just outright speed. I’m very interested to see how Vaughn Gittin Jr’s Ultra4 buggy he named “Brocky” is going to match up against the best in the business.
Wednesday is the KOH UTV race sponsored by Can-Am and that should also be entertaining considering these aren’t your everyday UTV’s. Instead, they just start out as a regular old UTV and end up looking like mini-me’s of the full-size vehicles after a $100,000, or more, worth of upgrades. These things are fast and agile and will lay down similar times to the big boys.
Thursday brings back the popular Smittybuilt Every Man Challenge and it’s exactly what it sounds like. The every day offroad enthusiast can enter their own vehicle in the day-long race on a shortened version of the actual course. They have both a stock class and modified class so all skill levels are accepted. I can only imagine how awesome it would be to see a slightly modified Ford Raptor out there giving it hell. Winners of each class are invited to participate in Friday’s race if they choose. Needless to say, this is always a crowd favorite.
As I said above, seeing an event like this in person is something that every gearhead must experience at least once in their life. Because similar to the Mint 400, the KOH is a long desert race that’s spectator friendly. Rather than a point A to B type races like you see in Baja, it consists of three laps so you get to see significantly more action. With that being said, the fact that modern technology allows you to watch this race that’s taking place literally in the middle of nowhere, from the palm of your hand, is pretty damn cool. So kick your feet up and enjoy some intense rock crawling/desert racing at its finest.