King Of Hammers Is In Two Days – Race For Access Fundraising Drive

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King of Hammers (KOH) is one of the coolest truck racing events in the world (right up there with the Baja 1000 and the Dakar Rally) because it combines two difficult off-road activities – high speed desert racing and extreme rock crawling – into one difficult day. The challenge for participants is to design a rig that can complete both portions of the race in the fastest time possible…and that’s a bit of a pickle.

Note: While the race itself is fascinating, let’s take a moment and note that the race is only possible because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) grants use of some of the land used in the race…I’ll come back to this topic in a minute.

2011 King of Hammers

Image copyright Pirate4x4 - click the image above to see more pics and learn more about the KOH

KOH Race Strategy 101

The world’s best rock crawlers perform best at very low speeds, and the world’s best desert racers perform best at high-speeds. Many desert racers go with an independent suspension setup, while almost all rock crawlers go with a solid axle. If you’re running in the KOH and you’ve optimized your rig for rock crawling, you’re not going to be as fast as you could be in the desert – and vice versa. With the course being about 130 miles in length, and 75% of those miles being desert, there’s not an obvious winning strategy.

The other trick to winning the KOH is to understand that the race is grueling. It’s held in California’s desolate Johnson Valley, and as you might have guessed it’s not the easiest place to race. Just designing a rig that can survive the course is an accomplishment.

There are some great stories about KOH teams, many of which are run on a shoe-string budget. You can learn a lot about KOH by reading Pirate4x4 and Ultra4Racing, and if you’ve got some time on Friday and you don’t mind driving to Hammertown (the official “town” that springs up at the KOH race area) – near Barstow, CA – you can learn a lot more by watching the proceedings.

Why Land Use Rules Matter to KOH

If you’re not passionate about off-roading, snowmobiling, riding your ATV or dirt bike, etc., you might not be aware of the pressure that’s placed on many government entities to reduce recreational use of public lands. We’ve talked about this in the past (see Wilderness Regulations Threaten Off-Roading) but it bears repeating. There are definitely good points on both sides of this issue, and since we all own a share in public lands, it’s incumbent upon us as citizens to learn about both sides of the issue.

Blue Ribbon Coalition 2011 King of Hammers Race-A-Thon

Click the image above to learn more about making a donation

The Blue Ribbon Coalition, which works hard to support the rights of recreational land use, is asking people to pledge support for their KOH “land use” buggy racing team. Donations to the team will be used to support the activities of the BRC, and if you believe in off-road land use rights, you might want to check that out.

Either way, be sure to check tomorrow for some last-minute news about Friday’s King Of Hammers event.

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