Capitalizing on a 10-year relationship with Lincoln Electric, Robby Gordon Motorsports has embraced the new addition to the Lincoln family and welcomed Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems onto Planet Robby. Gordon, who has acquired the Torchmate Racing built TTB car for the upcoming Griffin King of the Hammers event, will begin testing the rebadged Speed Energy #77 car this week and he has tasked rock crawling champion and former Pirate4x4.com owner, Lance Clifford, to navigate.
“Although I have not yet met Lance, he has come highly recommended and is a welcome addition to our team. We put a lot of value in having the right people to help us succeed,” said Gordon. Clifford, who has worked during KOH the last 4 years providing live web based coverage, is looking forward to racing. “I was just planning on enjoying the event with my family, but when the best off-road driver in the world calls you up and asks you to navigate you don’t think twice about accepting.”
The new relationship will put Torchmate CNC cutting systems to work in both Robby Gordon Motorsports North Carolina and Southern California facilities, and will see Torchmate as an associate sponsor of Gordon’s new venture into Ultra4 racing as well as his current SCORE Trophy Truck and Dakar off-road programs. “We’re excited to work with Robby Gordon and it’s a perfect fit with Torchmate philosophy on racing and business,” said Bill Kunz, general manager of Torchmate. “The same Torchmate machines the general public can purchase will be put to good use at the hands of Robby Gordon Motorsports,” Kunz added.
The demands of the King of the Hammers race test the merit of both driver and machine due to the brutal terrain. In its 6th running, this year’s course (which remains a closely guarded secret until race week) will be the longest and most difficult to date. The delicate balance of rock crawling’s technical skill set, coupled with wide open assaults in the open desert, require a vehicle that is comfortable at two completely different ends of the off-road spectrum. Gordon had this to say about his first impression of the vehicle, “The craftsmanship in the construction of this TTB car is a testament to the quality of products Torchmate builds. We build racecars of the highest standard in our fabrication shops, and this vehicle looks like something we built. I am excited to have a chance to race it in KOH and know we can do well. This relationship is not just a one-race deal; we are looking forward to building the Torchmate brand alongside our existing partners and introducing Torchmate to a new market.” A number of crossover drivers have attempted the King of the Hammers in the last 5 years, but few return, and even less make the leap to car owner.
The buzz created by Ultra4 racing fans suggests that Robby Gordon’s presence this year will no doubt be one of the highlights of the event. “It’s always great to see new drivers make an investment in our sport, but when it’s a driver as popular as Robby Gordon, that creates the potential to introduce a wide selection of fans and have a positive result for all of our teams,” responded Dave Cole of Hammerking Productions when asked about his newest racer. “It’s a lot like the Baja 1000,” Gordon closed with, “It’s a huge event people plan the whole year around. I can’t wait to give it a shot!”