|2011 ECORS Endurance Racing
Story and photos by Ricky Berry
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ECORS is a relatively new racing series that is gaining popularity on the East coast. It offers the average Joe an opportunity to get into endurance racing. This was ECORS first race in Alabama at the Great American Park, and it probably won’t be its last! The event drew a huge crowd as well as tons of racers. The Great American Park is located right outside of downtown Auburn, minutes away from everything. It used to be an old golf course, but the land owner has spent incredible amounts of time and money trucking in rock to build this top notch track for the race. The course was very fast and open, which allowed for the drivers to really put their skills to the test.
The UTV “U class” started first. They left the line 5 wide which made for some intense land rush action as they fought for position going into the first turn. To make things even more interesting ECORS started the A class, the “stock” class rigs, directly after the UTVs and ran at the same time. The UTVs were obviously faster in most sections, but it was very surprising to see how hard the A class drivers would push their rigs. The UTV guys were nuts, within the first lap or two I’d seen two rolls and lots of “rubbin’s racin’” style driving. Some of the guys were pushing upwards of 60mph! Did I mention carnage? Flat tires, broken CVs, and broken suspension arms to name a few.
#901 Brit Mansell took the 1st place finish in his new RZR XP
The A class is more geared to stock vehicles. The class has very strict rules on what modifications can be performed. The nature of the class is fairly low-budget, which in turn made the drivers ruthless! Not to mention the excitement of being paired to run with UTVs buzzing around everywhere, but these drivers pushed the rigs about as hard as they could. David Guest, #D6, had one of the most unique A Class rigs there; it was a bone stock 80s model Toyota truck running a 22R that he had just rebuilt the bottom end in the night before sitting on the trailer! He had removed the body and built a tube chassis on the frame, adhering to all the A Class requirements. He was the driver to watch, as he laid down the fastest lap times by far. Unfortunately, his motor lost oil pressure by lap 3 and he had to call it a day just minutes after he took a big lead in 1st place. 1st place actually ended up being a tie between #56 Charles Robinson in his Bronco, and 69x Brad Carrier in his Jeep YJ.
#121 Andy Carter airin’ out his Jeep ZJ.
A Class winner #69x Brad Carrier sliding into the corner.
The B class had 11 entries from a basically stock looking Isuzu Rodeo to a built Jeep TJ on 38s! This was more of a “trail rig” class. The course was slightly modified from the A Class run to include a few more difficult obstacles including a very steep dirt hillclimb. As the race went on rigs were showing fatigue, #14 Dylan Wiles suffered a broken front end and only had 2wd rear. After several full throttle attempts on the dirt hillclimb Dylan was finally able to make it to the top, only to slide off course and roll off the side of the hill landing on the side of his XJ. Dylan wasn’t the only one who ended wheels up. #99 Chris May had some tough luck attempting to pass #25 Jay Callaway. Chris lost his rear driveline and was powering on in FWD only, he crested a hill and went to pass but clipped Jay’s tire at a little more than 20mph and it launched Chris’s Toyota into the air and began to barrel roll. Chris and his co-driver David DeMoise were able to get the rig back on all fours, pulled the radiator out of the fan, reattached the trusty Papa Johns delivery car sign, and limped back to the pits to call it a day.
Chris May was getting’ it before his unfortunate roll.
Gotta love this pic…
The C class got most of the attention as spectators were waiting to see some full throttle action from the big horsepower rigs. They did not disappoint as each rig left the starting line 2 wide at wide open throttle fighting into the first turn. #4419 Shawn Fisher went into the first turn a little too hot trying to beat #4447 Joel Withers and spun around backwards at speed in the slick mud, somehow avoiding rolling over and getting slammed into by Joel. #32x PJ Mallory was looking strong as he led the pack for several laps. He powered his FJ skinned buggy around the course, one of the few who didn’t seem to have any mechanical issues throughout the very demanding course. Rigs seemed to be dropping like flies. Joel Withers had his engine lock up on lap 3. #4419 Shawn Fisher, and #4426 BJ Allen also had engine failures!
Joel Withers workin’ hard to catch the leader!
Shawn Fisher powering through a corner
Not all the C class rigs were tube chassis racers, #84 Justin Malone brought his trail Jeep out to race. He had modified it just enough that it didn’t fall into the B class so he had to race with the dedicated race rigs like the 4400 class cars. That didn’t slow him down as he picked up several positions before he lost a belt on his old school SBC 350. He was unable to find a spare so it ended his day.
Justin working his way through the technical section of the course in his TJ on 39.5 boggers, not your usual race tire!
The toughest luck of the day goes to Travis Wilson from Wilson Performance and Offroad who was driving the ECORS #418 buggy when it caught fire on the backside of the course far away from the pits and help. Passing racers included #101 Adam Woodlee stopped and emptied all of their fire extinguishers but with no luck to save the rig as it burnt to the ground. Luckily everyone involved was okay.
#418 had a very promising start before the fire
Travis actually won a raffle to drive the #418 in the race. All monies raised would benefit the Auburn University Baja Team and NROTC who came out and volunteered their time and efforts all weekend. In addition to the $$$ raised for the AU volunteers, ECORS raised nearly $420 off the raffle to go to team 603 Shea Nutt in the Ironman 4x4 Fab Class A in their efforts to raise funds and awareness for a cure for breast cancer.
The C Class winner and quite possible the most consistent driver out there was #4403 Adam Carter.. He was able to avoid any carnage and drove a very clean race to pull off the win. Congrats Adam!
Big thanks to Rob and Ron from ECORS for putting on an awesome event, as well as The Great American Park land owners and volunteers for all the hard work setting up such a great event site.
Ironman 4x4 Fab Class A:
1st: Tie between #56 Charles Robinson in a bronco and 69x Brad Carrier in a Jeep YJ,
3rd: 71H Jerry Huffman,
4th: 666 Tony Hirko
5th: 13 Kenny Hall
6th: 22 Peter Knott
7th 156 John Herr
8th 603 Shea Nutt in the Racing for a Cure for Breast Cancer Ford Ranger
9th 26 BJ Allen
10th D6 David Guest
11th 121 Ironman 4x4 Fab Andy Carter
12th 88 Randal Holmes
Fastest lap: D6 David Guest, Lap 2 @ 8m1s
NC4x4 Class B
1st: 7 Adam Macke,
2nd: 94 Marc Zabboth,
3rd: 00 Peter Knott,
4th: 14 Dylan Wiles
5th: 25 Jay Callaway in a daily driver Jeep TJ
6th: 99 Chris May
7th: 17 Jody Treadway
8th: 5 Blake Mullins
9th: 787 Prescott Hill
10th: 13 Kenny Hall
11th: 111 Adam Spencer
Fastest Lap: #5 Blake Mullins, Lap 2 @9m44s
1st: 4433 Adam Carter,
2nd: 32x PJ Mallory,
3rd: 147 Kevin Crews,
4th: 13 Kevin Hite
5th: 747 Michael Bowen
6th: 4426 BJ Allen
7th: 73 Robert Potts
8th: 115x Alex Vaughn
9th: 101 Adam Woodlee
10th: 84 Justin Malone
11th: 4419 Shawn Fisher
12th: 4447 Joel Withers
13th: 418 Team ECORS buggy
14th: 1747 Adam Adair
15th: 257 Neal Hunt
Fastest Lap: 4426 BJ Allen, Lap 4 and 9 @ 9m25s
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