UTVWC CLS Racing

By Larry Sobolewski
#1807 Polaris RZR

 

Well another exciting BITD race and our first UTV World Championship has come and gone… The team had finished preparations for the race a week ahead of time and we felt confident in our RZR.  We headed out Thursday mid-day and made a stop in Barstow, CA to test a few suspension adjustments we had made. We literally drove the car less than a mile. We were so happy with the way it handled we wanted to get it back on the trailer quickly before we broke it.

We were now on our way to Laughlin, NV for the 2017 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship! We got there and scrambled for a pit spot. Once camp was set up we got the car cleaned up for tech the following morning. Tech went off without a hitch, then drivers meeting. We stopped by the casino and donated a couple hundred bucks.

It’s now race day and the nerves are going… We went into this race as preparation for the V2R. We had a different co driver, my 15 year old son Aiden Sobolewski. We also would be making a driver switch to Duane Varner and my oldest son Chase Sobolewski would hop in as Duane’s Varners co driver at approximately half way when we stopped for fuel. Duane, Chase, Aiden and I went over our strategy one last time before we headed up to the starting line. Keep in mind this is a land rush start, basically 18 UTV’s racing into a turn big enough for two. Basically complete chaos…  As we are on the line Aiden tells me “man Dad I’m really nervous “. I laughed because I was too…
About this time, we see the green flag go up. Then 3-4 cars jump early so I’m thinking they are going to let them re stage, so I take my foot off the brake and hand off the ignition. Wrong! About the time those who jumped started backing up the flag drops! I’m all of the sudden panicking to start the car which really only took a couple seconds but felt like minutes. We went into the first turn in about 8th place. By the time we exited the infield course to the desert we were in 2nd in our group off the start. We settled in and we’re racing our race and not losing ground. We came to the fox proving grounds and after a couple of the huge whoops I decided we had nothing to “prove”.
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About this time, we have a Yamaha come past us right about the point the whoops got even bigger and the course veered left. As soon as they passed us and started the left the proving grounds put them upside down, end over end and backwards right in front of us! We looked to make sure they were ok and took off. The rest of the track consisted of fast straights following sandy switch backs. We came into the infield looking for the big Polaris jump, we had been waiting months to hit that jump. Once it was in sight we pinned the throttle with the mentality, we are either making a highlight reel or getting some bitchin’ pictures. We didn’t crash so that was a good thing.

We go into our second lap and are running good catching cars when about MM12 we have a class nine car come up on us which we let pass us about 10 seconds later we get plowed by an unlimited car, no siren, no love tap. He just hammered us breaking our rear axles on impact.  At that point, I called into the pits letting them know what had happened and we were pitting early.

We made the decision to switch drivers at that point as we would be refueling and changing axles. With our mileage calculations, we would be able to make the rest of the race without another pit stop. Chase made the decision to let his little brother stay in the car so he could get more seat time. The whole stop took less than 10 minutes. Our crew was on it! Duane took off and went out to try and make up time lost. On the 4th lap we got the dreaded call on the 2 way… the rear passenger suspension was ripped from the car. We were heart broken, at that point we were on a top 5 pace. But as we all know in desert racing, you must first finish to finish first…

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We learned some valuable lessons and also found a few weak points in the new car that we now know need to be addressed. We had a great time and always meet a bunch of great people! We are looking forward to the V2R in August and going after a podium finish!

 

For more information on the Best In the Desert racing series visit – http://bitd.com/

For more information on the Polaris RZR UTV World Championship visit – http://utvworldchampionship.com/

All photos provided by CLS Racing
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