|TORC 2014: Ross Hoek Motorsports - "The Battle at the Chip" Race Report|
The seventy-fourth edition of the Sturgis Bike Rally was the backdrop for Rounds 11 and 12 of the "TORC Series presented by AMSOIL". The race event, "The Battle at the Chip" would see Ross Hoek and his fellow racers showcase their talents in front of a whole new audience, and from the response everyone can't wait to come back in 2015.
The #10 PRO-4x4 has seen marked improvement in its competitiveness throughout the 2014 TORC season. The midweek event in Sturgis, South Dakota was further proof of the team's desire to race among the leaders.
The freshly built 1.2 mile long track at the Sturgis Powersports Complex was carved into the base of the foothills just down the road from downtown Sturgis. The layout featured extreme elevation changes combined with drop offs, a huge table top jump, and a lightning fast rhythm section. Then if you happened to drive off course in the wrong spot, you would be hard pressed to get back on track. After a couple of practice sessions, Tuesday morning saw the #10 PRO-4x4 qualify sixth fastest in the tight PRO-4x4 field.
Round 11: The afternoon twelve lap race saw very slick and wet race conditions due to rain earlier in the day and then more rain fell midway through the PRO-4x4 race. Ross Hoek ran a solid race swapping positions with CJ Greaves while maintaining his position with the lead pack throughout the race. The adverse track conditions created a very difficult one lane racetrack but Ross held on to finish in sixth place.
The next morning saw heavy rains pass through the area causing USAC officials to delay the morning practice. This gave Jeff Nordstrom and his track crew time to make some modifications to the racetrack and clear some of the mud from the track.
Round 12: Based on Tuesday's finish the #10 PRO-4x4 would start on the front row of Wednesday's race. During race line-up Scott Rehn, one of the on-site and internet announcers, called up Ross on his race radio, which gave TORC fans a great insight about the upcoming race.
When the race went green, Hoek found himself in a three wide battle for the lead coming out of Turn One. There was some bumping and grinding in Turn Three as well as additional contact in the final corner, forcing Hoek off the track as the rest of the PRO-4x4 field went past. The contact damaged the rear track bar on the #10 Nitto Tire truck as it broke two laps later in the harsh uphill section of the course ending the day for Ross Hoek.
"Coming to Sturgis was just incredible," noted Ross Hoek. "Our truck ran great both days; we can finally keep up with these guys. Tuesday was a great battle the entire race then on Wednesday we broke the rear suspension early parking us. The Sturgis track is really challenging and as we put more laps on it, the track will just get better. The downhill sections are really crazy. We can't wait to get back here next year."
The final weekend of the TORC Series presented by AMSOIL is August 30-31 as Crandon International Off-Road Raceway celebrates forty-five years off-road racing in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
2014/08/13 | 16:57 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/REUSCHE