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Spotlight on The Flying Zucchini Brothers

The Nevada Desert can be a very lonely place. In most of the state you could travel for 100′s of miles and never see any signs of life. There quit possibly is no place more lonely then when you have crashed your desert car during a Best in the Desert race. Knowing that your chase crew can come not get you until after the race is over, affords plenty of time to ponder the sanity of the endeavor. Imagine the surprise a racer might feel when his competition pulls up extends a friendly greeting and than offers to help you with your trouble. For Curtis and Dave Warner or “The Flying Zucchini Brothers” as they are commonly referred to back home in Vancouver B.C. Canada stopping and helping others is part of the spirit of racing. In fact it is not uncommon for them to stop as many as a dozen times during a race to help put cars back on their wheels, pull cars out of the silt, or offer words of encouragement and tools. The definition of winning can carry many meanings, but in the desert helping everyone possible, and still finishing in a respectable time affords the Flying Zucchini Brothers accomplishment beyond any trophy.

Traveling from Vancouver B.C. Canada you may think is reserved for a once in a life time event, but the Zucchini Brothers are a regular in the Ultra4 series, as well as selected Rock Crawling events in the western states. They still find time to race locally with the High riders club, and just keep paying it forward with the help to others.

 

Here is what the Zucchini Brothers offered regarding preperation for the upcoming 2012 King of the Hammers

How long have you been competing in Ultra 4 Racing?

3 years

How long have you been racing?

Since we could crawl, but offroad for about 10 years

Tell us about your past experiences in the King of the Hammers and where you have finished?

The last 2 KOH races have ended in a spectacular fashion. The latest after driving 18 miles in reverse at speeds up to 40 MPH our dreams of finishing literally went up in flames.  Gutting the interior of our buggy.

 What’s the attraction to racing of King of the Hammers for you?

The mix of WFO in the desert and racing 100 other vehicles on trails that would take recreational wheelers a day to complete.  

What’s your favorite part of the King of the Hammers?  

The first 10 miles, it looks like a war zone, people are passing , being passed, upside down, driving backwards, etc.   It’s the most chaotic part of the race.  

 How do you physically and mentally prepare for this type of racing?

Our busy work and family schedules keep us relatively fit.   Mentally, we are always ready to race, it’s not a hobby, or even a job.  It really is our lifestyle and because of that we will never give up.  

Teamwork is a big part of KOH, Tell us about your team for the King of the Hammers?

We had a great team last year, they pulled the transmission out of our pre runner to swap into the race truck at the first pit.  Unfortunately we never made it that far.     These guys really don’t get enough credit for the hard work they do.   For every good driver out there, you need an outstanding team to support them.   This is one area where we don’t feel at a disadvantage.   

How much does strategy play a part in KOH? 

Everyone wants to win,  everyone has a chance to win a race like this.    Going out and not tearing up the race vehicle is the most important thing to do.    I’m not sure who said it first, but I hear a lot of the desert guys quoting it, “We need to go slow enough to win”  All I want to do once I’m strapped in is light the fuse and hold on, having a good co-driver that can manage the chaos and having the team that can relay info to is a big part of finishing.  

 What will it take to win the King of the Hammers in 2012?

Preparedness for any and all incidents, skill, teamwork and most of all luck. 

How much does a car vs. a drivers ability play into winning the King of the Hammers?  

Having a good vehicle isn’t a guarantee that you can win, same as being a good driver.   But you bring a well prepped vehicle and a driver, co-driver combo that knows the limits and how it reacts.  That’s a good horse to bet on.  

If you had the opportunity to participate in any race in the world, what would it be and why?

Baja 1000 or Dakar.    I’m a desert racer that took a slight detour to rock crawling for a few years.   I love that challenge of going fast for as long as you can.     

Who is your racing idol and why?

That’s tough to narrow down.    I’d have to say guys like Shannon Campbell, JT taylor, Robby Gordon, and other guys that have made a career out of racing are my biggest inspiration.     This is ultimately what I would like to do.

If you had an unlimited budget what would you build to compete in the King of the Hammers?

1000 hp Ls, with a specially made set of 44” toyo’s,  IFS and IRS.   Then hire a team of scientists to create unbreakable parts.  Stab the throttle and hang on it’ll get exciting.

 Do you have any advise to give someone who is aspiring to race the King of the Hammers?  

Find a class, build a race vehicle and come out.  It’s the coolest atmosphere and most exciting race format I’ve ever been a part of.  

 Can you tell us about the sponsors and people that have made it possible for you to do this?

We are currently actively seeking a title sponsor to help us out for the 2012 season.   But the people and places that have helped us out in a big way are :The Gear centre Group Evolution Machine and Fabrication Aqualu Industries Toyo Tires Canada Bajanorth Sportsman 4×4 MasterCraft Safety And our families.  

 

The Facts Flying Zucchini Brothers # 4410 

Driver name: Curtis Warner   Co-Driver Name: Dave Warner

Age:    34      Hometown: Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Chassis Builder: Evolution Machine and Fabrication  Engine:LS1

 Transmission:   TH350 T-case:Atlas II 3.0

  Axles F/R: Dynatrac Pro rock 60, Dana crate 70 Lockers F/R: ARB

 Seats: Mastercraft      Shocks: King

 Tires: Toyo Open country Wheels: Trail Ready HD

 

About the Author

Jeff Knoll is the former Event Director for the King of the Hammers event. He has raced various classes in SCORE, BITD, MORE, and MDR. Following the California 200, Knoll travelled to Washington, DC to meet with BLM officials regarding the Special Recreation Permit policies of the BLM. Knoll serves on the BLM’s Desert Advisory Sub-Committee regarding Special Recreation Permits. Knoll also drafted language for Nevada’s Senate Bill 156 in 2011 regarding action sports safety.

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