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Nick Puts Full Nelson on the Competition at The Ultra4, 4WheelParts, Glen Helen Grand Prix.

Running what he described as a “safe pace,” Nick Nelson beat a talented field of Ultra4 racers at the 4WheelParts, Glen Helen Grand Prix. Glen Helen’s iconic outdoor motocross track combined with the Lucas Oil shortcourse series track made up the course that would test the Ultra4 competitors. The course was tough enough but the drivers would also have to deal with the summer heat and the change from dusk to darkness during the two and a half hour Grand Prix event.

Drivers who were eager for the sun to set and temperatures to drop, where then hit with a rude awakening, as the steep hills and narrow ridgelines were downright scary in the dark. Many racers did not anticipate how challenging it would be with limited lighting. Nick Campbell was one of the few that had the benefit of full lighting, a bank of KC, HID lights on his roof, to guide him through the night. He finished third to desert racer TJ Flores who is accustomed to running fast in the dark but also did not mount his overhead light rack. Instead, he followed Nick around the course letting him light the way until he made his move.

“The car ran flawlessly,” said TJ Flores. “We only ran five laps in qualifying but ended up starting third. We ran our normal desert set-up with 40” GoodYear tires. The course is really more suited to an a-arm car because of the off-camber corners and steep hills. We have a rigid lightbar on our front bumper that puts out plenty of light but it got mudded out so it was hard to see. I really like the challenge of these Ultra4 events and all the creativity that goes into the vehicle designs. I am working on my own a-arm car that will be done next year.”

Race winner Nick Nelson was not content to follow anyone. “I thought the course was lit but I was wrong,” said Nick. “By the time it was really dark I had already memorized the course. We lost 4 minutes when I had an incident with Kevin Sacalas. He hit me in the side and took a 10 inch long chunk out of my tire but other than that, it was a trouble-free run. I set a fast pace but wasn’t hurting the car at all. As it cooled down my car ran even better. I was clawing my way back after pitting to change the shredded tire when my crewchief radioed me that we were in the lead. I’m happy to get another victory for Nitto tire, we gave them their first Best in the Desert win and now an Ultra4 victory.”

Rounding out the top five were Gary Ferravanti Sr., who usually dominates the track races, and the father-son team of Wayland and Shannon Campbell. Running the race at night was a new twist for the Glen Helen Grand Prix but the intense race action and the fun had by all were just what everyone expected. Things will really heat up on August 16th when the Ultra4 racers run 535 miles of punishing Nevada desert at the BITD, Vegas to Reno off-road race.

 Photos © Mikesracephoto.com   all rights reserved

 

About the Author

Mike Ingalsbee is an automotive writer and photographer who has covered just about everything that burns fuel or throws dirt for two decades. He has been published in over twenty magazine titles and websites in North America, Europe and Australia. He has worked as a design engineer for several manufacturers in the automotive aftermarket and is a founding member of the Association of Motorsports Media Professionals, (AMMP), a trade organization that is involved in land use concerns and consults with sanctioning bodies on safety and media issues.

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