2019 AZOP Rowley White RV Series, Round 5, Prescott, AZ
Race report and photos by: Miller Truby
Off-road racing – like most forms of motorsports – is intended to be a spectacle, with talented drivers coaxing incredible machines through often unthinkable terrain; on paper it should be just as much fun for those watching as it is for those competing. Unfortunately, the nature of these contests means that most off-road races are seen in tiny glimpses from spectator areas near the pits, or wherever the racecourse comes in close contact with public roads. With tracks that are often massive and remote, the bulk of most off-road racing action takes place outside the view of everyone except the racers themselves, the support crews, and a few lucky media members. But not so with round 5 of AZOP’s Rowley White RV Series in Prescott Valley!
With a race course built each year from scratch in an empty field near the center of town, the event – which was presented this year by Summit Jeep and Dragonfire Racing – provides excellent viewing opportunities for anyone and everyone. Mere steps from commercial shopping districts and city buildings and bounded by major roads and intersections the action drew in both avid fans of the sport as well as curious onlookers. As has been the case for the last several years, the race promoters worked with the town of Prescott to advertise the event and sought out a long list of sponsors who provided cash payouts for more than half of the race classes, which in turn drew a huge turnout of competitors.
The three-mile course put together in the week prior to the race by AZOP took advantage of the flat terrain by providing a variety of different corner shapes and styles punctuated by different sized tabletops, kickers, and an endurocross style tire-jump section. The layout was simple enough that the novice classes could negotiate it safely, but provided ample opportunities for the pro and expert classes to get creative in how they approached the different sections. As a result the racing was competitive and close all weekend, with very few blowout wins and several races coming down to the last few corners. More than 400 OHVs raced on the temporary GP course.
ARIZONA’S PREMIERE UTV RACE SERIES AND JAMBOREE
The AZOP GP series approaches the halfway point of the season with high-altitude racing at Mormon Lake July 13-14 and at Cinder Mountain near Flagstaff July 27-28. Quads and bikes race Saturdays, and UTVs and trucks race Sundays. There are also non-points races with a four-hour team UTV race on November 3rd at Blythe, California, and the Canyon MX GP and team race on December 21 at Peoria, Arizona. AZOP also puts on the White Mountain UTV Jamboree near Springerville on September 19-23; this will be the 15th annual White Mountain UTV Jam. See www.whitemountainutvjamboree.com.
AZOP ATV/UTV GRAND PRIX SERIES
1. Wickenburg, AZ…PS Derek Geiser/C-A
2. Blythe, CA…PS Matt Hancock/Pol
3. Page, AZ…Pro Aaron Henry/Pol
4. Payson, AZ…PS Clayton Winiecki/Pol
5. Prescott Valley, AZ…PS Clayton Winiecki/Pol
6. July 13-14…Mormon Lake, AZ
7. July 27-28…Cinder Mountain, AZ
8. Aug. 24-25…Gallop, NM
9. Oct. 5-6…Payson, AZ
10. Oct. 19-20…Wickenburg, AZ
11. Nov. 16-17…Lake Havasu, AZ
12. Dec. 7-8…Gila Bend, AZ