The 2016 racing season will find Ellstrom Racing competing on land as well as water. Owner Erick Ellstrom has announced an entry in the 2016 Ultra4 racing series, a combination of high speed off road racing and rock crawling, with the Ellstrom team set to debut at the King of the Hammers event February 3 in Johnson Valley, California.
Sven Ellstrom, an 18 year old senior at Edmonds-Woodway High School, will be driving Ellstrom Racing’s modified Polaris RZR 1000 with classmate Matt Rutz as his navigator.
King of the Hammers is described as the ultimate desert race and the toughest one-day off road race on the planet. Racers must be skilled at handling the vehicle at speeds approaching 100 mph in the open desert portion of the course as well as manipulating and winching their way through and over the rough terrain and rock obstacles at elevations ranging from 2-4000 feet that make the sport unique. The event takes its name from the portion of the 116 mile race course made up of hills and rocks known to rock crawlers as the “Hammers.”
In the Ultra4 racing series, the navigator plays an important role beyond navigating. As Sven Ellstrom explained, “Matt will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting. The navigator is out of the car a lot when you are in the rock obstacles – scrambling up the rocks with the cable and hook. He’s in great shape…and he’ll need to be.”
Brothers Sven and Krister Ellstrom handled much of the modification and preparation of the UTV over the past year with an assist from members of the Ellstrom Racing Unlimited Hydroplane team including crew chief Mike Hanson, Jeff Minar and Troy Holmberg.
The Ellstrom family’s interest in the Ultra4 series grew out of the recreational riding of motorcycles and ATVs in the varied terrain of Eastern Washington over the past 10 years.
Some parts for Ellstrom Racing’s off road car were manufactured in Ellstrom's 5 Axis Engineering facility in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood with other racing parts and assistance coming from Holz Racing Products of Lynden, Washington.
Erick Ellstrom added, “Besides being an exciting experience, this is a great addition for Ellstrom racing on multiple business levels. Our race team’s current and future sponsors will receive the added value of exposure in the off road series and we will be introducing 5 Axis Engineering to a whole new crowd.”
Sponsorship for the race team will be provided by Royal Purple Synthetic Oil and other sponsors to be announced prior to the team’s debut at King of the Hammers.
The KOH will have over 300 teams competing before more than 35,000 fans in person and nearly 500,000 watching online at www.ultra4racing.com/live