Despite all obstacles, VORRA produced an epic race over Father’s Day Weekend, June 17– 20, 2010. The Xtreme Outlaws 250 race started with the Grand Sierra Leap then paraded down Interstate 80 to the green flag where they went into the wild desert for four laps of brutal and fresh terrain.
Class winners Chuck Dempsey, Patrick Timmons, Gary Herrod, Mike Shaffer, Jay Schroeder, Greg Jones, Vince Viola, Kevin Yoder, Terry Shelton and Dennis Jean made their way through the Nevada desert to complete one of the toughest VORRA races yet.
“We had a lot of land issues thrown at us including a change of the start line on Monday, and Virginia City wanting cut out on Thursday after the pre-run,” says Don Gilman of ORI Reno and land owner. “Rod Hall, Wes, my wife Megan and I basically re-structured and re-staked the course 2 times last week to accommodate everyone's requests.”
This team was so serious about the course that they had two tractors working all Friday night, completing a new 4 mile road through a canyon just before the green flag dropped on Saturday.
The Xtreme Outlaw 250 race started with the Grand Sierra Leap as part of the Xtreme Outlaw weekend. The farthest leap was Sam Berri with a two jump combined total of 145’. Other class leap winners who received a 30 second bonus were Gary Dixon, Chris Ridgway, John Gurney, Mike Shaffer, Red Team Racing and Joe Kirsch. They then lined up for a parade down I-80 to the official green flag starting point at Exit 28.
The 65-mile virgin course held some insane rocky sections, nasty hill climbs, and smooth freshly graded roads.
“This race was rock crawling, desert racing and rally racing all in one, I didn’t know we got to do all three,” says Roger Norman, racer and land owner. The biggest challenge of the weekend was keeping tires on the cars. Most drivers out there had at least 1 tire change throughout the race, and some had as many as 5. The course took its toll with cars everywhere dealing with broken parts and pieces due to the rocks.
“The attrition rate was very high, out of 65 cars, only 29 finished within the 10 hour time limit. I knew this race would be won in the helmet,” says VORRA director Wes Harbor.
Saturday’s race was intense with the Class 1 cars battling it out to the final lap. Chuck Dempsey fought for the lead all day and finally captured it in the final lap when Clayton Scudder got a flat tire, but the battle to hold that position was far from done with the team of John Harrah and Roger Norman hot on his tail. Chuck Dempsey went on to win the class and overall, taking home the $5000 purse and the spectacular “Six-Shooters” trophy. The team of John Harrah and Roger Norman finished in 2nd place, just 2 ½ minutes behind the leader, taking home the $3,000 prize, with JJ Schnarr taking the 3rd place, $2,000 award.
The Ultra 4 cars embraced this environment. Kevin Yoder was the Ultra 4 class winner and finished 6th place overall. Mike Shaffer in a JeepSpeed finished first in Class 7, only seconds ahead of Emily Miller in the Rod Hall Hummer. The Class 11 cars all gave the course a great attempt, but the brutal rocky desert floor made a one lap contest enough for these guys to decide who would win the class, and Desert Dingos came out on top for the first time this season.
VORRA is in its 35th year of producing high quality yet affordable racing while also creating fun events around the race. With all of the attention given to this event, it has encouraged additional racing in the Reno, Nev., area.