All races are fun to attend, but the Red Bull Frozen Rush is maybe a step above the rest. First, it’s Pro4 racing with some of the best drivers around competing on a snow- and ice-covered track. Second, anytime Red Bull is involved, it’s party time.
Only in its second year, the Frozen Rush has become one of the most anticipated races of the Red Bull Signature Series. With everything from off-road racing, dirt bike events like the Straight Rhythm and hard enduros, even surfing and bicycles, the series covers a wide variety of extreme sports but none may be more extreme weather-wise as the Rush.
Held at the Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine, the weather for this year’s event was cold. We mean -20 degree cold. It actually made the course better as the crew was watering the track so that an ice sheet could form. The ice was perfect for the metal-studded BFGoodrich tires to grab into. BFG installed nearly 700 studs per tire and some of the racers thought that traction here was actually better than on some dirt surfaces.
Nine of the best off-road truck drivers from across the country descended upon the cut-into-a-ski-run on the side of a mountain track to try their luck. And they’d need it, as the course featured some great obstacles such as a jump that would send one truck over the top of another and a huge bowl of a left turn that redefined the term sweeper.
The finals set up a showdown between former teammates Johnson and Menzies, who raced together on the Menzies Motorsports team for the past four years. Off the line, the two trucks were close, with Johnson pulling slightly ahead at the start. As the two trucks split on the course, Johnson got crossed up on the first jump and skidded sideways off the landing. He minimized the mistake, but it would prove costly, as it gave Menzies a solid lead headed into the six-lap final. Johnson spent the next five laps trying to catch Menzies, but the young driver refused to make any significant mistakes. While Johnson was able to gain ground, it was not enough, and Menzies took the Red Bull Frozen Rush Championship.
“Ricky’s been my teammate for four years, and he’s pretty much helped me through everything,” Menzies said. “He’s helped me though three championships in Pro 2, and gave me a lot of advice coming into this race. To start off the season with a win is huge, and I couldn’t be more stoked … and I’ve never been this tired in an off-road race except for the Baja 1000.”
The pair prevailed over a star-filled field. With guys such as Rob MacCachren (who would finish Third overall), RJ Anderson, Scott Douglas, Chad Hord, Carl Renezeder, Brian Deegan, Todd Leduc, and Carl Renezeder, there wasn’t a slow guy in the bunch.
As we stated, this was a fun race to attend and one that we’d recommend to any serious off-road enthusiast to take in at least once. But as all of the Red Bull Signature Series events are bound for NBC TV, there’s still a chance for you to see this race and all of their 2015 offerings. They’ll be out at the Mint 400 too. We can’t wait for the party to begin there.
How BFGoodrich makes the Frozen Rush Possible While racing on ice has been around as long as there’s been racing and cold weather, it takes a special tire to be able to actually attain enough traction to even move on ice. And that tire usually has spikes attached to them.
BFGoodrich has a lot of experience producing race-winning tires for extreme conditions, and this purpose-built All-Terrain T/A FR2 race tire was specially designed for the Red Bull Frozen Rush event by BFGoodrich engineers. The foundation of this race tire is the BFGoodrich short-course race tire, which competes in the Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series. However, with the added element of packed snow and ice, the tires needed something else—metal studs.
BFGoodrich engineers used specially designed alloy studs individually positioned into each tread block to maximize the grip the tire would provide. Nearly 700 alloy studs were affixed to the FR tire in precise locations to provide the right mix of traction and turning ability for the course.
The result was not only great traction for the racers, but the tires also sent giant roosts of ice and snow billowing into the sky, which was great for the race fans. A win-win for everyone.
BFGoodrich made the Frozen Rush Possible