Full Potential Off Road Superlite - Chad's SuperlitePosted in Features on October 1, 2007
Chad Leising has always enjoyed dirt motorsports, having spent years riding dirt bikes, from motocross to freestyle. He frequented the popular Southern California hot spots, such as Ocotillo and Glamis, but found pushing the limits when riding left him too often vulnerable to injury. Long flights can result in broken bones.
While riding in the desert, he soon found interest in the long-travel buggies and trucks that had the ability to hurl themselves through the air at high speed and land safely, and he got hooked. About two years ago, he built a trick '97 Ford Ranger prerunner, and our Senior Editor Jordan May chased it down long enough to snap some photos and show it off in the Dec. '06 issue of Off-Road.
The Ranger was heavily built and competitive, but Chad longed for something even more refined. So he sold the Ford and started looking for his next thrill ride. It was about this time he got a call from longtime friend Travis from Dirt Alliance, who mentioned he had found a series that might interest Chad. A company called Full Potential Offroad (FPO) was working on a spec-class truck that would be raced on short-track courses. Once Chad saw what FPO was offering, he was sold on the idea immediately.
Full Potential had observed that UTV racing was growing wildly in popularity, serious racers were pouring lots of time and dollars into their machines, and the short-course racing was very appealing. The guys at FPO felt they could offer a fair step up in performance and had the idea of creating a lightweight spec-class racer that could be track raced and relatively affordable for a high-tech two-seat car. The Superlite was born, and with it, another goal for the race trucks to require minimal prep work between races. The spec-class rules limit tire size, allow single coilover shocks only, and prohibit modification to the engine or transmission.
With over two years of experimentation and prototyping under their belt and the destruction of a handful of chassis along the way, the guys at FPO have started turning out production cars with Chad's truck being the first completed.
The compact design weighs in dry at a svelte 1,800 pounds and has a tip-to-tail length of 13-1/2 feet. Ample power comes from a Pineapple Racing Mazda engine coupled with a venerable Mendeola four-speed.
We got the chance to check out a race at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park where the Superlites competed on a short dirt track. The trucks proved themselves to be quick, nimble, and very tractable through the banked berms and over the jumps.
We'd expect this race series to gain popularity in the future and offer yet another venue for avid racers to compete in a high-tech motorsports class. For more information on the FPO Superlites, go to www.fullpotentialoffroad.com.