Wacky Races – Part 2
Super Truck Racing
Perhaps driving down the motorway and having to suffer the bane of one truck trying to take over another at annoyingly low speeds could put you off the idea of seeing them on the race course but stay with me here. In order to haul around their cargo these trucks are equipped with up to 1000 horsepower, now imagine that when the load has been lifted. These huge beasts can whip around the track at breakneck speeds that are a sight to behold. Amazingly the sport is actually most popular in Europe, with the US only recently beginning competitions of their own. Arguably the biggest league in the truck racing scene is the FIA European Truck Racing Championship which holds events all over the continent. They play host to some thrilling racing, a centre for shipping and hauling business connections as well as a variety of live music acts that give the event that festival feel. There’s something for every truck fan here.
Swamp Buggy Racing
Before explaining what this wonderful sport is, I’ll first explain what a swamp buggy actually is. The Deep South of the United States is filled with lots of swampland. Shallow boggy waters containing all sorts of vegetation and fallen branches spread across the area. Of course, this is no place for a car, in fact even using boats is tricky, if you want to get about in a hurry, you’ll be wanting to get about on a swamp buggy. These things are built to drive through water and across any obstacles this land my throw at them, some can even float if needs be. So, it should come as no surprise that not long after inventing these vehicles people began to race them. The sport goes back as far as the 1940s and has only grown since. There are four official races held every year and the events have even been televised by companies like ESPN, National Geographic Channel and TNN.
King of the Hammers
Every year for nine days straight, usually around the month of February, Johnston Valley in California plays home to what spectators of this race call ‘Hammertown’. This area is the Means Dry Lake, home of some of the roughest, rockiest, most unmanageable terrain going and it’s that terrain that makes this race so interesting.
Anyone can enter as long as they have a four-wheel drive vehicle (unless it’s a dirt bike), participants have entered all sorts, quadbikes, UTV’s and side by sides have all been seen in this competition. This race is extremely brutal, the track is filled with natural obstacles, large rock formations and steep climbs that make it so difficult that only 45% of competitors actually finish the thing. The event has a huge following now, tens of thousands of people from all over come to spectate this extraordinary event so you can be sure that if you do want to go and see the race for yourself there will be a great atmosphere with plenty to keep you entertained.