CORONA, Calif. – official series release — LOORRS photo —
The first ever race outside the U.S. and four events in Southern California, where the sport was born, highlight the 2015 schedule for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series presented by GEICO.
It is the most ambitious schedule in series history, with nine weekends at seven different venues and 17 points races to determine the pro class champions before the Challenge Cup battles bring the season to a conclusion.
The season will begin March 20-21, 2015, at Lake Elsinore (Calif.) Motorsports Park and conclude Oct. 24-25 at the same venue, and at mid-season everyone will go south of the border to Mexico.
That will happen Aug. 1-2, 2015, when rounds 11 and 12 of the best short course series in the world are run on a purpose-built short course track at the Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Ensenada, a port city about 70 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border, has for years been the hub of desert racing on the peninsula as the traditional starting point for the legendary SCORE Baja 1,000 and Baja 500 races.
The fans there have become familiar with Rob MacCachren, Bryce Menzies, Justin Smith, Ray Griffith, Larry Job and other Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series series regulars who also participate in the long-distance desert races. However this will be their first chance to see them display their skills in the fast, fender-to-fender short course races.
“Everyone at Lucas Oil Products and all of us with the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series are extremely excited about our new Baja International Short Course event,” series director Ritchie Lewis said. “There are a lot of desert off road fans in this area and I’m pretty sure that after our great drivers and crews show them what we do and how well we do it they’ll be short course fans, too.
“The Ampudia family has talked to me about this since we met and the talks got serious last spring. A lot of people have helped move things along since then and thanks to them we’ve been able to get all the agreement in place to make this a reality.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, though, and we’ll keep everyone updated on the progress.”
There’s a lot to be excited about as the series rides the momentum built on past successes into the 2015 season.
Six-time champion Brian Deegan and title contender Bryce Menzies are moving into Pro 4 and Eric Barron is returning to the series to challenge Kyle LeDuc, Carl Renezeder and Rob MacCachren.
The Pro 2 class will be stronger with reigning Pro Lite champion Sheldon Creed and Pro Buggy star Eric Fitch joining an already deep pool of contenders. Indications are that Jerett Brooks, who won the season’s final three Pro Lite points races and the Challenge Cup, will be a full-time threat in that class, which also is adding promising Pro Buggy driver Taylor Atchison and Modified Kart stars Brock Heger and Cole Mamer to its roster. In additions, rising star Bradley Morris will be making a comeback after missing most of the 2014 season with a broken back.
The scheduling emphasis on Southern California venues will make things slightly easier financially for the race teams and offers an appealing contrast for the fans. The three events at Lake Elsinore (March 20-21, May 30-31 and Oct. 24-25) will give the best spectators in motor sports more opportunities to watch their favorites on the course where they go the fastest and jump the farthest of any track and the weekend at Glen Helen Raceway (July 18-19) will let everyone see how they handle a tighter, more technical track.
The drivers and teams also will have to deal with different types of dirt and changing conditions at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz., (April 24-25); Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah (June 20-21); Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Sept. 18-19) and the drastic elevation changes at Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, Nev., (Aug. 22-23).
“We had the most competitive season in our history last year and 2015 is shaping up to be even better,” Lewis said. “I can’t wait to get started.”
CREDIT: Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series
2015 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Schedule
Dates – Venue – Location
March 20-21 – Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park – Lake Elsinore, Calif.
April 24-25 – Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park – Chandler, Ariz.
May 30-31 – Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park – Lake Elsinore, Calif.
June 20-21 – Miller Motorsports Park – Tooele, Utah
July 18-19 – Glen Helen Raceway – San Bernardino, Calif.
Aug. 1-2 – Baja Int’l Short Course – Ensenada, Mexico
Aug. 22-23 – Wild West Motorsports Park – Sparks, Nev.
Sept. 18-19 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, Nev.
Oct. 24-25 – Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park – Lake Elsinore, Calif.