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LUCAS OIL OFF ROAD RACING SERIES
Takeoff requires significant power; landing requires a tough chassis
and well-developed shocks. (MAIN) Carl Renezeder demonstrates
both... (ABOVE LEFT) Trucks must also withstand this... (ABOVE)
Engine and drivetrain are perfect examples of tough meeting tech.
“Everything used to be
converters and stuff; now
it’s all direct drive. It’s
harder on parts”
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Especially where there are few other
advantages to be found, the drivetrain is
one of the areas where much of the
technical innovation is currently
happening in short-course off road.
“I think transmissions are what make
Pro 4s fast and unique,” says LeDuc.
“They’ve come a long way from everybody
running automatics, to a couple of guys
running a manual and then having it be
that much faster. So it changes the sport
to where everyone needs that, going to a
6-speed sequential with a clutch.
Everything used to be converters and stuff;
now it’s all direct drive. It’s harder on
parts, so people are having to learn it.”
LeDuc uses an Xtrac transmission, but
one of his competitors, Doug Fortin, is in
the drivetrain business. Fortin Racing
supplies a variety of drivetrain
components, as well as transmissions, to
several LOORRS racers. In Pro 4, some
of the really trick stuff is in the drivetrain.
“We run center differentials or a
standard [transfer case], depending on the
track,” says Fortin. “The center diff lets
us drive different biasing front or rear, so
we can choose how much torque load we
want to put on the front or rear. From
there, we have a sprag [clutch] inline going
forward, which lets us disconnect front to
rear, so you can lock your rear tires and the
fronts will still spin. Most guys are running
a torque biasing differential, which puts
power to the side receiving most load.”
package stronger, so that the engine can
withstand the impacts and stresses of
off-road racing. Finally, titanium valves
and connecting rods add an extra layer
of security and durability.
“The billet blocks make it so there’s
none of that ferocity,” explains Schlieper.
“We used to have the cranks physically
fall out of the motor because it would
There was a time when the technology
of the trucks was getting ahead of the
tires. No more, says John Jewell, a tire
design engineer for BFGoodrich Tires.
First, they went to a slick, hand-grooved tire. Then, “We looked at
different compounds for the tires, and
also the internal construction of the
carcass,” Jewell says. “We evaluated and
went with a different construction that