Taking something that already works and cutting it in half isn’t something most people will understand, but it is everyday life for racers. This was the case for builder and driver Adam Fitza and his 2020 Polaris Turbo S RZR.
Fitza is a long-time desert racer, and his Turbo S has taken on the UTV World Championship twice and the Mint 400. He wanted to do something different, and with the growth of the Ultra 4 series and the UTV class, that was it.
A desert car could handle parts of Ultra 4 races, but when it gets time to be in the rocks, wheelbase and vehicle setup play into the vehicle's success. Not to mention that most desert UTVs don’t have a winch on the front.
But what would make someone want to make the switch? We asked Fitza just that.
“King of the Hammers has been a bucket list race for me,” Fitza said. “I attended a few Ultra 4 events this season, and the camaraderie and friendships I've made in the Ultra 4 community sealed the deal. I had the perfect Polaris RZR platform to build into a capable race car for Ultra 4, so I said why not.”
Even with the growth of the Desert Challenge segment of King of the Hammers, there is something about the rock trails that make those races much more exciting. Being more thoughtful and systematic in the rock sections can make or break a driver's race.
Knowing the RZR would now see time in the rocks and being committed to making the switch, Fitza had options on what to do. He could keep the car as it was, build a new car, or cut and modify his current RZR to make it perfect for the rocks. We all know which one he went with.
“I started with a four-seat Turbo S Polaris RZR, which typically in desert racing is the preferred chassis,” Fitza said. “In Ultra 4 or rock racing, a four-seat chassis is a bit too long while the two-seat chassis is a bit too short.”
“I took the four-seat chassis, cut it in half, and shortened it 13 inches to get our desired wheelbase of 104 inches. I then added 35-inch Yokohama tires and new components from all of our partners, and we have a legal Ultra 4 race UTV.”
With just a little bit of work, Fitza took a car that would not do well in the rocks to a vehicle that would be competitive. Having the right tool for any job makes it that much easier; the same goes for racecars.
“I'd have to say my favorite part of the Ultra 4 car compared to the desert car so far is how gnarled this vehicle is,” Fitza said. “It is a beast! I am unbelievably anxious to drive this thing and start testing at arguably the toughest Ultra 4 course in existence, Area BFE in Moab, Utah. The plan is simple, start by finishing King of the Hammers, then attend as many Ultra 4 events as possible and grow from there.”
We are excited to see how the Turbo S does in the rocks at King of the Hammers and will follow Fitza on the lake bed. The RZR is set up for success, and we hope he finds just that.
“None of this is possible without our amazing partners,” Fitza said. “I would like to thank Motul, Polaris, Dirty Life Wheels, FastR, Zbroz Racing, MBRP Exhaust, GasCan, Yokohama Tires, Trinity Racing, Mini Boat Mafia, HP Tuners, Area BFE, OTSFF, UTV Source, Neapco Drivelines, KWT Prefilters, Rigid Industries, Rugged Radios, Mullico Products, Hyper Keto Max, Viscid Design, Bell Beef, and 24 Productions.”
The King of the Hammers UTV race is taking place on February 9, 2023, in Johnson Valley, California. For all the latest information on King of the Hammers, check out the Ultra 4 website.