January 12, 2016
The Ski Season is in full swing up here in the backwoods of Maine. Families and friends piling into the car with gear strapped to the roof or stuffed in the trunk, the destination this morning Sunday River in Newry. Only today people aren't piling into cars to ski the slopes of this mountain, they've come for one thing...
900hp, and four wheels of snow throwing fury have shown up to the once peaceful mountain-range, to tear up and down the slopes for the Glory of being crowned, King of the Mountain. This isn't a normal site to see, this is the 3rd Annual Red Bull Frozen Rush, and the only race of it's kind out there, and it'll get your blood pumping on a cold January day in Maine.
However, there is a catch, these are trucks designed to tackle the grueling heat and punishment of the desert, and races like the Baja500 and the Dakar. Modifications have been slightly altered to be able to compete on the snow and ice. But these are still trucks designed for the LITERAL opposite conditions then what they are being run in, a cockpit that is to the elements combined with four of the nastiest spiked tires you will ever see, it really is a site to behold. The trucks and their drivers have been evolving along with the race itself, over the past 3 years, as tweaks and changes to get the absolute best performance for the spectators and from those competing.
The format is simple: Two drivers race head to head in a single elimination format, winner takes all. The track is designed with two separate lanes, one short and one long, and both drivers must take each lane on opposite laps. Starting from launch together, and hopefully finishing together, baring any mistakes or issues, and ending with a Flying finish over the start/finish line.
This is a Red Bull event, so the production value and atmosphere are 2nd to none. Red Bull brings two HUGE screens so anyone who is interested in watching the race, or can't see the particular corner or jump on the track is broadcast to behold. Colorful commentators with driver interviews between races make the already small wait between heats fly right by. What little downtime they have is filled with Red Bull athletes strutting their stuff on the screens, and music playing to turn the whole thing into one giant octane fueled party. It's Red Bull people, they really are the best.
Congratulations to Bryce Menzies for taking 1st, followed by Ricky Johnson and Rob MacCachren. With a huge thanks to all of the Drivers, Sunday River and Red Bull employees who helped with the event. Loved every minute of it, for the third year in a row, keep it up.
Don't forget to check out Redbull.tv for their coverage of the entire event as well as articles and events from Red Bull.
Article and Photos: Aaron Perry
Location: Sunday River, Newry, Maine