REFINED FOCUS…ONE GOAL FOR HOEK IN PRO 4
The pinnacle of short course off-road racing is the PRO 4 division, a class that features four wheel drive with 900 horsepower beneath the hood. When PRO 4 takes to the track, fans hold their breath – and the TORC lineup wouldn’t be complete without the shiny silver #10 Toyota of Ross Hoek.
Hailing from Holland, Michigan, Ross Hoek is a short course original – his earliest racing experience is from Antigo, Wisconsin nearly 20 years ago. Hoek went out to race a Super Stock Truck with some friends, but the first event didn’t go according to plan.
“The first race we went to, we blew the engine right off the bat,” recalls Hoek. “We didn’t have a canopy, I think we had a blue tarp, and it was raining. We were trying to figure out what happened to the engine and if we could fix it. I had never even seen a sportsman race! We were pretty poorly prepared for that one, so I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.”
Since then, Hoek has worked his way up to becoming a household name in the world of short course racing. Over the years he has been tearing it up in nearly every class in the sport, including Super Stock, Super Truck, PRO Light, and PRO 2. Fast forward to 2017, and Hoek has brought his passion and years of experience to the series’ premier class, PRO 4.
Hoek refers to his truck and race team as the “Privateer PRO 4,” a nod to the bootstrapping nature of its development. The blue tarp has given way to a proper canopy and hauler, and the team has a much better idea of what they’re doing now, but they’ve never lost their “startup race team” spirit or can-do approach.
Despite his privateer roots, Ross Hoek is emerging as a serious competitor in the PRO 4 class. Hoek is calling upon lifestyle changes and truck changes made during the last offseason, both aimed at stepping up his racing game.
“I just sold my business, and the plan is to focus more on the racing. We’ve taken the last 16 years of racing to move up to the PRO 4 class, and the last five years to take this truck to where we’re ready to really compete for the podium. We spent a lot of time working on the truck over the winter…Johnny Greaves helped us with some chassis changes as well.”
Ross keeps his fans and followers in the loop via social media loop and those who follow along online have been treated to updated on truck’s development, including photos of the race machine in various stages of assembly not seen at the track. For Ross, it’s a way to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a PRO 4 racer, with the occasional reality check and a little humor mixed in.
When the green flag flies for PRO 4, look for the silver Automatic Transmission Design #10 Toyota of Ross Hoek to be gunning for the front. He’s brought his program from the humblest of beginnings to the verge of PRO 4 greatness, and he’s got 16 years of racing experience fueling his quest. Be sure to catch all the action as the TORC Series continues.