New rules for 2017 set for easier progression through PRO classes
TORC: The Off-Road Championship continues its dedication to the progression of short-course off-road racing with a move announced Thursday to redesign the rules of the TORC PRO 2 class. Favoring driver development, the change will create a more accessible pathway through the PRO classes by requiring PRO 2 trucks run a 410ci engine and DOT tires. Changes will make the leap from PRO Light to PRO 2 more affordable and accessible for teams. With a lower operating cost for PRO 2’s, sponsors will have the opportunity for their dollars to go further by investing in more teams for longer periods of time. With the move to DOT tires, retailers can pull alongside their favorite drivers to support them throughout the season.
“There are major cost gaps between running a PRO Light, PRO 2 and PRO 4 program that do not support driver progression within the PRO classes,” said TORC Series Director Ben Nelson. “The high cost to sustain a competitive team at every PRO level has become such that sponsors/partners are supporting fewer drivers each season. Making racing more affordable will allow for growth of new talent through the ranks. Our objective is to maintain an elite PRO-level racing series while creating an atmosphere that allows more teams to get on the track year after year.”
2017 TORC PRO 2 Updates
· Engines will now have a capped maximum of 410 cubic inches
· Only GM Turbo 400 automatic transmissions are allowed in competition
· Only DOT tires available to the general public are permitted in competition
Two-time TORC PRO 4 Champion Ricky Johnson commented, “It’s going to make PRO 2 more affordable for racers and sponsors which will attract more talent and grow the field. I couldn’t be more excited about these changes.”
From brush runs to high-flying short-course action, off-road racing has come a long way. “As technology advances, the financial aspect has become more vital than ever before for team owners,” said PRO Light driver Cam Reimers. “To compete at the highest level in all of the classes, you must have the best equipment out there. The changes to the PRO 2 engine will reduce some of these costs and allow teams to showcase their talent in setting up the truck, leaving it to the driver to deliver when the green flag drops.”
While the best drivers are born from their growth through UTV, PRO Light, and PRO 2 classes—the 2017 rule changes will model PRO 4 as TORC’s “innovation” class. Sponsors seeking to showcase their advancing technology and prototype parts can focus on the heart-pounding, 900 horsepower action of PRO 4 to put their designs to the test.
PRO 2 Driver and 2016 Crandon World Cup champion Keegan Kincaid commented, “With the new engine and DOT rule in PRO 2, be sure to look for racing to be even better and more affordable for everyone. I’m excited to watch the sport grow and look forward to being a part of it.”
To further assist in driver promotion, TORC will offer media training to drivers and teams to aid in the development of driver social media and public relations efforts. “Assisting TORC drivers to build their personal brand is a top line item this year. Fans can expect to be more connected with their favorite drivers as TORC works to tell their stories and follow their progression throughout the season,” Nelson said.