November 10, 2013

Deirdre Fleming: Frozen Rush expected to be wild rush

Sunday River will host the first ski area truck race.

The Frozen Rush at Sunday River in January is expected to be a wild, winter rush for extreme sports fans.


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It will also be the first race of its kind anywhere.

The unique automotive slippery spree across ski slopes was thought up by the folks at Red Bull, which for 4-by-4 truck racing fans or snowy mountain sports enthusiasts means it should be like the X-Games on steroids.

“It’s a Red Bull signature event. This is how they operate. They like to think outside the box. They don’t do normal events, they don’t do what everyone else does. This is exactly the kind of thing Red Bull does,” said race director Jason Smith.

The eight Pro4 trucks that will compete Jan. 10 at Sunday River will have spikes on their tires and spikes on their hoods in case they flip. Nets will surround the short course in case the trucks fly off course. And a jump will await them at the bottom of the first loop, Smith said.

Two trucks will then race head-to-head, up one ski slope and down another.

The eight-truck, drag-race-style event will have an elimination format, with the two finalists going head-to-head for the Frozen Rush title.

Smith, with the United States Auto Club, said the ski-slope truck race is not only the first of its kind in the world, but it is sure to be a strange and popular winter draw.

“Rest assured, it will be an over-the-top event. I didn’t see the test race. But I saw the video. It was insane,” Smith said Friday by tele phone while he directed an auto race in front of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

“It’s never been anywhere. There isn’t anything like it. There is a class of cars and trucks that race in the summertime. It’s short-course auto racing. But the people who race in these aren’t used to running on snow.”

The Frozen Rush was tested in February at Mount Snow in Vermont, but Sunday River was chosen as the first official venue for 2014.

Smith expects more Frozen Rush races will be held in 2015 on ski mountains in the Northeast.

“For Sunday River, this is an opportunity to provide our guests with an incredible and free event to watch,” said Sunday River spokeswoman Darcy Morse.

“We’ve hosted huge events before like the Snowboarding World Cup, and currently host the Dumont Cup, the largest free-skiing event in the East. Red Bull Frozen Rush allows us to illustrate the magnitude of what we’re capable of in a new and exciting snow-sports format.”

The event will air on tape delay on NBC as part of the network’s Red Bull Signature Series.

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or at:

Twitter: FlemingPph

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