Maxxis sponsored driver Rob Butler from Offroad-Armoury raced hard on his Trepador M8060 tyres both days at the Maxxis King of Wales and won 1st place to become the new Ultra4 Europe Maxxis King of Wales.
The build up to this race was pretty intense, he had many late night finishing a customers new Ultra4 build as well as preparing his car for battle after its maiden voyage at The Maxxis King Of France.
On the Friday Rob walked the course fully taking note of every little dip turn rock and obstacle that he could steal a half second on and found a couple of good spots on the course where he knew he could make some good time for the qualifying round as it was a short course with plenty of room to speed up. Rob was named one of the Magnificent 7 by Ultra4 showing that this Maxxis driver is one of the top 7 for the series.
Saturday was race day, and Rob had to complete had 8 laps of the 15 km course over just 8 hours. The Maxxis drivers main goal for the 1st day was to just keep moving and work his
way up through the field without getting hooked up in traffic on the narrow trails and rock obstacles. Really paying attention to seize every opportunity to pass other cars was going to make or break the weekend. He kept picking off competitors one by one, until Rob caught Jim Marsden who had made his way up to the front of the pack, after passing Marsden he had a clean run ahead and only race traffic to deal with.
Half way into lap 7 the race car started sputtering in corners, this Maxxis driver suddenly realised he was running out of fuel. Finally he ground to a halt and it was clear he wasn’t going any further. After 15 minutes Richard Avis and a Polaris RZR running in the UTV class was so kind and pulled over to help his brother in need, it just so happened he had just pitted and had a full tank of fuel.
Rob soon back up and running and made it back to the pits to fill up with fuel for real this time! He then headed back out on the 8th and final lap. After starting the day in 9th position and ended up finishing in 1st with a mighty 55 minute lead over 2nd place!
Sunday was the final day racing and the winner at the end of this day having completed the most laps in the least time would be crowned the “MAXXIS KING OF WALES 2017.”
The main objective was to just finish all of the 6 laps required in a respectable time as he only had 6 hours to do them in. With nearly an hour lead over 2nd place it was crucial that he didn’t have any major issues and just kept on pedaling. However, being off-road racing, it can throw you a curve ball at any turn and this race didn’t fail to deliver. No more that about 3 miles in to the first lap during one of the fastest wide open forest tracks Rob stamped on the anchors getting ready to make a tight right hand turn into the sticks when suddenly he had no brakes. His pedal went directly to the floor board. At this point he was carrying about 80 MPH.
The remainder of that lap was sketchy with some super close shaves and brown trouser moments. Thankfully this MAxxis driver managed to get the car back to the main pit for inspection hoping he could at least get “some” brake pedal back. His crew managed to get around 10% front braking working again. Rob had no choice but to head back out on the track and get the rest of the laps finished.
Rob had raced King Of The Hammers in the USA twice, widely considered the toughest one day off-road race in the world but he honestly states "in some respects Maxxis King Of Wales was more hostile than the big daddy race in the California desert. Absolute respect to ever man and woman that took part in this savage race."
He managed to pull off the overall win becoming the MAXXIS KING OF WALES for 2017, proud to be standing beside Jelle Janssens and his Father in 2nd place and our great friend Neville Ciantar (TEAM NUSU) in 3rd position.