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By: Robert Janis

Polaris

Polaris Ranger RZR4 Becomes Terror of the Desert Baja Bobsled 

Continued from page 1...

Matt Parks Ranger RZR4

Matt Parks Ranger RZR4

Matt Parks Ranger RZR4 Cockpit

Matt Parks Ranger RZR4

It was also during this time that Parks took his two sons to test ride the RZR at El Mirage, and the car got its name. “While driving we were laughing and cutting up, and they said that we probably looked like the guys from the Jamaican Bobsled team, then someone said, ‘More like the ‘Baja Bobsled Team’ and the name stuck,” said Parks.

He had hoped to race the Baja Bobsled in the Silver State 300 in Las Vegas, Nevada which started on Saturday, April 24, but he didn’t get the car back from Holz until May, so it was too late. By the time he had finished what he needed to do, the entire project had taken three and one-half months. Then Polaris contacted him and asked that he display the machine at the company’s National Dealer Show in Orlando, Florida and then at the Off-Road Show in Pomona, California and the Sand Sports Show in Costa Mesa, California.

He wasn’t able to compete the car until the Best in the Desert Blue Water Desert Challenge in Parker, Arizona on October 12-13. Needless to say, the car won. Bryce Wernsman, district sales manager for Polaris, was Parks’ co-pilot for the event. The chase team included Bill Abshier of Valley Cycle Motorsports, Jason Spiess, Todd Douglass and Danny Flowers.

“We had a great run,” said Parks. “It was a two-day race, two laps each day. Each day we started behind some full-size cars. At the end of the first lap we had a 7-minute lead on the next closest UTV. So we backed off and cruised to the finish and won on the first day. On the second day we passed, I guess, about 15 Jeep Speed trucks, Class 7 trucks, and some Baja buggies. We ended up third on the road physically and obviously first for the UTV class.”

Parks concluded that it was a real pleasure working with Holz. “Mark and I see eye to eye 80 percent of the time. So, he did some stuff he wanted to do his way, and I told him some things I wanted done my way. But, for the most part, it was pretty straight forward. We knew how wide the vehicle was probably going to be, we knew we weren’t going to stretch the chassis, and we knew we had to run with the stock frame rails on the bottom and the pick-up points for all the A-arms.

“Holz spent a lot of time on it,” continued Parks. “He laid a lot of stuff out in solid works on the CAD system. Everything was fixtured so if I bent an A-arm I can just call him and ask for a replacement. He can reproduce all the parts. It’s not a one off thing.”

“The car ended up being pretty much like a car I built for myself and Walker Evans Racing,” said Holz. “The biggest difference is the wheel base.  I mostly did proven stuff that we’ve done with standard RZRs in the past few years. Things we had learned on suspension and chassis design was adapted into the long wheel base car.”

Finally, Holz continues to assist Parks making replacement parts for the next round of races. “We will help him out as required,” he concluded.

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