Christopher Polvoorde just practically landed back in the states after completing his first Asia Baja 1000 before setting out to Utah Motorsports Campus for Rounds 7 & 8 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. Polvoorde campaigns the #94 STEEL-IT / TIS Wheels / General Tire Pro Lite and holds 3rd in points for the championship. Short course off road racing holds no punches and the Pro Lite division is often the closest and most fierce racing on the track. Christopher felt the highs and the lows during this last weekend and climbed back to capture a 4th place finish to bring home another Top 5 for Round 8.
Polvoorde has kept busy all summer but never loses sight of the primary focus. For Christopher, that is performing at the maximum level, to learn from each experience and to diversify. Polvoorde applies all of this into his short course Pro Lite program. The #94 STEEL-IT Pro Lite is always a real contender, so when Christopher realized the truck was struggling during Thursday’s practice sessions, he and the team knew there needed to be some big changes made.
“In practice on Thursday we were fighting the truck set up,” admitted Polvoorde. “After a few attempts and slight adjustments, we were still off pace. That night after discussing our options, my Crew Chief, Jimmy Davidson came up with a new setup, but it was going to be risky. If it worked, it would be great! If it didn’t work out, I knew it would be way off. We decided to take the risk!”
Friday morning for Round 7 qualifying, it was time to test it out. The risk paid off big time as Christopher went out, and put the STEEL-IT truck on top with a qualifying lap time of 45.097 Seconds. More than a tenth faster than Pro Lite Points Leader, Ryan Beat. “That was just what we needed,” Polvoorde declared. “Our team knows this truck inside and out and the General Tire / TIS Wheels were hooked up!”
LOORRS Officials drew a 6 spot inversion, so the #94 Pro Lite would be starting from the third row with heavy competition ahead and behind. Polvoorde was up to the challenge and immediately started to gain position from the drop of the green flag. Christopher moved up into 5th on Lap 1, and secured 4th by Lap 3 which he held into the competition caution. Unfortunately, after the restart heavy contact from another driver would cause damage to left rear shocks on the #94 Truck. “I had to limp it around until the finish. It is a very tough break for the STEEL-IT team,” stated Christoper after the race.
The following day on Saturday morning, the struggles continued, and it looked like it was going to be another tough one. “During qualifying, I made a huge mistake which would cost us a top qualifying spot. That error pushed me way to the back. Starting in 10th out of 16, I knew I had to put my head down and go to work,” Christopher stated.
Round 8 proved to be the race of the weekend and a real highlight for the fans in Utah. With the #94 STEEL-IT / TIS Wheels / General Tire Pro Lite back in action and running at full song, Polvoorde began to climb the ladder lap after lap. “The General Tire Grabber X3’s were working great for the slick track that we had,” Christopher explained. “I started to move my way up through the field. Eventually getting my way up to 4th. And that is when it got really exciting!” Polvoorde was on a mission and saw an opportunity lined up at the competition caution. After the restart, the Top 5 of the field were banging doors and racing for position. Brandon Arthur severed an attempted pass by Ronnie Anderson exiting Turn 4. Christopher in the #94 naturally tried to pass them both on the outside when Anderson diverted all the way to the other side of the track, making contact with Polvoorde, making it an interesting ride through the rollers, but the STEEL-ITtruck would come out ahead.
Polvoorde said “That was a crazy last few laps! I was praying for a yellow because I knew we had more left and I would be up with the top guys. I really wanted a few more laps as I believe we had a chance for a podium finish. It was a rough weekend and after overcoming the early struggles, the team and I are still very happy with a 4th place finish after climbing back up from 10th. I have to thank all my supporters STEEL-IT, TIS Wheels, General Tire, The Palms River Resort, King Shocks, Simpson, Optima Batteries, Magnaflow, Rugged Radios, Camburg Racing, and KC Hilites.”
Christopher now heads to his hometown track, Glen Helen Raceway for the Lucas Oil Off Road Camp Out Series, September 21st-23rd. For more information and tickets visit www.lucasoiloffroad.com.
Photography By: Bink Designs
About Christopher Polvoorde 17 year old Christopher Polvoorde is constantly on the move. When he is not racing short course in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS), he is training and competing cross country on a mountain bike. An academic over-achiever with a 4.5 GPA, he is a quick study on the track as well. He earned the 2014 Modified Kart rookie of the year title. In 2015, he surpassed that by winning the LOORRS Modified Kart Championship and a TORC series World Championship trophy at the birthplace of short course racing; the “Big House” in Crandon, Wisconsin. Racing his Mod Kart in 2016, he won both the Lucas Oil Challenge Cup race and a second world championship in Crandon. In 2017 he won the Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year title in Pro Lite. When he is not racing or studying, Christopher enjoys working in the race shop, snowmobiling, RC car racing, and skiing. In 2018, he will be racing towards a championship in the ultra-competitive Pro Lite class.