The signature USA 500 desert race moved back to July, and members voted to continue with two double-header short course weekends at Prairie City following the success of this year’s season finale. VORRA also announced, following a vote by the membership, that head and neck restraint systems will be mandatory for all race classes in 2013.
“We’d initially moved the USA 500 to earlier in the year, but following discussions with our casino partners and the Bureau of Land Management, the original July race date worked out best for everyone,” said VORRA Race Director Wes Harbor. “We’ll be making more announcements on the 500 in the coming months, but racers can put it on their 2012 calendars for July 13-15.”
Teams attending VORRA’s annual rules meeting and awards banquet in South Lake Tahoe also endorsed proposals to consolidate short course racing into two double headers in April and October and to shift the date of the night race to later in September to free up Labor Day weekend for teams to spend with their families.
“Our first short course double-header earlier this year at Prairie City was a big hit with racers and fans,” Harbor said. “It’s also a recognition that everyone’s racing on tight budgets and consolidating the short course weekends reduces the amount of vacation time and fuel costs teams factor in to their racing seasons.”
The new VORRA 2012 race schedule is as follows:
April 13-15 Short Course Double Header Prairie City, CA
May 26-28 Yerington 300 Desert Race Yerington, NV
July 13-15 USA 500 Desert Race Reno/Sparks, NV
September 8-9 Night Vision 250 Desert Race Fallon, NV
October 26-28 Short Course Double Header Prairie City, CA
Following a lengthy debate on the inherent dangers of off road racing and their desire for personal choice in using different types of safety gear, VORRA racers voted by a large margin to mandate head and neck restraint systems beginning in 2013. The requirement will be for SFI 38.1 certified systems.
“After multiple severe back injuries in 2011, we had to reduce the chance of injury whenever possible,” Harbor said. “Commonly known as HANS devices, many professional racing organizations worldwide require them in the wake of well documented deceleration injuries and deaths. It’s only a matter of time until they became mandatory in the off-road racing world. We also recognize the expense of investing in this type of safety equipment and elected to extend the deadline for them to 2013 to give teams time to transition.”
VORRA has begun contacting equipment distributors to negotiate discounts for racers in advance of 2013. One retailer has already agreed to offer a rebate program to VORRA, and VORRA has pledged $25 donations to Fast-Aid for every 2012 purchase from that retailer.
“I’m also going to offer entry fee discounts to racers who purchase any approved device in 2012,” Harbor said, “Our focus on fun, competitive and safe racing will live on.”
Valley Off Road Racing Association (VORRA) was established in 1975 and has operated as a family-oriented organization for over three decades. It is currently led by Wes Harbor who believes that “off road racing has its roots in people’s garages” and continues to keep the entry fees to a minimum while maintaining a high quality racing experience. For more information, visit http://www.vorra.net or call 877-418-6772. Follow VORRA on Twitter at @vorra_racing. Fans can also receive updates on racing via Twitter using the hashtag #VORRA.