Acerni-Off-Road-King-of-Valleys-8-16-13WALTERS ARENA, WALES, UK: More than 40 teams from nine countries competed last weekend in the 2nd annual King of The Valleys ULTRA4 race held at Walters Arena in Wales, UK. Going into the event, there was much speculation as to who would be declared this year’s King of The Valleys: Would it be a returning driver such as last year’s winner, Italian Pier Acerni, or perhaps a local racer familiar with the terrain such as UK’s Jim Marsden, or could it possibly be the American ULTRA4 driver on his first trip overseas, Levi Shirley? Ultimately, after three grueling days of competition that saw drivers navigating through winding technical rally roads normally reserved for WRC events, battling waste deep mud bogs and scaling extreme rock obstacles designed specifically for this event, it was the Italian driver, Pier Acerni, who retained his crown for another year.

The event began on Friday with a three mile prologue that served as both the first recorded stage of the event and also determined start order for Saturday’s complete 22 mile stage.  After the prologue the top 3 drivers to start on Saturday were: American driver, Levi Shirley, in 1st with French driver, Nicolas Montador in 2nd followed by Swiss driver Stephane Zosso in 3rd.  While Pier Acerni actually recorded the 2nd fastest time in the prologue, he received a time penalty for failure to stop at a check point that resulted in him starting Saturday’s stage 33rd.