Huge Turnout for 2016 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship

Feb. 22, 2016 By Mike Ingalsbee
Justin Lambert earned the overall victory at the 2016 UTV World Championship.

Nearly 100 vendors, over 200 UTV racing teams, and countless fans, showed up to the 2016 Polaris RZR UTV World Championships held on the banks of the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nevada. The second annual event was even bigger, faster and tougher than last year. Contingency and technical inspection was held in the parking lot of the Colorado Belle hotel and casino where cars were pushed through all day and into the night. Many teams from other racing series made the trek to the UTV World Championships to test their skills against the best and to have a shot of winning over $100,000 in contingency cash and prizes.

Tech and contingency was busy all day long since the UTV World Championship had more than 200 entries for this year's race.

Mitch Guthrie Jr. took the win in the production class race after the main event.

The level of competition in UTV racing continues to skyrocket, and with it comes faster speeds and more punishment to the equipment. The pace maintained at the front of the pack during the desert race was brutal. Competitors ran 10 laps on the 14-mile course and by the time it was in the final stages, many cars were either limping along or already sidelined. Out of 87 entries, only 22 finished on the lead lap. In the battle between the turbos and the naturally aspirated (NA) cars, three NA cars finished in the top 10.

Ryan Laidlaw earned the desert Turbo class win at this year's UTV World Championship.

For the second race in a row, it was the NA Cognito Motorsports car of Justin Lambert who finished first overall. Second overall and taking the turbo class win was the Redlands Racing #960 of Ryan Laidlaw. Third overall and second place in NA was Kristen Matlock in her Terrabit Racing Jimco. Second in the Turbo class and fourth overall was Marc Burnett, who endured a horrendous season last year; it was good to see Marc in his Monster Energy Polaris running strong at the front again. Rounding out the top five overall was Branden Sims in his Lonestar Racing Polaris Turbo.

Mickey Thomas earned the victory in the Naturally Aspirated (NA) production class and earned second overall in the production race.

The UTV World Championship desert race was held in the morning. Next up was the kidís race held on the infield section of the course. Julien Beaumer took top honors in Production 170 and Casey Sims was the winner in the Production 250 class. After the kids had their fun it was time for the production race. Due to the enormous field of competitors, the course was expanded to four laps on the entire 14-mile desert course. With 103 UTVs starting, they needed the extra time to get everyone off the start before the cars came back through the infield on lap one. Not only did the production racers run the full desert course, but it had been torn up pretty bad by the 10-lap race in the morning. Despite the challenge, the production racers put on the same bumper-to-bumper and door-to-door battles as usual. The top six finishing positions were evenly split between turbo and NA cars with three each.

Jimmy Walker took the win 900 class for the production race.

First overall and winner of the Turbo class was Mitch Guthrie Jr. in a Polaris RZR Turbo.  Second overall and winner of the NA class was Mickey Thomas in his Mystik Lubricants Polaris. The balance of the top six finishers is as follows: third overall, second in Turbo RJ Anderson; fourth overall, second in NA was Cody Rahders; fifth overall, third place in Turbo was Marc Burnett; sixth overall, third in Turbo was Ryan Holtz. Jimmy Walker took top honors in the 900 class and 29th overall. In 30th overall was the 700 class winner Jim Berry.

The UTV World Championships have been proven to be wildly popular. The racecourse is challenging, the hotels and casinos offer great entertainment and dining, there are events for the entire family, and Laughlin is the perfect winter destination, with blues skies and warm temps the norm. Best in the Desert race officials may have to create an even longer course next year.

2016 UTV World Championship Photo Highlights

Coverage: 2015 UTV World Championship

2016 UTV World Championship Results
Group D
Prod Turbo
1. Mitch Guthrie Jr. 4503
2. RJ Anderson 4537
3. Marc Burnett 4505

Prod 1000 NA
1. Mickey Thomas 144
2. Cody Rahders 116
3. Ryan Holtz 158

Prod 900
1. James Walker 4561
2. Madeline Cox 4570
3. Sara Price 4550

Prod 700
1. Jim Berry 4575
2. Skyler Bulloch 4592
3. Tristan Boose 4588

Prod 170
1. Julien Beaumer
2. Luke Knupp
3. Ryder Chapman

Prod 250
1. Casey Sims
2. Jimmy Berry
3. Stockton Bulloch

Group C
1. Justin Lambert 1918
2. Kristen Matlock 1954
3. Michael Cafro 1975

UTV Turbo
1. Ryan Laidlaw 960
2. Marc Burnett 905
3. Branden Sims 913

UTV Unltd
1. Carlo Caya 2906
2. Jason Farrell 2904
3. David Martinez 2905

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