Ahead of its inaugural season, Great American Shortcourse (GAS) is joining forces with another off-road-savvy series. On Thursday, GAS announced it has formed a partnership with the Stadium Super Trucks (SST) and King of the Hammers (KOH) for 2021, which will include two new events and a shot at a full-time SST ride in 2022.
As part of the new alliance, SST and GAS will hold a combination race weekend in Southern California on 13/14 November; the weekend will serve as both series’ season finales. Details such as an event name and venue were not immediately revealed.
Southern California is one of the largest hubs for off-road racing on the West Coast. SST has raced in the region on numerous occasions, most notably with the Grand Prix of Long Beach being on the calendar since the inaugural season in 2013. Other SoCal races have taken place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the now-demolished SDCCU Stadium in San Diego in 2013, the Sand Sports Super Show (Costa Mesa) from 2013 to 2016, the Coronado Speed Festival (San Diego) in 2014, Glen Helen Raceway (San Bernardino) in 2018, and Lake Elsinore Diamond (Lake Elsinore) in 2017 and 2018. Lake Elsinore, a baseball park whose 2017 race was the season finale, was due to return in 2020 before being cancelled due to COVID-19.
“SST has teamed with GAS and Dave Cole to build a ladder system for Off Road Motorsport,” posted SST founder Robby Gordon on Instagram. “Our Goal is that young drivers continue to get the opportunities to grow there craft and get the opportunity like a few motorsport legends.”
Other races on the GAS schedule have not been disclosed, though the series has expressed plans to run four rounds, with two in April and May and the others in October and November. The 2021 SST schedule currently has the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in April and Long Beach in September, while its Australian counterpart Boost Mobile Super Trucks has a confirmed date at Darwin in June and is working on racing at Tasmania in April.
GAS was launched in February by Cole and Lee Perfect as the newest West Coast short course off-road racing series. This discipline has endured a rather turbulent history as sanctioning bodies came and went; the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and TORC: The Off-Road Championship served as the premier leagues in the 2010s, with various drivers in both going on to compete in other forms of motorsport like NASCAR, but folded due to financial trouble (a fate that also befell their predecessors). Prior to GAS, Perfect was the race director for LOORRS’ regional division.
“I believe maintaining a connection with the grass roots racer while still providing opportunities for professional growth is crucial and I am glad Robby and Dave share that vision,” Perfect stated.
Cole is the CEO of Hammerking Productions, which oversees King of the Hammers. Held every February at Means Dry Lake in Johnson Valley, California, since 2007, KOH is a desert and rock-traversing event that is regarded as one of the most difficult races in the off-road world. The 2021 race saw just 37 of 84 drivers finish within the fourteen-hour time limit.
“Robby and I believe that by working together as a team we can create better opportunities for our racers, fans and sponsors and we look forward to a future of continued collaboration as the GAS series matures,” said Cole.
The 2022 KOH weekend will add a GAS “all-star” race called the Off Road Race of Champions (ORROC), in which champions from GAS’s Mod Kart, Production UTV, Production Turbo UTV, Pro Buggy, Pro Lite, and Pro 2 classes compete against each other in stadium trucks. Although the terms have yet to be finalised, the winner of the race will be rewarded with a seat for the full 2022 SST season.
“These are a few of many steps we will be taking that are geared toward creating opportunities for our driver’s progression as professional athletes,” GAS co-founder Ryan Thomas added. “We believe this mindset is vital for the sustainability of our sport and we are excited about the partnership with Robby and SST.”