Off Road

VORRA founder, Off-Road Hall of Famer Ed Robinson passes away

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Credit: The Robinson Family

Ed Robinson, founder of the Valley Off Road Racing Association and 2018 inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, passed away Monday after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The end of an era…Yesterday, the legendary Ed Robinson passed away,” began a post from VORRA president Laura Butcher. “Ed & Jenny Robinson began Valley Off Road Racing Association in 1975. Together with their family & friends, Ed & Jenny successfully ran VORRA for 25 years.

“Beyond a race promoter, Ed was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend, and a leader. Ed Robinson was adored by many, who will continue to hold him in their hearts throughout life’s many races.

BJ (Butcher, Race Director) & I were lucky enough to have Ed & Jenny meet with us as we transitioned into VORRA promoters. Even luckier to have the Robinson’s attend our first desert race, the 2019 Fallon 250. Having Ed drop the green flag on that race will remain a cherished memory and symbol of the torch passing for years to come.

“God speed, Ed”.

Robinson created VORRA in 1975 to help bring off-road racing to California’s Sacramento Valley after he noticed his dune buggy club had no such events. Aided by a motocross promoter in VORRA’s first year of operation, Robinson organised a series of races in the area before branching out and across state lines into Nevada. Nearly the entire 2022 schedule takes place in Nevada save for the season finale in Prairie City, California.

The sanctioning body oversees both short course and desert racing events, with a three-tier structure of a UTV Short Course Championship, a Desert Open Championship, and a Short Course Open Championship. Under Robinson’s leadership, VORRA races saw cheap entry fees to allow new competitors to afford to take part.

VORRA would also be the springboard for various drivers’ racing careers including Moss Brothers Racing, whose Ford Bronco went on to win twelve SCORE International class championships.

He sold the series in 2000 but remained involved as a volunteer at VORRA, SCORE, and other desert races on the West Coast. Robinson was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2018.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of ORMHOF Class of 2018 inductee Ed Robinson,” reads a statement from the ORMHOF. “Ed founded VORRA in 1975. Condolences to Ed’s wife Jenny and the Robinson family from all of us at the Hall of Fame.”

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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