Off Road

Red Bull Scramble set for inaugural national championship

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Event participants drive at Sand Scramble in Glamis, CA, USA on 10 Credit: Al Arena/Red Bull Content Pool

After a successful “trial”, the Red Bull Scramble will begin its first year as a fully organised, national championship this weekend when the UTV series kicks off the 2023 season at Parks Marina on Lake Okoboji in Iowa.

The Red Bull Scramble was introduced in 2021 with a three-race mini-season ending at the Imperial Sand Dunes in Glamis, California. It proved to be such a hit that it returned in 2022 before expanding into an entire league for 2023.

All UTVs must be production vehicles with certain modifications allowed like aftermarket suspension. Drivers can also compete with a co-driver, though are not required to do so.

The series is split into Pro and Sportsman classes for professional and amateur racers, respectively. The categories have mostly the same vehicle regulations though differences include the Polaris Pro R being restricted to Pro while four-seat UTVs can only race in Sportsman.

The Pro class championship will be determined by a driver’s best four finishes while the Sportsman champion is set by their top three performances. If no drivers run at least four or three events, the standings will be based on total points earned. In the event of a tie, the average margin of victory will be used to break it.

Otherwise, both have the same points format as the top twenty in each race are rewarded. The winner earns 100 points and the rest of the top five receives five fewer with each position drop, meaning fifth gets eighty. Sixth through tenth are separated by four points apiece (sixth gets 76, seventh gets 72, and so on), eleventh through fifteenth are by three, and sixteenth through twentieth are by two. As such, the twentieth and final points-earning driver will net thirty-five.

There is also an Iron Man Championship given to whoever completes the most rounds regardless of the class they are in. A driver can earn ten points for each race they enter but they must reach the finish to do so, meaning the most consistent entry can get up to eighty points. If there is a tie, the winner is whoever has the highest number of best finishes.

Five of the eight dates on the 2023 calendar return from 2022, with new dates being the Ranch Scramble in Texas, the Beach Scramble in New Jersey, and the Solstice Scramble in Alaska. As of this article’s publishing, specific locations that have been confirmed are Lake Okoboji for the season-opening Ice Scramble, Twisted Trails Off-Road Park in Michigan for the Snow Scramble, and 3301 Boardwalk in New Jersey for the Beach Scramble.

The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, whose new Can-Am factory partnership is two weeks removed from the Dakar Rally, will appear at all eight rounds.

2023 schedule

1Ice ScrambleOkoboji, Iowa28 January
2Snow ScrambleCopemish, Michigan18 February
3Ranch ScrambleDecatur, Texas1 April
4Beach ScrambleWildwood, New Jersey6 May
5High Desert ScrambleNephi, Utah20 May
6Solstice ScrambleAnchorage, Alaska24 June
7Stone ScrambleHuntsville, Tennessee16 September
8Sand ScrambleImperial Valley, California9 December
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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