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Trophy Trucks are the highest class of off-road racing vehicles. Designed with the sole purpose of moving as fast as possible over off-road terrain, this class has been meticulously developed over decades of competition. This is an open production class and all components will be considered open by SCORE International unless restricted.
Although any truck that meets the safety standards can race the Trophy Truck class, they, for the most part, feature long travel suspensions and high power engines. They are intended for desert racing only, and are not street legal. These vehicles are known as Trophy Trucks when raced in SCORE International sanctioned races, and Trick Trucks when raced in Best in the Desert sanctioned races.
Ever since the class introduction in 1994, the development of the Trophy Truck has been fast. Previously, the Class-8 rules dictated that the entrants must use a production frame. The introduction of the Trophy Truck class bought with it new freedoms for competitors with minimal rules in its construction. Intense development in full-tube chassis and suspension travel led to previously unseen performance and speed.
Vehicle numbers have become permanently assigned to each driver. Numbers 1-9 is reserved for the prior years driver standings for positions 1-9 respectively. Numbers 10-99 will be available for assignment. Drivers who have used a number in the prior years season will be given first option for the same number in the current season.
After the class introduction in 1994, with no proven formula the initial Trophy Truck designs were very varied, usually with no two Trophy Trucks the same. Over a development process of ten years, eventually engineering firms like Geiser Brothers, Jimco, Racer Engineering& ID Designs became known after their trucks were winning races immediately. Arguably, these manufacturers became successful due to being able to fund the necessary time and R&D costs needed to create a competitive Trophy Truck platform.
Trophy Trucks are generally two-wheel drive, although a four-wheel drive class is in operation. Most feature a 4130 chromoly steel tube-frame chassis covered by an aerodynamically engineered composite body. Gasoline engines are naturally aspirated, and typically Ford or Chevrolet V8 powertrains, generating in excess of 850-900 BHP (630-670 kW) and 900lb/foot (1200 N/m) of torque. Turbo charged diesel motors are allowed, with a minimum size of 5.0 liter to a maximum size of 6.6 liter, with two turbo chargers. Turbo engines must be fitted with an air restrictor.
Suspension travel is around two-feet (26", 66 cm) of wheel travel in the front and three-feet (32", 81 cm) of travel in the rear, although this may vary depending on chassis design. Most Trophy Trucks use independent A-arm suspensions up front. In the rear, most trucks feature a three or four-link setup with a solid rear axle, while some use various types of independent suspension. Fox Racing Shox, Bilstein and King Shocks are popular amongst competitors, previously top Trophy Truck teams manufactured their own.
Tires are 39" (98 cm) tall on 17" (43 cm) lightweight alloy wheels. Trophy Trucks usually carry two spare tires in case of puncture. Total wet weight is around 3500lbs minimum (two-tonnes), with the mass necessary to absorb the rougher terrain in desert racing.
Transmission is a choice of either three-speed automatic or six-speed sequential gearbox. The three-speed TH400 gearbox predates the Baja 1000 but remains popular amongst competitors due to the long gear ratios and capability of handling the torque spikes caused by off-road racing. The six-speed sequential gearbox appeals to competitors due to the ease of changing gear ratios quickly.
The development of lights has allowed competitors to switch from HIDs to a viable LED technology. Rigid Industries was the first LED company to win the Baja 1000 in 2012 with BJ Baldwin. LED light bars are lighter & smaller, creating less drag and better aerodynamics. The tougher housing and lack of filament make them much more robust.
The typical cost of a trophy truck is $500,000 USD. This does not include race entry fee, tool cost, parts cost, and fuel. It can cost up to $30,000 to run each race and the winner rarely receives more than $10,000. For 2016, there are four SCORE International races, all in Mexico for the first time.
In 2015, remote control car manufacturer Axial Racing partnered with SCORE International to produce the Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck for fans. The model has a solid rear axle with independent front suspension from King Shocks, that can be adjusted to alter the ride height. Axial then partnered with the official SCORE International tire sponsor BF Goodrich to manufacture accurate replicas of the Baja T/A KR2 wrapped around 105 Method Race wheels.
- Short course racing, a form of off-road racing using vehicles similar to trophy trucks
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- "SCORE OFF-ROAD RACING – SCORE-International.com". score-international.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "THR Motorsports Parker "250" presented by Polaris - Best in the Desert". Best in the Desert. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- SCORE International Off-Road Racing Rules and Regulations 2011-2015.
- "Home | Geiser Bros | design & development". geiserbros.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "Jimco Racing builds championship off road race cars". www.jimcorace.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "racerengineering.com". www.racerengineering.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "ID Designs".
- "Fox Racing - Foxhead.com". www.foxhead.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "BILSTEIN COM". www.bilstein.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "King Off-Road Racing Shocks: Coil Overs, Bypass, OEM, UTV, Air Shocks, Bump Stops, Springs, Replacment Parts, Tools, Springs « King Off-Road Racing Shocks : kingshocks.com". www.kingshocks.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- Brenthel Industries brenthelindustries.com
- "The Novak Guide to the GM TH400 Automatic Transmission". www.novak-adapt.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "Rigid Industries LED Lighting | LED Lights, Offroad, Marine, Truck". www.rigidindustries.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "King Off-Road Racing Shocks: Coil Overs, Bypass, OEM, UTV, Air Shocks, Bump Stops, Springs, Replacement Parts, Tools, Springs « King Off-Road Racing Shocks : kingshocks.com". www.kingshocks.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "Truck Tires, Car Tires and more - BFGoodrich Tires". www.bfgoodrichtires.com. Retrieved 2015-12-28.
- "Method Race Wheels | Off-road Wheels". Method Race Wheels. Retrieved 2015-12-28.