Ultra4 Europe goes to King of the Hammers

In Portugal, Dave Cole has dropped a "bomb" announcing that for the next three years the best european drivers will be able to participate in the King of the Hammers thanks to Ultra4, supported by Yukon Gear & Axle and Jimmy's 4x4, which will cover the transport costs of the cars. We present you the 4 European teams that will participate in KOH 2019.

Photos and text by Paolo Baraldi

The King of the Hammers, among the offroad races around the world is certainly the most famous and legendary, as to be considered the hardest one day race in the desert. The KOH was born in 2007, from an idea of Dave Cole and Jeff Knoll, both offroader but of different disciplines, who wanted to challenge themselves with some of their friends on a race that would join the characteristic tracks of the Desert Race to those of the Rock-Crawling. 12 crews participated in the first edition. The success and the interest was so great that since then, the King of the Hammers has grown exponentially each year to become the huge event we all know and that attracts in the Johnson Valley (CA) more than 30 thousand fans to follow their favorite teams.

Dave Cole
Dave Cole

Attending the King of the Hammers as a spectator is a unique, exciting and unforgettable experience; can you think what it must be to participate as a driver?


From today, for Ultra4 Europe drivers it's possible!


At King of Portugal, Dave Cole, owner of Ultra4 Racing, took the opportunity to announce to all the European Unlimited  class drivers this important news that will cover the next three years.


Ultra4 Racing and Ultra4 Europe, supported by Yukon Gear & Axle and Jimmy's 4x4, will offer to the best driver from each country in Europe the transport, round trip, of the car to participate in the King of the Hammers. This exceptional opportunity will be valid for 2019, 2020 and 2021.


As expected, a lot of excitement and interest has been created around this announcement.


Ultra4 Europe and Ultra4 Racing, will prepare, in a central area of Hammertown, a large tent where all the European teams will be hosted. The Europe Village will therefore be the focal point of this important operation.


But the news is not over: with the same spirit, in the coming years it will be possible to see race in Europe some of the U.S. top drivers likes Shannon Campbel, Erik Miller and many others.


The reasons for following Ultra4 and Ultra4 Europe are all there. 


Here are the 5 European teams that will participate in KOH 2019.

#34 WEP Racing WSR

Team name: WEP Racing WSR


Team number: #34


Country: France


Driver: Nicolas Montador


Co-Driver: Olivier Varet


Short team presentation:

Wep Racing WSR is the european team racing in Ultra4 since the first race in 2012 and never miss any race since this time.  Wep Rracing build their own car chassis WSR-500. Next year the WSR-500 will be on the starting line. Nicolas Montador helping U4E to have King of  France.


Team race curriculum with best ranking:

-3rd U4E championship 2015 winning King of Wales

-2nd U4E championship 2016, 2 times 2nd at King of France and at King of Italy

-First U4E race: King of the Valleys 2012


-Best U4E rancking: winner King of Wales 2015


What it represents for the team to be able to participate in KOH:

It represents the highest level racing categorie in Ultra4 like the even.


Team Sponsors: WEP Racing, WSR, Access Cars, VisionX, KMC Wheels, Toyotires, Rugged, Spidertrax 



Builder: WSR

Model: WSR-500

Frame: WSR-500

Engine: Chevy LS3  

Horse power and torque: 525 hp 650 newton

Gear box: TH400 by ATD

Transfer case: Atlas

Radiator: WSR

Suspension: Fox

Wheels and tires: KMC Wheels - Toyotires

Light: VisionX

Interior: seats OMP

Winch: Goodwinch


Team name: BudaXtreme


Team number: #51


Country: Spain


Driver: Iñaki Lanzagorta Egia


Co-driver: Jabier Otaegi Aretxabala


Short team presentation:

We come from won the best extrem challenge races in Europe. Now is time to make the same in Ultra4 races. Race car is our life! Only one thing is in our brain: have the race car ready for the next race and win it. Next stop for us is KOH19, here we go!!!


Team race curriculum:

Master Trial Spain 2011: 1º place

Spain Championship Xtrem Trial 2012: 1º place

Andorra Xtrem Challenge 2013: 5º place

Ironman Warriors Challenge France 2014: 1º place

Soria Spain Xtrem 2014: 1º place

Portugal Xtrem Challenge 2014: 1º place

Portugal Xtrem Challenge 2016: 2º place

Soria Spain Xtrem 2017: 1º place

Soria Spain xtrem 2018: 1º place

King of France 2018: 9º place

King of Britain 2018: 5º place

King of Portugal 2018: 3º place


First U4E race: 2014 King of Portugal, 9º place (with xtrem challenge car)


Best U4E rancking: 2018 3º place at  King of Portugal


What it represents for the team to be able to participate in KOH:

This was a dream in the very distant future for me and my crew, almost unattainable. We were going to go to see the KOH19 after many failed attempts and in KOP18 we received the boom news!!! I couldnd´t believe it. But now is real and we will put everything to try to make the best race of our lifes. We will be in the best race with the best teams and we going to enjoy every minutes of the week in the Lakebed. We sold our 2018 car (WSR rear engine) and we have bought Casey Currie’s car, the Jeephamers. We will race at KOH19 with totally support of Casey´s team. We will race in KOH19 and later we will race all the Ultra4 Europe championship trying to make the best. Apart from races, along the year we make a lot of exhibitions with the race car, making known our sponsors.


Team sponsors: Gigglepin, Euro4x4parts, Talleres Lanzagorta, Marketing off-road, Cheauto grap tools, Autoescuela Basurto, Prasa pain&repair, Olmos forestall, Buruaga 4x4 transmisions, Mas4x4, Carwagen land rover-Jaguar 



Builder: Campbell Enterprises & Currie Enterprises

Model: Campbell front engine

Frame: Campbell

Engine: Chevrolet LSX 454

Horse power and torque: 650 HP / 586 FT-LBS

Gear box: 4L80

Transfer case: Atlas 2 Race Case

Radiator: CBR

Suspension: FOX

Wheels and tires: KMC and NITTO 40”

Body: Campbell fiber glass panels

Light: Baja Design

Interior: Sparco

Winch: Gigglepin


Team name: Nusu Offroad Team


Team number: #023


Country: Malta


Driver: Neville Ciantar


Co-driver: Lee Ciantar


First U4E race: King of the Valleys 2013



Best U4E rancking: 3rd King of Italy 2015, 3rd King of Wales 2015, 3rd King of Britain 2016, 3rd King of Wales 2017


What it represents for the team to be able to participate in koh:

Ohh good question! At first it was a shock as Dave Cole gave me the good news soon after the pole position at King of Portugal last September, I just cut the chequered flag and he rushed to me and told me: "turn off the car!"...and I got the invite to race the next KOH!  It was the biggest surprise of my life. I got so emotional that I had tears in my eyes. After a couple of minutes I came to senses.     It means all my life! I have been racing for 23 years, and started with nothing, built my first Offroader from an old Landover Series 2, no power steering, no lockers, no power.  After some other builts and a big amount of races locally and winning a couple of Championships, I bought the Goat in 2014 from USA and after 9 months of building it at my garage it was ready for the Ultra4 Europe Championship. From that day I never looked back and now I live my life for this. I know that my car was never ment to race at KOH and it have a small engine and it's not as good as all the other American teams, but after a lot of thinking I realized that cannot let this opportunity pass by.


Team Sponsors: King Offroad shocks, Lucas Oils, Kamoy Engineering, Maxxis UK, All Signs Malta.



Builder: My Self  Nusu Offroad 

Model: Goat 

Frame: Goatbuilt 

Engine: Rover V8 4.6 

Horse power: 280bhp 

Gear box:  ZF Auto 

Transfer case: LT 230 

Radiator: CBR

 Suspension: King Offroad Shocks 

Wheels and tires: KMC Wheels with Maxxis Trepadors 

Body:  Goatbuilt 

Light: Brian Lights 

Interior: OMP 

Winch: Warn8274

#123 JS Customs Racing

Team name: JS Customs Racing


Team number: #123


Country: England


Driver: Daniel Roderick


Co-driver: Dan Thomas


Short team presentation:

We are a small team of privateers that make a great team. Offroading is in our blood and we love the Ultra4 scene and the wonderful adventures it takes us on.  


Team race curriculum with best ranking:

2018 was our best year where we saw a 2nd place finish in France and a 6th place in the championship.


First U4E race: king of the valleys 2013


Best U4E rancking: 2nd in King of France 2018


What it represents for the team to be able to participate in KOH:

Getting the chance to race at King of the Hammers is a massive dream come true. It’s a great reward after putting all our efforts into the 2018 season.


Team sponsors: Dt engine solutions, Kelvin at uplands garage, JS Customs, Shabs Synchro, Gigglepin 4x4, Airedale Autoparts, TC Graphics, West Coast Off Road Centre



Builder: James Sunderland of JS Customs/Sunderland 4x4 along with massive King of the Hammers upgrades list completed by Dan Thomas of DT Engine Solutions. 

Model: JS1 

Frame: tubular JS Customs space frame 

Engine: Toyota 3UZ  

Horse power and torque: 350HP and 350 

Gear box: AW4 

Transfer case: Shabs Synchro Ultrabox 

Radiator: 80 Series Landcruiser aluminium  

Suspension: Fox 2.5” remote res 14” travel 

Wheels and tires: Trailgear Trailready beadlocks with 40” Maxxis Trepadors 

Body: Nissan Patrol Y60 

Light: Ironman led lightbars 

Interior: Stack Gauges, Mirco Steats, STR 5 point seatbelts and Mono steering wheel 

Winch: Gigglepin GP100

#447 M.H Racing Israel

Team name: M.H. Racing Israel


Team number: #447


Country: Israel


Driver: Michael Hen


Co driver: Yariv Keler Baruch



Short team presentation:

team includes Michael Hen, the co pilots Shahar Shvili and Yariv Keler Baruch, Lilach Hanuca for  logistics and our mechanic Dudu Jan. M.H. Racing is active since 2013 and raced in Croatia Trophy 2013 and 2014. We raced in israeli League and become israeli champion for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. We are the only israeli team ever raced in ultra4.

Team race curriculum with best ranking:

- Israeli campion: 2013, 2014 and 2015

- King of Portugal 2017: fifth position in Legend class

 - Iberian Challange 2018: second place in Legend class

First Ultra4 race: King of Portugal 2017

Best ranking: 2nd place Legend class

What it represents for the team to be able to participate in KOH:

For the team to be able to perticipate at KOH is a dream come true, its the world championship of our sport. Against all odds I took on my self to race in the best league in the world with very low budgget I even sold my house and moved to a smaller home in order to make my dream come true, fighting untill the last breath never give up!!!

Team sponsors: Ecoland, Nana Gaz, Outback Technologies, Super Jeep, Shay Security, Otomotor, Jeeplandia



Car: Edwin Abd Builder

Model: 2014

Frame: Lambert Chasis

Engine: LQ9 GM

Horse power and torque: 480 hp

Gear box: TH350

Transfer case: Atlas 3.0

Front axle:  Dynatrac HP ProRock 60, 5.38 gears with Spool, Yukon 35 spline inner and outer shafts, Yukon spindles, bearing hubs, and drive slugs

Rear axle: Spidertrax 9”, 3.5” tubes, full float with new Yukon 5.43 third member with spool. 300mm, 35 spline axle shafts made by Performance Cryogenics, Yukon bearing hubs with drive slugs. 

Suspension: Fox

Brake: GM 3/4 ton

Steering: PSC 2.5 full hydro setup, trussed ram mount, new P-style pump.

Radiator: Griffin

Interior: Corbeau Seats with Crow 5 point belts

#167 Pro Core Racing

Team name: Pro Core Racing


Team number: #167


Country: Belgium


Driver (co-driver): Stijn Vekeman


Driver (co-driver): Wouter Vekeman



Short team presentation:

We drove the Transilvania adventure trophy 2008 and the Croatia trophy 2010 and 2011. In 2017 we did the qualification lap at KOH in Dave cole’s car

Team race curriculum with best ranking:

- 3rd place 2015 king of Portugal Legend class

First U4E race: King Of the Valleys: King of the Valleys was the first Ultra4 style race

What it represents for the team to be able to participate in koh:

After Co-driving for Bailey Cole a few years now at KOH in EMC and UTV it’s a dream come true to race there under our own team name and be able to drive ourselves.

More info:

The previous owner of the utv we are racing in is Gerardo Iribe from King Shocks. Even after everything was payed he still serviced the car, test drove it an made it 100% guaranty race ready without us asking for it. We could not have done it without him and his family! Also like to thank Red Winch wo have send the winch to the USA for us, what a great service! and with the RCV driveline the chance of breaking down on that part won’t be an issue.

Team Sponsors: RCV, Pro Core, King Shocks, Red Winch



Builder: Polaris

Model: RZR XP1000

Frame: custom roll cage powder coated w/aluminum roof

Engine: stock with Alba computer and fuel mixer

Gear box: stock

Transfer case: stock

Radiator: stock

Suspension: 2.5 front kingshocks IBP w/ adjusters, 2.5 rear kingshocks IBP w/ adjusters shock guards

Wheels and tires: Raceline wheels with Arisun tires 30x10R14

But, for Ultra4 Europe it's not all. There are still two top drivers who will be involved in the Lakebed: Robert Butler and Jim Marsden.


Rob Butler in 2015 participated in the King of the Hammers with his Eurofighter. He was the first European to finish the KOH on board a rig completely built in Europe. In that year Levi Shirley finished third at the King of the Hammers. In 2014 Shirley was the Ultra4 Europe champion. Rob Butler is one of the top drivers of Ultra4 Europe and an excellent Ultra4 car builder. This year Butler will be the co-pilot of Shirley in the Every Man Chalenge.

Rob Butler and Levi Shirley
Rob Butler and Levi Shirley

Jim Marsden is one of the most titled and charismatic European drivers. He was in the Johnson Valley with his old car in 2013 and was the star of an epic Every Man Challenge: Jim started from the last position and he passed the finish line first. In that year he also race the King of the Hammers.


Jim Marsden has been the official speaker of KOH Week for several years, and this year he will be on stage to comment the races and the actions of his European colleagues.

Jim Marsden
Jim Marsden