The brave of Ultra4 Europe at King of the Hammers 2020

In 2020 three Ultra4 Europe drivers will be protagonists in the Johnson Valley (CA) among the big names of Ultra4 Racing. For them participating in the King of the Hammers is a dream that become true and it is a hard challenge both from a logistical and a competitive point of view. In this article I present to you who are these three brave teams.

Photography and story by Paolo Baraldi

ultra4 europe king of the hammers team europe

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.


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?

Ultra4 Europe Road to the Hammers 2020

For the second year Ultra4 Europe will be represented at King of the Hammers with a selection of its best drivers representing each nation. To be part of the 2020 Team Europe it is necessary to have participated in the 4400 category for at least 3 races of the Ultra4 Europe 2019 season and the team of each nation with the highest score is qualified.


At the end of the championship the qualified teams are:


Great Britain - Jim Marsden and Helder da Rocha - Gigglepin Racing

France - Cedric Porcher and Noel Herve - Mudracer

Germany - Bernd Schäfer and Alexander Schoenbrunn - The Crazy Germans

Malta - Rudy Farrugia and Malcolm Garci - 111 Racing Malta

Spain - Iñaki Lanzagorta Egia and Javier Otaegi - BudaXtrem

Wildcard 2020 – Great Britain - Shabs Piercy and Si Sagar - Team Syncro Racing


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.


This is a great opportunity for European teams that, in addition to achieving a dream, they can test themselves in the toughest one-day off-road race alongside the big Ultra4 Racing drivers and can thus achieve great media visibility.


For several reasons, not all the qualified drivers will be on the starting grid of the King of the Hammers 2020. Below, I introduce to you the 3 European teams that have accepted this challenge.

Team BudaXtrem

Team name: BudaXtreme


Team number: #51


Country: Spain


Driver: Iñaki Lanzagorta Egia


Co-driver: Jabier Otaegi Aretxabala


Team contact: info@budaxtrem.com


Team web site: www.budaxtrem.com


Team Facebook page: Buda4x4Xtrem


Team Instagram: budaxtrem


Short team presentation:


We come from won the best extrem challenge races in Europe. Now Ultra4 is our new challenge. Race car is our life! Only one thing is in our brain: have the race car ready for the next race and win it.

ultra4 europe king of the hammers budaxtrem


- Inaki, last year you said that participating in the KOH was a dream that became a reality. And this year that you will be there for the second time?

We have not yet woken up from that wonderful dream and we return to Johnson Valley with knowledge of both the layout of the race and the operation of the race.


- Compared to last year, what will you do differently this year in organizing the team?

Last year everything was new for us, from the car to the operation of the pits. Last year we depended on an external team (Casey Currie) with whom the communication was not perfect. This year Budaxtrem team together with U4E team, we will form an organization with guarantees to be able to finish the race and face small breakdowns in the pits.


- At koh 2019 you were unlucky due to a broken front axle. What changes have you made to your car to make it more reliable?

Correct, last year upper ball joint of the left knuckle was broken in the first round. This ball joints was supposedly 100% revised but it broke. We have improved the system of knuckles mounting an “eliminator ball joint kit” tested in the American rockbouncers. I am very lucky to have one of the most reliable cars on the grill. This truck is manufactured with the best parts on the market. I can't do much more.


- How will you face the race this year? Strategies?

Last year the trophy trucks left the road completely broken, this year the same thing can happen. We have a clear strategy and it is to roll calmly and finish the race, without pressure this time we will enjoy every mile that we advance.


- What advice do you give to the other two European teams that will also be competing at the KOH?

My main advice is that they start very quiet, many kilometers to go ... no matter if someone overtake you, they will stop. The important thing is to finish the 3 laps and touch the sky! European colleagues enjoy every minute in Hammertown, we will have the privilege of being there with our cars, let's take advantage of it !!


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


King of France 2019: 6° place


King of Britain 2019: 4° place


2019 Ultra4 Europe Championship: 6° place


First Ultra4 Europe race: 2014 King of Portugal, 9º place (with xtrem challenge car)


Best Ultra4 Europe rancking: 2018 3º place at  King of Portugal


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

ultra4 europe king of the hammers team europe budaxtrem



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 Syncro Racing

Team name: Team Syncro Racing


Team number: 1223


Country: United Kingdom


Driver: Shabs Piercy


Co-Driver: Si Sagar


Web site: www.teamsyncroracing.com


Social: teamsyncroracing


Contact: teamsyncroracing@hotmail.com


Short team presentation:

Team Syncro Racing a dedicated and coherent team of individuals. Formed in 2018 we are a proud independent race team with a family ethos. Each member of the team brings something different to the table and together we have designed, built and race our treasured Ultra4 car (no.1223) in the 4400 class. For Team Syncro Racing it’s not just about the winning – although thats nice! But equally about enjoying the experience and privileged opportunity in a professional and courteous manner. Team spirit is everything and without our valued sponsors, partners, and extended Team Syncro Racing family- it wouldn’t mean much. Ultra4 Racing is a demanding and challenging environment and we are continually learning and developing our skills and expertise to best reward not only the Team itself but all those around us who continue to support our endeavours and for whom we are eternally grateful.

ultra4 europe king of the hammers team syncro racing

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

This is a fantastic opportunity for the Team, we never imagined for a second that racing KOH would be a possibility for us. We are a small humble team who are trying to find our feet in Ultra4 Racing. We don’t have the experience or finances of so many other teams but we do have a huge amount of determination and enthusiasm that has pushed us this far. Racing KOH is a tough order for the best of teams and for us its a challenge that will test us to our limits. We are motivated and we will keep moving forward. 


2019 team achievements:


8th in Ultra4 Europe Championship 4400 class


Team Spirit of the Series Award


#RoadToTheHammers Wildcard Winner


3rd in Gigglepin Shootout (King of Britain)


Team Spirit of the Event Award (King of Britain)


2018 team achievements:


3rd in Ultra4 Europe Championship 4800 class


Team Sponsors:

Swepcolubricants-UK, Buzzweld, Jorida Skylt och Reklam, GRP4x4, Storm Tuning, K2 Design & Fabrication Ltd, Tuff-rok,Tuff tested stuff for Landrovers, The Landy, Tirsbaek TV, Aled Rees Mobile Welding, Carrick Engineering, Syncro Gearboxes, obpMotorsport, Terrafirma Factory Racing, Ultra4 Europe, Frozen Ropes, Gigglepinwinches

ultra4 europe king of the hammers team syncro racing



Builder: Team Syncro Racing


Frame: Defender style space frame


Engine: BMW M57 6 cylinder diesel


Horse power and torque: 300 hp


Gear box: 6 speed Manual


Transfer case: Syncro Gearboxes ULTRAspec


Suspension: Terrafirma Factory Racing 2.0 tripple byass and 2.0 coilovers


Wheels and tYres: 17inch steel beedlock rims 40 inch tyres


Light: 20inch lightbar


Winch: Gigglepin GP100 Twin Motor with air freespool

The Crazy Germans

Team name:  The Crazy Germans


Team number:  #2812


Country:  Germany


Driver:  Bernd Schäfer


Co-Driver: Alexander Schönbrunn


Web site: www.TheCrazyGermans.com


Social: The Crazy Germans


Contact: team@theCrazyGermans.com


Short team presentation: we never give up

ultra4 europe king of the hammers the crazy germans

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

An incredible dream after the first season


Best U4E rancking:

3rd Place in 2019 Ultra4 Europe Championship


Team Sponsors: offroadcracks.com, Ore.de, SXS-raceparts.de, UbC-GmbH.com, Gladiator8274Power.com, Bawarrion.com, Henris-Powertransmissie.nl

ultra4 europe king of the hammers team europe the crazy germans



Builder: Tribe16


Model: Ultra 4 


Engine: LS3 Stroker 418cui


Horse power and torque: 620PS


Gear box: Th400 Henris-Powertransmissie.nl


Transfer case: Atlas 


Suspension: KingbyORE.de


Wheels and tires: Bawarrion-Wheels 


Interior: PRP Seats


Winch: Gladiator-winch/8274power.com

About King of the Hammers and Ultra4

King of the Hammers, founded in 2007, takes place every year in the early days of February in the Johnson Valley.


King of the Hammers is an off-road race that combines desert racing and rock crawling. This race is held on Means Dry Lake at Johnson Valley, California United States. King of The Hammers race week has expanded from one race, Nitto King of The Hammers, held each year on Friday, to a series of 5 races held throughout the week. The races include King of the Motos, Can AM UTV Race, the Every Man Challenge Race, the Toyo Desert Invitational (Unlimited Trophy Trucks), and the Ultra4 vs. Rock Bouncer shootout held on Monday night of race week.


The race vehicles used at the King of the Hammers are known as Ultra 4 vehicles which are capable of speeds over 100 miles per hour for the desert sections, but still contain gear ratios of 100 to 1 or lower for technical rock crawling. This Ultra4 class is unlimited 4400, and every vehicle is custom fabricated by each team. Traditional design for the front drive-train is a straight axle design, but (IFS) or (Independent front suspension) is becoming a popular design for the high speeds achieved in the wide open plains of the desert. Most racers use highly modified engines that can have up to (800 hp). 40" tires are common and racers use beadlock wheels. Competitors start side-by-side, two vehicles every thirty seconds, and must complete the course in fewer than 14 hours. Each team must pass through seven checkpoints and at all times while staying within one hundred feet of the centerline of the course. KOH is a no-chase-team race; repairs can only be done on the track by the racers or in the pit area.


About Ultra4 Europe

2012 is the year of the first Ultra4 race in Europe; the race took place in Wales and was called King of Valleys. For 2 years the King of Valleys represented Ultra4 Racing in Europe. In 2013 the King of Portugal was added and in 2014 Ultra4 Europe was born with its championship composed of 3 races: King of the Mountains (IT), King of Valleys (UK) and King of Portugal (P).

Today, Ultra4 Europe is an huge reality in the European offroad world.


Every year there are 4 races and even if the race course is different from that in the Johnson Valley, Ultra4 Europe offers to its drivers a very difficult and demanding races. Due to the diversity of the competition fields (rocks, mud, water, forests and dusty-fast tracks) it can be said that the Ultra4 Europe championship is one of the most complete in Europe.


As for Ultra4 Racing, the categories of Ultra4 Europe are: 4400 Unlimited, 4800 Legend, 4600 Stock, 4500 Modified and 4900 UTV but the races format is different from the American one; normally we run on the weekend, preceded by qualifying and this year by the Shootout, on a racetrack with some different variations according to the category.


Ultra4 Europe 2020 schedule: 

- BF Goodrich King of Spain - 15-17 May, Spain – A new site. The closest to Johnson Valley we have ever seen!

- BF Goodrich King of France - 19-21 June, France – Rock, rock and more rock. Short and gnarly.

- BF Goodrich King of Britain – 17-19 July Britain – The original European race and special for its terrain and climate.

- BF Goodrich King of Poland - 4-6 September, Poland – The peoples choice, fast flowing and a great party.

- BF Goodrich Ultra4 International Invitational Race – 23-25 October, Secret location. You will know when you receive an invitation


More info at www.ultra4europe.com


Ultra4 Europe Kings and Champions




- King of Spain Les Comes (E): Jim Marsden (UK)


- King of France (FR): Rob Butler (UK)


- King of Britain (UK): Jim Marsden (UK)


- King of Poland (PL): Jim Marsden (UK)


- U4E Champion: Jim Marsden (UK)




- King of France (FR): Jim Marsden (UK)


- King of Britain (UK): Jesus Pato (E)


- King of Portugal (P): Jorge Araujo (P)


- King of Poland (PL): Axel Burmann (B)


- U4E Champion: Jorge Araujo (P)




- King of France (FR): Bailey Cole (USA)


- King of Wales (UK): Rob Butler (UK)


- King of Portugal (P): Casey Currie (USA)


- King of Britain (UK): Bailey Cole (USA)


- U4E Champion: Jelle Janssens (B)




- King of France (FR): Emmanuel Costa (P)


- King of Italy (IT): Emmanuel Costa (P)


- King of Britain (UK): Jim Marsden (UK)


- King of Portugal (P): Emmanuel Costa (P)


- U4E Champion: Emmanuel Costa (P)




- King of Italy (IT): Rob Butler (UK)


- King of Valleys (UK): Nicolas Montador (FR)


- King of Portugal (P): Emmanuel Costa (P)


- U4E Champion: Filipe Guimareas (P)




- King of the Mountains (IT): Levi Shirley (USA)


- King of Glens (UK): Jim Marsden (UK)


- King of the Valleys (UK): Levi Shirley (USA)


- King of Portugal (P): Levi Shirley (USA)


- U4E Champion: Levi Shirley (USA)




- King of the Valleys (UK): Pier Acerni (IT)


- King of Portugal (P): Emmanuel Costa (P)




- King of the Valleys (UK): Pier Acerni (IT)