Polaris has just delivered the strongest message to off-road fans that SXS racing is not only here to stay but is the class to watch with the announcement of Evans Motorsport now partnering in the management of the Polaris Racing Australia factory team.
With seven Australian Rally Championships between them, Cody Crocker and Simon Evans will spearhead the Victorian-based team and will launch an attack on the legendary Finke Desert Race and contest the SXS Australian Championship which engages drivers in wheel to wheel battles around MX circuits. The team will race production based Polaris RZR XP Turbo vehicles which combine light weight, long travel suspension and 168HP in stock form to provide an amazing spectacle for fans. It will be the fourth year for the fledgling series and since debuting on Channel Nine in 2017 and again for 2018, the series provides sponsors with one of the few opportunities to see their brands on prime time television at an affordable level when compared to many other sports attracting main stream television exposure. More champions from other disciplines are gravitating towards this series and it is unsurprising due to the relatively low cost, sponsor rewards and the shear racing experience in one of its most aggressive and raw forms.
“Like most great plans, the ideas flowed over a beer”, said rally legend Simon Evans in his usual jovial manner. “Turns out Polaris and I were thinking the same thing and we pretty much had it worked out before the hangover kicked in. I raced the whole series in 2017 after getting a taste in 2016 and I just love it, it is an absolute blast”.
Cody Crocker, 2016 SXS Championship winner and another rally legend, was equally excited about the next level of this sport, “I sat out the first year assisting Polaris with getting the series established but I couldn’t do that forever and I was getting edgy at every event. It was a new experience for me moving from the high speeds and precision of rallying to the added dimension of massive jumps and the rough and tumble of banging wheels with other racers but racing is racing and so is winning”.
Crocker has an axe to grind after finishing runner up in 2017, “The luck didn’t go our way a couple of times in 2017 despite winning many races and one of the rounds. The competition is so tough now you can’t afford to have a DNF for any reason, so we’ll take those learnings into 2018 and get the Championship back again”.
With these two champions in the Polaris Racing stable, the question gets asked about team orders. The response was the same from both drivers, “No team orders, we are both here to win the championship”. Should be a very interesting outcome!
More about the drivers…
Cody Crocker is the SXS Series Champion for 2016 and runner-up for 2017 in his new Polaris RZR XP Turbo. Cody is a pioneer of SXS racing in Australia following a decade long dominance of rallying with three Australian Rally Championships and four Asia-Pacific Rally Championships with the Subaru team. With a move to introduce SXS to rally style racing, Cody again dominated the SXS Challenge four times winning the series from 2012 to 2015. A calm and calculating strategist on four wheels.
Simon Evans is a hard charging champion with four Australian Rally Championships to his name. From an early career in Quad racing prior to his years in rallying, SXS racing heralds a return to wheel to wheel racing for Simon. His fast and fearless attitude on the track a direct contrast to his jovial off-track demeanor.
About Polaris RZR XP Turbo
It’s a purpose built off-road recreational vehicle. Here are some of the standout specifications and features.
Exoskeletal tubular steel chassis with Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS)
Long travel suspension.
Rear: Trailing Arm with Stabilizer Bar, 3.0" FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks (comp adjust/remote res.), 18" (45.7 cm) Travel.
Front: Dual A-Arm with Stabilizer Bar, 2.5" FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks (comp adjust/res.), 16" (40.6 cm) Travel.
Disc brakes on all corners on 14” alloy wheels, Triple piston front, dual piston rear.
Weight is 678kg dry.
Engine and Driveline
Polaris Prostar 925cc 4-Stroke DOHC Twin Cylinder Turbocharged producing 168HP.
Transmission is automatic clutch with PVT and High/Low/Reverse options.
Drive system is High Performance True On-Demand AWD/2WD.
Modifications to Polaris Racing Australia RZR XP Turbo
Minimum requirements for CAMS approval includes the replacement (bolt-on) of the ROPS with a cage built to CAMS specifications.
Rally seats and 5 point harnesses.
Bead lock rims.
Finke Spec Heavy Duty Radius Arms.
No other modifications are undertaken. The engine, ecu, exhaust, transmission, suspension components and geometry remain stock, although suspension is re-sprung and re-valved for individual driver preference.
Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader that has been fueling the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts for more than 60 years. With annual 2016 sales of $4.5 billion, Polaris’ innovative, high-quality product line-up includes the RANGER®, RZR® and Polaris GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; the Sportsman® and Polaris ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; Indian Motorcycle® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; Slingshot® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, Switchback® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories, along with a growing aftermarket portfolio, including Transamerica Auto Parts. Polaris’ presence in adjacent markets globally include military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. Proudly headquartered in Minnesota, Polaris serves more than 100 countries across the globe. Visit www.polarisaustralia.com for more information.