View Full Version : King of the Hammers 2012 - The toughest one day offroad race in the world!

01-06-2012, 15:21
Team Bongo Mexico is headed back to the King of the Hammers, the toughest one day off road race in the world.

This year we have a new ULTRA 4 rig built by my WRC codriver, Bill Bridge and my Jeep Speed Ultra 4 Pre Runner will be used to pre run.


Koh Pre Runner Rig
Koh Race Rig

01-06-2012, 15:23
Click here to view some spotlight interviews by the new Offroad Press media of Jeff Knoll, where they feature Team Bongo Mexico.


01-06-2012, 15:24
Dont forget to tune in on:

Monday, January 9th, 2012 7PM PST (9pm Mexico Central Time)


Tune in on Monday to learn all about Hammers Week!

Some of the topics will include:
- 4Wheel Parts Qualifying Order for all LCQ/KOH drivers
- Complete list of KOH competitors

Crossing our fingers to start off next to el Robby Gordon, Shannon, or Loren :grinpimp: Our Mexican Burro got an operation and has larger cajones with a working GPS and new on board cams to catch all the Bongo footage!



01-06-2012, 18:39
This is so cool!!:smokin:

01-09-2012, 11:19
Robby Gordon wants to race the KING OF THE HAMMERS 2012 (http://WWW.ULTRA4RACING.COM), the toughest one day race on the planet!

Click by the yellow X to listen to the interview (http://www.speedfreaks.tv/articles1-1817/RobbyGordononDakarHis2012Plans)

It's official Robby Gordon is racing

01-10-2012, 10:25
For the first time ever, starting order for the 2012 Griffin King of the Hammers will be determined by a qualifying race. Over the course of two days, 161 teams will be vying for the fastest time through the 4Wheel Parts Qualifying course. This is an event that spectators will not want to miss. More than 70 Last Chance Qualifier contestants will be competing for one of 20 spots remaining in the Griffin King of The Hammers, while 90 pre-qualified racers will be competing for their starting order in the 2012 Griffin King of The Hammers.

Click below for the list of Drivers based on the day they will be competing in the 4Wheel Parts King of the Hammers 2012 Qualifying Rounds.


01-14-2012, 01:20
USA vs Belguim vs Australia vs Japan vs Italy vs Canada vs Mexico

Let's see how each country ends up this year:eyemouth:

Click here to view the King of the Hammers World Rankings, currently we stand in 84 out of 189 teams, having only raced one official race.

01-20-2012, 16:07
King of the Hammers mentions the international teams
Click here to read more about this

The Ultra 4 Rig that appears in this new article was our Team last year, the funny thing was that Dave Gutwillig and Ponce were following the helicopter because they did not know where to go, they had no GPS and it was super dusty out there, finally the chopper turned right and they saw the trail marker, what awaited for them up ahead was a rock trail nightmare Yet they still managed to start and finish in 37th spot

01-31-2012, 18:39
“Countries united to make a stronger stand at wars back in the day, why not unite Pro Drivers to make an international stand at the King of the Hammers. Iceland + USA + Mexico = The Co-Op Team”

Multiplatform Co-Op Motorsports Team join forces to race the King of the Hammers 2012

Click here to read the press release



02-07-2012, 01:06
The Bongo has arrived to KOH!

Click here to read press release on 4x4 Offroads of ICELAND



If you’ve never heard of the infamous King of the Hammers off road race, you need to hit the books. The event is one of the most unique and intense races in the world and it is also one of the most physically demanding motorsport competitions ever devised. Breaking it down to the base elements, the race is a high speed desert run on both ends with a mountain you need to climb over in the middle. The vehicles are mostly tube chassis buggy-like machines that can run hard and soak up bumps in the flats and them climb over boulders the size of small homes. For the competitors, it is like living a violent car accident that lasts for six hours if you win and 12 hours if you are just too damned stubborn to give up.

Ever heard the one about the American guy, the Mexican guy, and the Icelandic guy who raced in the King of the Hammers?
This whole international mash up was dreamed up by Jose Manuel Ponce, a Mexican guy who has been involved in off road racing, rally racing, competitive rock crawling, and general automotive mischief for the better part of a decade now. Ponce is a bucks down racer who uses his brains and his hands to get where other teams do with their wallets. After competing in the King of the Hammers for the first time in 2009 in what can only be described as a humble Ford Bronco alias el Burro when compared to the other high zoot tube buggies, Ponce got his mental wheels turning on how to compete at a higher level on his smaller budget. The answer was to combine the talents and resources of several people, event those that are geographically spread out, to make the adventure work. This concept has been proven when he joined forces with Javier Ibarra and Dave Gutwillig to be the first Mexican American team to finish the King of the Hammers in 2011, by starting off and finishing in 37th spot.

“This event is as crazy as it sounds and everything you have heard about it is probably true,” Ponce said with a laugh. “It is so hard to even get into, let alone compete at, just being able to say that you were there and your team was on the course is something. It takes am incredible amount of work on everyone’s part to make this a reality and the fact we did it this year with Bill who is from Detroit, me from Mexico, and Ragnar who is Icelandic is amazing. Remember when countries teamed up for wars in the old days? This is the same concept but with racing!” War certainly seems to be a fitting way to describe this event, that is for sure.

“You learn new things every year and one of the things I learned was about how to prepare your body for the event,” Ponce said. “You pass people on the side of the course throwing up and having other issues because of the violence involved in this race so there are some basic steps I take to prevent that, like eating a ton of cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before the race. That tends to stop things up pretty well. By the end of the race, if you even make it that far, your whole body hurts and is swollen, bruised, etc. It is the most intense thing going.” We told you this is hard core.

The rigors on the vehicles are as intense as those on the driver and co-driver as many competitors find out. Robby Gordon’e entry blew up before making the rocks, along with a herd of other teams. Ponce’s team fragged their buggy before making it to their remote pit station for a driver change that would have gotten Ponce into the seat, but to some level, it is to be expected. “Sure, it would have been great to drive the car across the finish line for the team, but it wasn’t to be this year. Bill Bridges did an amazing job building the car and he’s going to continue to improve and strengthen the design for next year. Being that the race is so violent and tough, breaking your car is almost part of the game,” Ponce said.

Bridges is an engineer from Detroit, so there’s lots of innovative thinking and invention going on with their machine. Check out the photos of the car/buggy at the bottom of this story to get a look. With the big tires and tube frame, it is a bad ass looking piece. Ragnar is the Icelandic Formula Off Road champ and can be seen all over YouTube. Remember, the Formula Off Road guys are the ones who race up nearly vertical piles of volcanic ash, literally skim their jeeps and trucks over the tops of lakes, and virtually all of them have permanent indents in their thumb from the nitrous button! He’s a perfect prototype for a driver in this type of racing with his ability to handle both high speeds and then the precision/angles of the rock crawling portion of the race.

While the team did not complete this year’s event, they had several moral victories such as UROC Super Crawl 2006, KOH 2011 and WRC 2008 and 2010. They qualified really well with Bill at the wheel and Ponce in the co-driver’s seat they started the race well and ran their equipment as hard as they could for as long as it lived. Being that this type of racing is an evolutionary process, they can evaluate what the mechanical issues were, repair and improve them for next year and be in even better shape. “We got in the race this year, made some noise, and had an amazing time,” Ponce said. “The more we are there and the more noise we make, the more people are excited about our team because it is so unique to have three different countries represented in one group. We have some ideas on how to actually expand this idea for next year and going forward. We can have as many drivers as allowed, so long as I either start the race or finish it, per the KOH rules because I am the driver of record. In the middle, we could break the whole thing into sections and allow people to drive 40-50 miles at a time or something. It would be great to have a whole international team made up of people from across the world all taking their part of the glory.”

Ultimately, Ponce and the guys want to run Dakar on a shoestring budget and have more fun than anyone else. We’d say that Dakar is the ultimate test of man and off-road machine on Earth. The sheer length of the race and the multitude of terrains encountered make it unlike anything else on the planet. Ponce told us, “I have a lot of friends in South America and we have a Jeep that we’re going to use as the basis of the Dakar entry. Our ultimate goal is to enter and finish that race.”
If anyone else told us that we’d call them nuts and recommend they find a new hobby before killing themselves. With Ponce, we’re not only sure that they’ll run Dakar at some point, we’re pretty sure that they’ll blow teams away with far larger budgets and more resources. These guys from three different countries are certainly some of the hardest core gearheads we have ever heard of and their antics are 100% True Underdog Minority Racers!