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2017 BITD UTV World Championship Race Footage – Justin Lambert/Cognito Motorsports

NEWS DATE: 04/17/2017
"Last year we won this race overall in our RZR XP1000, this year we are still working out the bugs in our new XPTurbo race car. This new turbo car puts down a lot of power and when building a desert race car that is inherently heavy, there are issues that need to be worked thru, and we are still doing just that. Although we have been testing like crazy, we still do not have everything figured out but felt like we were gaining on it."

"Justin Lambert, CEO. Cognito Motosports Inc."
2017 BITD UTV World Championship
Race Footage – Justin Lambert/Cognito
Motorsports 
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Last year we won this race overall in our RZR XP1000, this year we are still working out the bugs in our new XPTurbo race car. This new turbo car puts down a lot of power and when building a desert race car that is inherently heavy, there are issues that need to be worked thru, and we are still doing just that. Although we have been testing like crazy, we still do not have everything figured out but felt like we were gaining on it.

 

 

A 10th place finish at the Mint 400 landed us on the front row of this 10-car wide start for this 10-lap 160-mile race. When the green flag dropped, we were mid pack into turn 1 and just felt like we were down on power for some reason. We got into the desert section and I told Mitchell it felt like we were down on power, he looked at the belt temp gauge and it said 420 degrees! I said no wonder it feels like we are down on power, the belt is slipping! At that point, all we could do is back out of the throttle and just run a medium pace to save from having to pull over and change belts. We thought we were closer to having the clutch figured out but turns out we were still quite a ways away. Coming out of the turns we had to just ease on the throttle as to keep the belt from slipping. After lap one and out on lap 2, there was carnage already, cars tangled up, cars broken, with over 100 UTV’s on this 16-mile loop it was like a battlefield with machines scattered everywhere. We made it thru lap 5 just taking it easy, we passed the hot pits and our team told us we were first on the road with a 3-minute lead on 2nd. Mitchell and I had a hard time believing that since we were only pushing at about 60% pace. We had a fun battle with Polaris executive and racer Craig Scanlon catching him in the infield section, he was a lap down, but once we got out into the desert, he pulled away from us. Once we got to the old Fox proving grounds, we reeled in Craig in the rough stuff and took the inside of the last corner and got past him. He was going for a pass after that corner, I couldn’t get on the throttle any harder as I was afraid we would lose a belt, so I moved over and blocked Craig while thinking to myself ‘I think I might have just pissed off the boss!’ Craig was down a lap from us, so I knew he would be ok with it and after the race he told me he would have done the same thing, whew! After lap 6 we were told we had a four and a half minute lead on the next UTV. At the end of lap 7, we had a 6-minute lead, end of lap 8 a seven and a half minute lead. I still didn’t believe it but as hot as the clutch was getting we still needed to keep a leash on the machine and get to the finish. I decided that since we had such a large lead, we better pull into the pit at the end of lap 9 and check the belt and splash a couple gallons of fuel just to be safe. Why not since we had a large margin?

 

 

We went out on the final lap and crossed the finish line first, thinking we had it covered by several minutes easily. After all the hard work over the previous month with testing and all the effort put in, but still having issues, we were in awe that we finished on top, so we thought… Less than 2 minutes later a UTV pulled into the finish behind us, they had beat us on time by just over 20 seconds since they started 2 rows behind us. Several teams in the pits thought that particular UTV was down a lap, no one realized they were on the lead lap. There were so many cars going past the pits in the first few laps that no one in the pits could keep accurate track of what lap all the cars were on. We made a mistake, we were given a gift and let it slip out of our hands. Even after 4 years of UTV racing, we are still learning things every race, it is no one’s fault, it just happened. On the other hand, we are blessed to be on the podium after the issues we were having! More testing to come and then the Baja 500!

 

It takes team work and the Cognito team is the best as far as I am concerned. Along with the best sponsors, we will be back on top soon! Special thank you to the team and our sponsors;