Are you paying attention to Ultra4 racing? This picture might convince you you should be.

The Ultra4 National Championship events are going down in Nevada this weekend. I’ve been keeping up in the comfort of my couch via Instagram, but even from a few hundred miles from the action I was blown away by this image.


Off-road video production house Heavy Metal Concepts snapped this incredible pan shot of series superstar Shannon Campbell driving his beast of a machine over a pile of boulder garden really, really fast. Anybody who’s ever been off-road, or driven over a speed bump, has got to appreciate how insane this looks.

Trick photography? Photoshop’d motion blur?

Nope, Campbell’s just a lunatic and his vehicle is very hard to kill.

Ultra4 cars (buggies?) are sort of like steroidal Jeeps. They’re typically solid-axle (Update: though Campbell’s is IFS) four-wheel drive V8 monsters with manually-activated automatics and 40-inch-plus tires. Campbell’s machine was rebuilt as “The Dragon Slayer” last year (after one of his frenemies Loren Healy dubbed his race rig “The Red Dragon”) though it looks like it’s had even more upgrades since 2016.

What makes this series so interesting is that the vehicles, and the psycho racers piloting them, have to cover both rock-crawling style terrain and high-speed desert style stuff with the same equipment.


The annual King Of The Hammers race is generally the biggest spectacle of the Ultra4 season, though I do believe this weekend’s “Nats” event is technically its ultimate series-winner-deciding race.

Anyway, I really just think this image of Campbell crushing the rock garden is amazing and a decent excuse to make people take a look at Ultra4. If you think this is as cool as I do, try and make your way to Johnson Valley, California next February for the King Of The Hammers.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL

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