Blake Van De Loo Wins UTV Class at King of the Hammers
Blake Van de Loo of Phoenix, Ariz. fought off a field of 60 race teams to win the 2016 Polaris UTV King of the Hammers.
Van de Loo and his team failed to finish last year’s King of the Hammers UTV race, his first time at the notoriously tough race. This Van de Loo and his team outfitted their Polaris RZR with more durable RCV axles to withstand the unforgiving rocks.
“Last year we broke quite a few axles,” he said. “This year we had no breaks at all – the RCV axles came through!”
After just three teams finished last year’s race, organizers toned the course down a bit this year. Some of the toughest sections of this year’s course are downhills, rather than the uphill climbs from last year. You can see the changes in the times, Van de Loo crossed the finish line in an unofficial time of 4 hours, 22 minutes, 55 seconds – nearly two hours faster than Mitch Guthrie‘s winning time in 2015.
“Quite a bit easier,” Van de Loo said of this year’s course. “We went down a lot of the hard rock trails instead of up. We only threw a winch cable once.”
Van de Loo also started near the front of the pack, which helped him stay out of the dust.
Robby Gordon guides his Arctic Cat Wildcat over the rocks.
Finishing more than 30 minutes behind Van de Loo was Branden Sims of Prescott Valley, Ariz.
“This is definitely the best course I’ve ran,” Sims said. “I love the desert and this was definitely fast.”
Chad Hughes finished slightly more than 10 minutes behind Sims in third place, followed by Dean Bulloch in fourth place and multi-time champ Mitch Guthrie in fifth.
2016 Polaris UTV King of the Hammers Results
- Blake Van de Loo – 4:22:55
- Branden Sims – 4:55:21
- Chad Hughes – 5:05:54
- Dean Bulloch – 5:11:44
- Mitch Guthrie – 5:14:19
- Rob MacCachren – 5:21:33
- Jason Weller – 5:30:52
- Evan Engelhardy – 5:36:55
- Erik Miller – 5:37:23
- Richard Bronsema – 5:43:18
- Ross Pilgreen – 6:26:54
- Brian King – 6:29:19
- Tyler Greeves – 6:34:36
- Austin Massingill – 7:01:54
- Anthony Yount – 7:22:44
- Brent Zimmerman – 7:22:45
- Wesley Gryner – 7:37:58
- Sheldon Creed – 7:42:51*
- Jesse Johnson – 7:47:12
- Brian Fisher – 7:54:40
- Robby Gordon – 8:18:59*
*Both Creed and Gordon were assessed 135-minute time penalties for missing part of the course.
I have been working exclusively in digital media since 1997. I started out with TSN.ca, spending nearly nine years creating and editing content on Canada's leading sports website. I left to join VerticalScope, Inc., one of the world's largest online publishers, to start a number of powersports publications. While at VerticalScope, I've helped create and oversee content for a wide variety of different publications, including ATV.com, Off-Road.com, ArcheryTalk.com, Tractor.com, RVGuide.com, and many more.
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