Can-Am Factory Racers kicked off their North American desert racing season with exceptional form at the 2023 Ultra 4 King of the Hammers Desert Challenge out in Johnson Valley, CA over the weekend. The 196-mile race covered some of the roughest desert terrain that the California desert has to offer. Vito Ranuio took home the win in the UTV Pro Mod class win in his Can-Am Maverick X3, while Dustin Jones brought home the win in the UTV Stock class win in his Can-Am Maverick X3. Can-Am Wins KOH Desert.
Starting and ending at the famous ‘Hammertown’ in Johnson Valley, CA, the grueling racecourse on the rugged desert saw racers put their machines to the test. The normally treacherous terrain of the desert was made even more challenging by storms that hit the Southern California region in the weeks before the race. The rough terrain coupled with the cooler than normal conditions made the more than 4+ hour race more physically demanding than ever before, putting drivers and their machines to the ultimate test.
The highly competitive UTV Pro Mod class saw close racing throughout the day from Vito Ranujo, Bruce Binquist, and Phil Blurton, but when the checkered flag flew it was Ranujo who would reign victorious. Can-Am racers would end up sweeping the podium in the UTV Pro Mod class, with Bruce Binquist finishing second and Phil Blurton finishing third in their Can-Am Maverick X3s. “That racecourse was brutal out there, but we had a good run. We pushed hard the whole day,” said Vito Ranujo, of the Can-Am Factory Racing Team. “We are really happy to come away with the win.”
UTV Pro Mod Class:
1. Vito Ranjo, 4:00:50
2. Bruce Binquist, 4:06:02
3. Phil Blurton, 4:18:31
In a quest to prove the superiority of their Can-Am Maverick X3s against the field, Dustin Jones and Mitchell Alsup both contested the UTV Stock class. In what would prove to be another action packed high speed race to the finish, Dustin Jones, the fastest UTV overall qualifier, would have to overcome several issues throughout the day to capture the win in the stock class. Right on Jones’ heels was Mitchell Alsup, who would finish second in the class. From the playground of Johnson Valley to the podium, Jones and Alsup showcased the superiority of their Can-Am Maverick X3s. “Just to get to the finish line at King of the Hammers is a real feat,” said Dustin Jones of the Can-Am Factory Racing Team. “We started off strong being the fastest UTV qualifier, but we had some issues out on the course, so we buckled down and got it done out there.”
UTV Stock Class:
1. Dustin Jones, 4:17:15
2. Mitchell Alsup, 4:22:00
The Can-Am Factory Racing Team athletes will be back in action at the 2023 Ultra 4 King of the Hammers Can-Am UTV Hammers Championship on Thursday, February 9, 2023 to see if they can continue their three year streak of dominance, winning the class and sweeping the podium.
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