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TORC PRO-Light - V8 Package Eases The Move Up the Competition Ladder

TORC PRO-Light Glenview, IL May 23, 2011 The 2010 TORC season saw the introduction of the V-8 crate motor to the PRO-Light division. Early on it looked like the tried and true 4-cylinder trucks would still hold their own with the larger displacement and heavier truck of the future. As the season reached the halfway point, the perceived reliability of the new configuration became reality. The final weekend of racing saw two of the new V-8 powered PRO-Light trucks fighting for the championship. Ultimately veteran PRO-Light competitor Casey Currie edged out rookie sensation Andrew Caddell for the title.

After one year of the new PRO-Light formula, several top TORC Sportsman competitors are making the move to the PRO ranks. Two such drivers are Mitch Dorr and Eric Ruppel. Both drivers have a resume full of wins and championship titles from their time in the Sportsman ranks. Their move into the upper echelon of short-course off-road racing is twofold. The first, is the cost and the second, it’s time to put their driving skills to the test. Mitch Dorr has big shoes to fill as he is the son of Midwest off-road legend Geoff Dorr. So far in his young career, he definitely has lived up to his last name. Mitch has a solid list of accomplishments including several wins and even more podium finishes along with a couple of World Championship rings and the inaugural Mole Lake Cup. “The past three years I have basically accomplished just about every one of my goals,” noted Mitch Dorr. “The opportunity presented itself to move into the PRO ranks and I believe this would be the best chance to really get my talents noticed on the big stage. We haven’t closed a deal with a title sponsor as of yet, but our associate partners have helped us enough to start our program this year.” Eric Ruppel is a veteran of the Sportsman truck ranks. Rupe, as he’s known to his friends, began his career competing in driving a Ford Bronco in Tough Truck events and eventually took the same truck short-course racing in the Formula 4x4 division. Quickly Rupe had an opportunity to purchase a Super Stock Truck that had all the right stuff to be competitive right from the start. The next five years saw Rupe win his share of races, including one championship and challenge for the title practically every year. “Just like the time I moved up to the Super Stock class, the opportunity presented itself and I couldn’t pass it up,” commented Rupe. “I had a buyer for my truck and practically all my associate sponsors came on board with the PRO-Light program. Initially the cost of the new truck and travel costs would be the largest investment moving up. After watching what happen last year, the maintenance costs for the new truck are not much different than the Super Stock Truck. We are still an all volunteer team, still searching for that title sponsor, but thanks to a solid group of friends that love our sport, we’re racing with the big boys.” Ruppel mentioned the maintenance costs to run a V-8 Pro-Light was an important factor when moving to the class. The 2010 TORC PRO-Light champion let it be known that he ran the same sealed V-8 crate engine and transmission the entire season. In seasons past, a competitive 4-cylinder engine package would last at most, about 4-5 rounds of racing before it needed to be freshened up. The cost of the mid-season makeover by the top engine builders would run as much as a new V-8 crate motor. Even the top Sportsman Super Stock Truck racers would need a mid-season teardown to keep their power plants competitive. With the changes to the engine and drive train, the entire field of PRO-Light trucks will be on a very level playing field. The TORC PRO-Light division is a multi-purpose form of racing. It a great place for up and coming drivers to hone their skills before moving onto PRO-2 or PRO-4, as well as a great opportunity for racers to compete on a national stage, without all the cost of the full-size truck classes. The first year success of the new TORC PRO-Light has another sanctioning body adopting a similar rules package. These changes are the first in the short-course off-road racing industry that have actually reduced the cost of racing, increased the level of competition, as well as creating an increase in the number of competitors in the class. With the success of PRO-Light will there be changes down the road for the other PRO divisions in the TORC Series? Only time will tell. For more information about Mitch Dorr, visit: http://www.mitchdorr.com For more information about Eric Ruppel, visit: http://www.ericruppel.com For more information about the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL, visit: http://www.torcseries.com For more information about Midwest Off-Road Racing, visit: http://www.midwest-offroadracing.com Mike Reusche, mt-graphics@ymail.com

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