At the Ultra4 Racing Area BFE Beatdown in Moab on April 3rd, winner Bryan Crofts relied on Wilwood for his braking. In fact, three of the top ten 4400 class baggies, the fastest, most extreme class, were using Wilwood brake setups.
Ultra4 racing mixes equal parts high-speed desert cross-country ability with crawling rock trails you'd have a hard time doing on your hands and knees. The 2021 Area BFE Beatdown is the first race of the 2021 Lasernut Western Ultra4 Series. Area BFE Park is a private off-roading area in Moab, UT, covering more than 300 acres of rocks, scrub brush, and desert.
On Saturday, Bailey Cole qualified with the fastest time in the heat races, showing that his fourth-place finish at the 2021 King of the Hammers earlier was not just a fluke. Paul Horschel had won the Hammer 4400 class at the Baja 1000 last year but had a string of bad luck at the 2021 KoH; here, he qualified fifth fastest. Horschel's sometime co-driver Loren Healy, who won with him at Baja, qualified in seventh.
The whole Campbell family was at it again, including Bailey Campbell, who had a baby just a few weeks ago. Though listed as qualifying 14th fastest, it was not actually new mom Bailey in the 35az, but her co-driver Ryan Miller, who drove it to a ninth-place finish previously at the 2021 KoH. Patriarch Shannon Campbell qualified 23rd fastest, and his son Wayland Campbell was eighth fastest in qualifying. According to Bailey's Facebook page, she will be back in full force for the May race in San Felipe.
Bryan Crofts, the eventual winner, qualified and started 13th fastest, and it didn't seem to be unlucky for him. The whole Campbell family, and Crofts in a Campbell Enterprises built rig, are using the Wilwood Aero6R six-piston calipers and 14-inch Wilwood GT36 rotors on all four wheels. This big brake setup gives them the stopping power they need in the high-speed sections while reducing unsprung weight for better suspension compliance on the bumps.
The Big Beatdown at Area BFE
Initially, it looked as if fast qualifier Bailey Cole had won the whole event; he crossed the finish line with the fastest time. However, a violation was reported against him for leaving the designated racing line on one of the trails on the fifth lap. Bailey had led the entire event, start to finish, with lap times that averaged under 23 minutes, but on his sixth lap, he choose a line that was deemed out of bounds, and that lap and all subsequent laps were not counted. Cole's line took him 40-feet from the designated racing line, and rules stipulate only the area 25-feet to either side of the line is legal. After the penalty, he was scored in 22nd position, and like a good sportsman, he issued an apology to his fellow racers for going off-course.
With the red card violation against Cole wiping his later laps off the books, the second racer to cross the finish, Bryan Crofts, became the event's official winner. Crofts started 13th, which means he had to work his way through traffic on the course that those who started up front didn't have. He got faster as the day wore on, and attrition took more and more competitors out of his way, and was one of only three drivers to run a lap in under 22 minutes.
Bryan Crofts was driving a Campbell Enterprises race car, so the family can share some of the glory, even though they all got beat by one of their builds. Shannon Campbell drove from way back in the 23rd starting spot to finish in 6th place, with daughter Bailey's rig right behind him, again driven by her usual co-driver Ryan Miller. Wayland Campbell placed 16th, beating 21 other drivers in the process.
Thanks to modern drones and streaming platform magic, you can watch all the action on the Ultra4 YouTube channel. All the images above came from the three-minute highlight reel, but they have the entire day-long event to stream on video if you feel the need.