UTV Manufacturers Get Ready To Race

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Efforts may eventually lead to a side-by-side vehicle race category

Some UTV manufacturers are setting up satellite teams and going racing. And they believe a side-by-side race category could eventually mirror other off-road venues, provide more R&D opportunities and, ultimately, spur consumer sales even more (see our SSV coverage beginning on page 46).

Take Arctic Cat, which won last year's WPSA Supersport UTV Championship. Take Polaris, which introduced Ranger race teams in March. (But don't take Yamaha, who is choosing to stay off-track for now.) "We see racing as a great way to broaden the awareness and appeal of our products," says Robb Zavitz, SSV product manager at Polaris. "We've had great results to date, and the consumer interst in this type of racing has been very good."

Though not formally race-ready, Kawasaki confirms it's providing technical assistance to certain third parties. "But as far as actual sponsorship, no. Maybe in the future," says Vince Iorio, product manager for the Teryx, ATV and Mule lines. — Guido Ebert