Feature Vehicle: Groom Motorsports 2016 Polaris RZR 170 EFI

With the 2018 Polaris RZR UTV World Championship Powered by Monster Energy a little over a week away, racers from around the globe are preparing their UTVs for battle at the largest UTV race event in the world. Among those competitors thrashing to prepare is a group of youngsters like Ethan Groom, who are determined to get their shot at World Championship glory!

Ethan Groom, son of Method Race Wheels Partner & Co-Founder Colbey Groom, got his start in UTV racing during the first year of the UTV World Championship back in 2015. The family came out to just have a good time. They left with an addiction and a commitment to become one of the best in the youth amateur ranks. Fast forward four years and Groom Motorsports competes at the top amongst the sports best in the 5-12 year old ranks. But to remain competitive, you have to be willing to change with the times, and thats exactly what the team has done with their latest creation.

The all-new Groom Motorsports 2016 Polaris RZR 170 EFi race machine is one of the most advanced RZR 170 race vehicles ever built. The best brands and products in the industry are utilized in this over-the-top machine and it will push teams in the sport into what could be considered the next generation of 170 race vehicles. Chassis, steering, suspension, engine, driveline and everything in-between has been modified to the point that many will question what exactly is left of the original 170? And while many will question why, without a doubt those in the know will be asking another question along the lines of “when can I get one?”

Amongst the most visible of changes one would notice is the addition of a front dual a-arm suspension, completely custom for this machine. Up until this point, only Carr-One Fabrication had been building this type of front end, but Groom called upon long time friend and off-road master fabricator Jake Velasco to develop their own fully adjustable dual a-arm set up. Inherently the RZR 170 front suspension has a very limited amount of adjustability to compensate for the vehicles poor camber & caster design. To Polaris’ credit, these 170s were never developed to be whoop eating, berm thrusting, and short course cornering beasts. Racers have pushed the limits of what the machines were intended for and now are pushing the design elements forward with suspension like the one you see here.

While the front ends are now able to absorb much larger bumps, the rear suspension leaves much to be desired. There is only so much teams have done to greatly improve the rear suspension of the machines other than beefed up swing arms like the Factory UTV unit used on Groom’s vehicle. Of course shocks are the biggest addition along with wider rear swing arm axles. Groom Motorsports went with a Summers Bros. rear swing axle along with improved wheel bearings, brakes, and chain tensioner. Its the best you can do with the limited design provided but I think its only a matter of time before we begin to see bigger changes to these rear suspension set ups.

Of course you can’t talk about race vehicles without talking about power mods. 170 racers like Groom are always trying to find that extra horsepower anyway they can. Beyond greatly reducing weight and rotating mass, they have no dove head first into building these tiny engines into big and powerful race bullets. While Groom Motorsports has asked to keep the actual numbers a secret, we are well aware of what Sparks Racing is pushing through their new 250cc big bore engine packages. Whats even more exciting is they are getting them to the point where they can live while pushing high performance racing fuel through them. They are temperamental, and some will tell you that squeezing power from a 170 engine is more art then science. Clutching, Transmission, and electronics all play a large roll in the success of an engine build such as this and Groom Motorsports left no penny in the wallet when building this bullet for Ethan.

Got Sand Performance is considered a top-tier RZR 170 builder and thats who was called upon when it came time to build Ethan his new chassis. Strong & safe was priority, but styling, weight reduction and function were also at the top of the list. This is no ordinary bolt-on machine, therefor it took an expert like Pete Corwin at GSP to lay the vehicle out from steering to electronics, beefing up the transmission, and perfect placement of the seat, dash and body. These 170’s are not simple despite their small stature.

In the end, Colbey wanted to give his son the best equipment possible to help give him the best chance at solely relying upon his talents to go out and win races. To be the best, you have to beat the best and to do that you can’t be worried about cost savings. What’s a machine like this cost? One can only speculate, but if I had to take a stab I would say you are pretty dang close to $30K when its all said and done. To many that may seem ridiculous, but to those with the addiction to racing and the addiction to sharing memories with your children, those timeless and priceless moments far outweigh the pain at the wallet today!

Come watch Ethan Groom of Groom Motorsports compete on April 6th, 2018 in Laughlin, NV in the Carr-One Youth Championship Races at the 2018 UTV World Championship! Details at www.UTVWorldChampionship.com

Words by: Joey DiGiovanni // UTVUnderground.com
Photos by: Harlan Foley // ATV Riders


SPECIFICATIONS

2016 Polaris RZR 170, Got Sand Performance Chassis
Owner: Groom Motorsports
Driver: Ethan Groom

Interior
· Got Sand Performance fuel tank
· Custom seat mount for Ultra Shield seat
· Got Sand Performance shifter and linkage
· AIM MyChron5 digital dash with GPS, wifi and Data Acquisition
· Joes Racing aluminum steering wheel
· PRP Seats 5 point seat belts

Front steering and suspension
· Custom built upper and lower control arms by Jake Velasco Race Prep
· Custom spindles and steering by Jake Velasco Race Prep
· ProAm steering rack
· Full Tilt Karts hubs and components
· Fox Racing Shox by Cognito Motorsports
· Joes Racing Products steering wheel
· 22” tires on 10” wheels

Rear Suspension and Drive Train
· Factory UTV swingarm
· Fox Racing Shox by Cognoto Motorsports
· Summers Brothers Axle
· Wilwood rear brake caliper and custom rotor
· Magnum Off Road custom chain tensioner
· 20” and 22” tires on 10” wheels

Engine
· 250cc Sparks Performance Products Engine
· Sparks Performance Products custom intake and throttle body
· K&N Filters air filter with foam pre-cleaner filter wrap
· Sparks Performance Products dyno tuned, Dynatek Fusion EFI controller
· Sparks Racing Products exhaust system
· VP Fuels racing fuel
· Maxima Engine Oil

Clutch and Transmission
· Sparks Performance Products tuned clutch
· Custom clutch cover
· Got Sand Performance Welded and trussed transmission case
· Cognito Motorsports pinion shaft upgrade
· Cognito Motorsports custom built primary shaft support
· Xtreme Machine and Fabrication internal gear upgrade
· CryoHeat treated shafts and gears
· Maxima Gear Oil

Additional Items
· Graphics and wrap by ProLine Wraps
· Panel and body work by Got Sand Performance
· PCI Race Radios communication
· Skid plate by Got Sand Performance

Sponsors:

Method Race Wheels
Tensor Tires
Polaris RZR
Got Sand Performance
Jake Velasco Race Prep
Sparks Performance Products
Cognito Motorsports
Troy Lee Designs
Maxima Racing Oils
Temecula Motorsports
Amber Racing Services/VP Racing Fuels
Sparco Racing
PRP Seats
ProLine Wraps
Full Tilt Karts
Sign Pros

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