WIDIA Sponsors 2013 Ultra4 Vehicle for King of the Hammers Race

LATROBE, Pa. — February 7, 2013 – In a contest that runs like survival of the fittest, WIDIA Products Group announced its plans to sponsor the Ultra4-class Griffin King of the Hammers Race, presented by Nitto Tire in Johnson Valley, Calif., on Friday, February 8. In addition, the brand will back Buck Wild Racing and driver David Buchberger’s WIDIA Ultra4 Rock Racer, built race-ready with WIDIA products and solutions that lend more than 80 years of metalworking and tooling expertise.

WIDIA.com streamed live footage of King of the Hammers 2013 on February 8 beginning at 8:00am PST. Recorded footage and all other can’t-miss King of the Hammer coverage is available at www.ultra4racing.com and www.ustream.tv/ultra4.

In the world’s most grueling single day of off-road racing, King of the Hammers provides a venue for custom-built vehicles to compete in high-speed racing across the desert floor with extreme rock climbing intervals along the way. Competitors must complete a 165-mile course in less than 14 hours across seven checkpoints, all while staying within one hundred feet of the course centerline. All of the vehicles must be capable of 4-wheel drive in the unlimited class, custom-fabricated and capable of achieving speeds greater than 100 miles per hour, with gear ratios as low as 100 to 1 for technical rock crawling.

“WIDIA is known for answering extreme challenges with extreme results, and nowhere is that better exemplified than in Ultra4 racing,” says Bernie McConnell, vice president, WIDIA Products Group and Services. “We’re very proud of this sponsorship and look forward to connecting with a whole new demographic of extreme racing fans that machine components, fabricate parts and assemble these desert-tough rock racers. Our WIDIA tooling provides agility to help machine shops handle extreme challenges every day and finish strong, just like David Buchberger and his Ultra4 Rock Racer.”

“Racing like this is raw awesome, but it takes an incredible amount of time and resources,” says Buchberger. “With WIDIA’s tooling, know-how and support, we’re bringing a top-shelf car to an event that’s the biggest it’s ever been in a supercharged sport that’s still growing.”

Buchberger also serves as vice president of Hi-Speed Corp., a distributor of WIDIA-brand products and services. WIDIA’s broad product portfolio provided Buchberger with a complete range of tooling solutions to machine custom parts that balanced his racer’s need for speed as well as lightweight construction for nimble rock crawling. For example, Buchberger used WIDIA tooling to build a custom adapter between the transfer case and transmission, fabricated from6061 T6 aluminum, which presented a significant metalworking challenge. He also applied WIDIA milling tools to machine lightweight frame components that were extremely durable – a must to survive the race’s punishing conditions against competitors vying to be crowned “King.”

“I’m really proud of the car, how competitive it is, and how outside-the-box it is,” Buchberger says. “It’s certainly capable of winning.”

Like any extreme event, simply qualifying and being one of the racers taking part in King of the Hammers is an amazing feat. Buchberger and WIDIA machined the commemorative aluminum participation plaques each racing team will receive at this year’s event.