Product Testimonial: Johnny Angal on the ITP UltraCross R Spec Tire
Courtesy of ITP Tires
CLINTON, TN, MAY 19, 2015
Johnny Angal of UTV Inc. – winner of the prestigious 2014 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 Class 1900 side-by-side vehicle class – made one of his best racing decisions ever when he chose to run ITP tires on his Polaris RZR XP 1000, according to the SxS pilot.
Tired of having his racing glory stolen by ill-timed flats and complete tire failures, Angal says he realized he needed to make a change when it came to tires, and he was determined to find a tire that would take his racing to the next level. His conclusion was to run the rugged, eight-ply ITP UltraCross R Spec tire.
His world has never been the same.
“At our first race, we had three flats running another brand of tire, so we had to start shopping,” said Angal. “We bought another 10 tires and 15-inch wheels for our first Baja 500 race. After having a tire explode while running in second place on a mostly flat, smooth road and seeing the six racers that we just worked so hard to pass pass us back, I knew I had not picked the right tire – again. That’s when I started to look at what the podium finishers were using for a tire.
“I wanted something that would finish a race,” he continued. “We noticed a lot of racers running the ITP UltraCross R Spec, so we made the switch. Our 2014 Baja 1000 win proved that we had picked the right tire. Don’t make a huge mistake like I did – buy the right tire, ITP, the first time.”
Ever since the tire change, the 50-year-old driver has become a force in West Coast desert UTV racing. In fact, he believed so much in the UltraCross R Spec tires that he used the same set of front tires in six different races. The same ITP tires also put him on top of four desert-racing podiums: the 2014 Baja 1000, the Baja 500, the San Felipe 250 and the Parker 250.
It’s the tire’s ability to withstand harsh conditions and jarring impacts that won Angal over. He says in all the desert races he’s entered using ITP UltraCross R Spec tires, they’ve only had one tread puncture.
“The rest of the time, it’s because we were running too hard in thick dust and had an ‘oops’ moment, where we hit a hidden obstacle at full speed or slam something so hard it practically sends the shock through our spines. My co-driver will be getting ready to jump out to inspect for a flat – because most tires will fail – but to his surprise, the UltraCross R Spec tires were holding strong.”
Angal tells the story of following two other competitors and trying to find a way around the stubborn leaders. Finally, realizing the dependability of the UltraCross R Spec tire, he made a huge gamble by racing standards and decided to make his own unthinkable line. One would think his racing day would have ended right then and there, but Angal’s story concluded with him parked on the podium.
“At a recent race, we were running through an area in about two feet of silt with two fellow racers ahead of us,” he said, “when we had no choice but to let off the gas or make a new line through the desert. We went straight over 1- and 2-foot-tall sagebrush and rocks! We just hit the gas and started running through the desert, knowing full well this new line could not be good on the tires. However, we passed both cars with no problems, and our Polaris RZR XP 1000 finished on the podium.”
When Angal speaks of his fondness for the R Spec radial, he’s not just boosting sponsor morale; he’s speaking from experience, and that includes using the same tires for multiple races. Why wouldn’t he just run new tires after each grueling endurance race to ensure he has the best possible chance to finish? He has a legitimate answer for that question as well.
“We don’t see a reason to start every race with new tires,” explains Angal. “We know when a driver hits rocks, trees and cactus so hard that parts fall off of their cars, that most any other tire, new or used, would go flat. But ITP tires surprise us every time. We also don’t notice a loss of traction, whether it’s in a hard corner or pulling through deep silt beds.”
“We designed the ITP UltraCross R Spec tires to take on some of the most extreme off-road conditions imaginable,” said Rhett Turpin, ITP’s powersports director of sales and marketing. “Our engineers put in a lot of R&D and created the most advanced UTV desert-racing tire ever made. The UltraCross R Spec tire is as formidable as it is popular, because racers know they can count on the tire to take them to the finish line.”
Available in 10 sizes for a full range of vehicles, horsepower and terrain, the ITP UltraCross R Spec 30-inch tire features a unique multisurface, nondirectional tread pattern to enhance traction control on slippery surfaces. The eight-ply radial construction provides exceptional wear and puncture resistance. The new UltraCross R Spec tires come in sizes ranging from 23 inches in diameter to 32 inches, covering a variety of vehicles and applications, from golf carts to super-sport side-by-side vehicles.
ITP UltraCross R Spec tire sizes for 2015
23×10.00-12/4 PR (Golf specialty)
In business for more than 35 years, ITP has become the world’s number-one ATV/ UTV aftermarket tire-and-wheel source. ITP utilizes its experienced staff of engineers, designers and technicians at its two American tire facilities in Clinton, Tennessee, and Jackson, Tennessee, to develop award-winning tire-and-wheel designs for virtually all ATVs and side-by-side vehicles. Numerous outlets distribute ITP tires across the United States and in more than 25 countries worldwide. For a full-color ITP catalog, call toll-free 800/889-7367. For tech questions, call 909/390-1905 or go to www.itptires.