Adrian Orellana and his Assault Industries RZR XP1000
Adrian Orellana is living the dream. He has been racing professionally ever since his mom and dad first started their local shop in 1985, in San Ysidro, California, called Rancho Auto and Truck Parts. Rancho Auto Parts sold mostly truck and car parts (similar to a local AutoZone), however, at a local mom and pop retail level. At first, Adrian raced local BMX, downhill mountain bikes and then graduated into Class 5-1600 Baja Bug racing. Like any youngster, Adrain started out by co-driving, polishing gas caps, and cleaning parts, eventually working his way into racing the class himself.
After a few of years in 5-1600 Baja Bugs and 1-2 1600 buggies (successfully we might add) Adrian decided to try out the new Class 19 UTV desert race cars, which were becoming increasingly popular. His first year out he raced a mildly modified RZR 900, which he competed with successfully. This year, Adrian has decided to go whole hog and has built a specialized Class 19 car with sponsors Assault Industries, to tackle the SCORE Baja races and Best In The Desert (BITD) series events.
The Orellana family is typical of the dedicated mom and pop shops out there that love the fabric of racing and are the heart and soul of the sport. We spoke with Adrian about his new car prep prior to the recent UTV World Championships, and what he did to make this car competitive with the best UTV racers on the planet.
We’re speaking with Adrian Orellana about his Assault Industries Polaris RZR XP1000. Was this rig based on an XP 4, because most desert racers like to get the wider, longer car?
It’s actually a 2-seater. It’s a 2015 XP 1000. We were tormented back and forth with using a 4-seater or a 2-seater. Johnny Angal goes with his 4-seater car and is kicking butt. But, I also see Brandon Sims kicking butt with a 2-seater.
Those two guys are kind of the guys I’m looking at. They are doing really well. There are a lot of big names out there. But, those guys, I like their attitude. I like the way they perform. I’m trying to see what I can do like them. I liked Brandon Sims’ setup more, so we went with a 2-seater. I figured, it’s light, agile. A lot of the desert races are lap races so I can get around pretty quick. We have Cognito suspension using their plus 4 system, which is bulletproof.
Cognito’s proven it time and time again. Every time they can, they’re changing and improving it. They’re actually out there taking the product they ship out to the customer, and putting it on their own car, which is really cool. That gives me a lot of confidence as a racer, which I don’t have to worry about breaking. This particular car has been built from the ground up. We started with a brand new 2015 XP 1000 with only two miles on it. I think we put a total of only five miles on it before it went under the knife. We gave it to Thad at Fab Works, located in Sun Valley, California. He chopped everything off. Literally, I think all we had was 2 frame rails down the center and the bulkheads front and rear, and that was it. We started from that. It was a ground-up build. Everything on the car uses custom bolts. Everything had to be customized just for this car. TS Wiring out of El Cajon, CA, is a good buddy of mine so we had him work on all the wiring, and odds and ends on the car. It should be an interesting race vehicle to say the least.
How much suspension travel does it have?
Actually, with the way that the frame is setup on this car, we’re at 21 inches in the front and about 22 inches of rear suspension travel. We had to limit it a little bit here and there, just because of how the suspension and the frame was set up.
Cognito primarily likes to run Fox shocks with their components. But, the crew at King Shocks are long time friends of ours, so we decided to go with King’s suspension setup. We have Summers Brothers stepping it up on this car with a first-of-its-kind sway bar. We have it mounted in the rear of the car and, well, we will let it speak for itself… (laughs and smiles). We had to do a little marriage between the arms and the shocks with how they worked. Just a few points rubbed and stuff like that. It just works out really well now. We talked with King and worked with Iribe and Mike. They helped us out tremendously. We figured out a perfect shock for this car and shortened it up. Whatever we had to do. It should be working pretty well.
How about the wheels and tires?
We have MSA wheels and EFX tires. MSA is a company based out of Colorado. They’ve got solid wheels. They just released the F1 carbon wheel. It’s a built aluminum wheel, with a carbon fiber ring. It’s 3/4-inch thick carbon fiber ring, so it’s really durable, looks nice, and is a solid wheel. Super lightweight. The tires we’re going with are Motor Claws. They’re kind of a mud terrain tire, sort of a mix between a mud terrain and Big Horn tire. They are kind of right in the middle, not being overly aggressive. They work really well. We took them out last week and were super impressed with the traction and how well the car handles when thrown sideways. It grips even sometimes when I don’t want it to grip. I got to play with it a little. It’s a good combination though, lightweight with good grip.
How about odds and ends – the seats and harnesses?
A lot of stuff we are using is from PRP. They helped us out a lot with custom seats and stuff. We had them embroider the seats with the Rancho Racing logo and make custom nets. These are some super comfortable seats.
Assault Industries supplied the seat belts and are one of our primary sponsors. We use their Assault 5-point belts. We’re also running a Rugged Radio system, with their intercom and the whole radio system. Everything that Rugged Radio makes is on our car. We also run all Vision-X lighting and, all we can say is, night is now daylight. We’re also running a Lowrance GPS system, their 5-inch Baja system. We’re running the MobArmor GPS System for the co-driver, with a LeadNav setup. I like to have an extra one for me, just in case my co-driver falls asleep…(laughs agin).
Basically we run a clean dash. We like to keep it very basic. No need for bells and whistles and stuff like that. We just want to keep it lightweight and straight to the point.
What about your air and duct system and filters?
We have Alba Racing out of Santee, CA, helping us out so we configured a great system for the car. We’re using the UMP system. We use Outerwears on the K&N filters for an added layer of protection. I had to make a custom airbox to fit this car specifically. It’s a good solid system. The intake system works really well. UMP has proven it since way back in ’96, and we’re still using it today. It’s a good solid system. With King Shocks, Cognito Suspension, Summers Brothers Racing, Rugged Radios, PRP, Assault Industries, UMP and everybody that helps us out, this is definitely a good solid build.
The real kicker – what would it cost to build this particular car? We’re not talking about getting the smoking deals. We’re just talking about if you had to spend your money and build this car.
Unfortunately, I was also a bit too curious, so I added up all the costs. This car, if you were to buy it piece by piece, you’re probably looking about $92,000 for it as it appears. The frame is just impeccable. The amount of material that goes in there, literally the artwork that goes into that frame, the technology is just amazing.
Just sitting there and looking at it, you realize you can’t really put a price on it. You’re talking maybe $15,000 just for the frame, and then all the components with King and Cognito. Towards the end, it starts adding up with $60 here, $100 there and stuff like that. We’ve upgraded all the bolts to F911. They’re 7/16-inch bolts so we don’t go with the 10-millimeter bolts, the ones the Japanese use. We upgraded a lot of parts. A lot of little odds and ends that all add up. It’s about $92,000 to $94,000 I’d say.
We have to say, what a styling outfit you’re wearing. Who does that for you?
?Axcel Motor Sports made our custom race suit. They’re out of the east coast. They took care of us pretty well with the race suit and stuff. Assault Racing and myself, we went back and forth with them and they designed it. It took us a few weeks to get it right. I have to look professional and this gets the job done.
Very Pro Moto looking.
Thank you. It feels good. It makes me feel like a racer.
Anything else you want to add?
Just a huge thank you to all my sponsors and everybody that helped get us here. I especially want to thank my wife, my son, my parents, Marc Sanchez, and all my friends that helped make this happen and for all their support. Everybody that helped us out, family, uncles, sponsors. Everyone is super important with our race program. Keeping that circle tight, keeping that circle close, and making it a close family racing affair is what Rancho Racing is all about.
Perfect. Good luck at the races, Adrian.