Each year, one of the best yet most underrated motorsport event gets held somewhere around the world. Dubbed the Race of Championships, the event is exactly what the name suggests. A gathering of professional drivers from all spheres of motor racing, each a champion in their own right, whether it be rally or GT3 racing. This year the event took place in Miami, Florida, at the famous Marlins Park. Although the event is officially over (started on 21st January and ended on the 22nd), we decided to report back on one very peculiar vehicle
You see, the event is specifically designed to test the driver’s skill, and not the cars. It’s head to head format, where two competitors race on the same track, separated by a barrier. They’re effectively racing each other but on parallel tracks which are equal in length. To make sure the winner is the most versatile driver, the organizers provide them with different cars to test their skills. We’re talking stuff like GT3 cars, lightweight track cars and even rally cars. This time, a special and unique vehicle was used as one of the entrants.
We’re talking, of course, about the Polaris Slingshot. This part bike part car mix served as an excellent beater for the full duration of the event, with all of the drivers agreeing it’s just pure fun. Polaris provided the cars, seeing the event as an excellent opportunity to promote the brand and the model itself.
Speaking of the car, let’s take a moment to talk about what it actually is. We already mentioned it’s a three-wheeler, but we did not mention it uses a 2.4 liter four-cylinder DOHC unit with 173 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque. The engine sends power to the rear wheel via a 5-speed manual transmission, and although it may not appear as though it’s possible, this thing will actually do donuts if you want it to.
It weighs less than 800 kilograms, so it’s extremely nimble and agile. Polaris themselves claim that the vehicle was purely design for fun and entertainment purposes. Based on that, you can’t really fault it can you? Just look at it. It looks silly even just standing still, but that’s the best part about it. It looks like someone parked a chopped-up KTM X-Box on top of a motorcycle and the Polaris Slingshot came out. We’d argue that for having fun, it trumps both those vehicles however. Unlike the KTM, which is a track-focused car (and was used in the ROC last year), the Polaris doesn’t take itself too seriously. It was made for laughs and smiles, and that’s exactly what it gives the driver.
Nevertheless, that didn’t stop the professionals from hustling it around the small track at an incredible pace. Juan Pablo Montoya won the 2017 ROC, so congratulations to him for that. We can’t wait for next year’s ROC, hopefully another event where the Slingshot is present.