Shannon Campbell: a unique Hammer master

In News_racerz-xtrem by

BERNAT LÓPEZ / ©RACERZ

The King of the Hammers race is arguably the most demanding off-road race on the planet. Referred to as the toughest single day off-road race on Earth, it has now become a week-long event with incredible action taking place every day.

Held on the infamous Hammers trails in Johnson Valley, California, the race has events for bikes, UTV’s, four-wheel-drive trucks, and the unlimited Ultra4 cars. Without a doubt, 2017 was the most special edition of the competition. Why? Because the King of the Hammers was dominated by one family: the Campbell family. Father Shannon, Mother Tammy, Son Wayland, and Daughter Bailey from Gilbert, Arizona.

Shannon Campbell is the first and only racer to take a third King of the Hammers crown. Having his Son Wayland on the podium in second for the UTV race and the main event, made 2017 an incredible year for the whole family.

But what’s the ‘toy’ which Shannon uses to compete in there? Ladies and gentlemen, this is the 5AZ, the astonishing machine which led Mr Champbell being a champion.

Carbon-fiber body panels, mid-engine design, and 800 naturally-aspirated horsepower. While those features may sound like the blueprint for the latest Italian supercar, the fact is, they’re part of an all-American desert-devouring machine.

Car 5AZ, also known as the Dragon Slayer, is not only an evolution of his previous race chassis, but a continuation of a smart build strategy which consistently marriages functionality and style.

For strength and weight savings, this chassis was comprised entirely of 1¾-inch chromoly tubing. In areas of high impact (such as the front bumper for example), the chassis is sleeved with 775 aluminum tubing. While Campbell’s team usually MIG welds their chassis, this build was entirely TIG welded.

Inside the cabin, it’s all business. A Sparco steering wheel controls the Howe Trophy Truck series rack-and-pinion steering, while Racepak gauges provide the visual link to the rigs stats. The single-seat racer doesn’t have the luxury of a navigator, so the Lowrance GPS was located in an easy-to-view location. An Art Carr shifter controls the TH400 transmission, while a set of cutting brake levers give Campbell increased maneuverability when he gets in a jam in the rocks. Just amazing!