PROJECT UTV: Lonestar Racing RZR
In the world of NASCAR, you have race-car builders like Childress and Hendricks that offer great packages to get you going. In the big-money off-road world you have names like Jimco, Geiser Brothers and Racer Engineering that will build you a ready-to-race car or truck. If you want to make your start as a driver racing RZRs, there is a shop that can offer the same services like those you get in the big leagues. Phoenix, Arizona-based Lonestar Racing (LSR) has been building competitive machines for top riders for 20 years now, and their latest offering is a full Polaris RZR XP 1000 build legal for the popular Best in the Desert racing series. Being able to drop a machine off and have the experts at Lonestar build it from scratch saves you a ton of guesswork and any research most new racers have to do. The team at Lonestar has figured out a complete chassis package that combines perfectly with their suspension products to fit most racers’ needs.
BUILDING A BITD RZR
LSR starts most builds with a new RZR XP 1000 and first concentrates on the framework. Basically, the stock cage is removed and tossed aside. They will then construct new, lower frame sections that tie together the suspension pick-up points and will seal it all in with side panels. Before a new cage goes on, the seats are removed and a fuel cell is installed under the driver’s compartment. The $2360, 14.5-gallon or $2600, 20-gallon fuel cell takes up the entire under-seat area while still allowing the seats to be lowered some from stock. Most customers supply their own bolt-in or slider seats. The car we tested was Dan Fishers’, the owner of LSR, and he uses very high-end Sparco seats.
At the front of the cockpit, a new dash and switch panel replaces the stock plastic dash, and behind the seats they place a thick mount for the sway bar and an aluminum firewall. Once the race-legal roll cage is installed, the cockpit gets enclosed with an aluminum roof, side netting, a bumper at both ends and a sparetire mount in the rear. Both the driver and passenger get side-view mirrors to go along with the center-mounted rear-view mirror. For most builds, the chassis work averages around $9500.
Although full-race-car builds are a growing part of the sales at LSR, their bolt-on suspension kits are just as exciting, as customers from all around the world can have the kits shipped directly to them. On this car, that’s exactly what Dan is using. It’s an off-the-shelf, $3920, MTS +3.5 suspension kit that makes the entire car a total of 7 inches wider and 3 inches longer. And if you use aftermarket wheels, you will gain at least another 2 inches of width. This car uses Method-brand wheels wrapped with ITP Ultracross R Spec tires. The four front A-arms and pair of rear trailing arms are made of Tig-welded 4130 chromoly and can be powdercoated in-house as well. For shocks, this car uses Fox’s latest Internal Bypass 2.5-inch fronts and 3-inch rears at an additional $4995. Lonestar can also equip your car with Elka and Radflow products, too, or you can use your stock Walker Evans shocks. However, the extra width of the car will require an internal re-valve and heavier coil springs. New longer-axle shafts are $140 each for the fronts and $175 for each corner in the rear.
Under the car, UTV Inc. skid plates cover the entire machine with thick UHMV material that is more than double the thickness of the stock skids. Using this plastic type of protection doesn’t necessarily cut down on weight or add strength over aluminum; it does, however, make the machine much quieter by eliminating rattles and deflecting rocks. Dan’s car also has a full complement of sleek Rigid Industries LED light bars and pods replacing the stocker. When each machine is finished and put back together, they have a much tougher and racier look over stock. Furthermore, you are surrounded by tubing and feel much safer.
When you climb in the cockpit, nothing reminds you of being in a Polaris RZR. You actually feel more like you are sitting in a road-racing car or lowered Trophy Truck. The switches and gauges are mounted clean, as is the GPS and steering wheel. About the only thing left stock that you can feel is the gas pedal. We took the LSR RZR for a quick spin around a secret test loop in Arizona. It was filled with twisted and hardpacked roads, sand washes, a few whoops, big ditches and a lot of fun. The car is still quick for having long travel. You don’t feel slow or too
weighted down. Even if the car was a bit slower than stock, you could carry way more speed over the bumps and through the G-outs. Compared to the stocker, there was very little body roll in the corners. The RZR carved flat at speed and cornered sharp, even when on the brakes. All the chatter you feel with the stock suspension is completely gone. The shocks feel like they glue the car to the ground and make it super comfortable to drive. The suspension even works better than that of the longer-wheelbase RZR four-seater.
At full speed we felt completely safe in the cockpit and not one bit vulnerable. Dan Fisher has yet to win a big race in this machine, but we feel he has the tools to make it to the winners’ circle soon. And when you count the number of new customers LSR has building race-ready machines, most likely they will see victory too. If this full-race build looks like something you are interested in or would just like some of it components, they are available at www.lsracing.com anytime by calling (800) 4-LSRACE