Mickey Thompson Tires: Supporter of Off-Road Racing

Mickey Thompson is a giant amongst racetrack heroes. He is the driver who holds more auto speed records than anyone on earth. He is the maverick car builder whose designs revolutionised racing.

In the 1969 Riverside Grand Prix, Mickey Thompson and Danny Ongias competed in a Ford pick-up truck. The experience was new for Mickey and the thrill of flying through the desert trying to overcome competitors and the terrain flipped a switch in his brain that had never been turned on before. Thompson was hooked on off-road racing.

Mickey became known as the man who put big engines in off-road buggies. This is his V8 Chevy powered rear-engined buggy.

Mickey became known as the man who put big engines in off-road buggies. This is his V8 Chevy powered rear-engined buggy.

By 1978 Mickey had organised major sponsors to support off-road racing. He then talked a big number of celebrities into racing identically prepared Jeeps around the off-road desert course he’d built at Riverside International Raceway.

The celebrities included Clint Walker, James Garner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Brolin, Martin Milner, Ruth Buzzi, Redd Foxx, Trou Donahue, Dan Haggerty, Richard Roundtree, Ken MCord and boxing champions Ken Norton, Dick Smothers and Elke Sommers. This new dimension in off-road racing was called the American Motors/Jeep All-Star Challenge. The fans went berserk and the stars loved every minute. Mickey’s off-road entertainment business named SCORE (Short Course Off Road Events) grew in size and the events got bigger and better.

Mickey (middle) with Patrick Duffy and Vicki Carr at one of the Riverside Jeep All Star Challenge races

Mickey (middle) with Patrick Duffy and Vicki Carr at one of the Riverside Jeep All Star Challenge races

It is because of Mickey Thompson’s rich heritage in off-road racing that Mickey Thompson Tires decided to become involved through its association with drivers in the Australian Off-Road Racing Championship.

Chris Weston Off-Road Racer

Chris Weston Off-Road Racer

If you’re keen to check out the Australian off-road talent don’t miss the Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC). The AORC commenced in 1981 and showcases the best off road competitors, cars and events from around the country.

AORC events are defined as ‘long course’ events that are conducted on a track of no less than 15 kilometres in length. The courses and tracks used for the AORC are often narrow, twisting, tree lined tracks, undulating farmland tracks, mountain tracks and river crossings, sometimes incorporating man made jumps and other obstacles.

2013 Australian Off-Road Championship Dates
30-31 March – Hayden, WA
8-9 June – Finke, NT
27-28 July – Baroota, SA
14-15 September – Coffs Harbour, NSW
26-27 October – Lockyer Valley, QLD

To find out more about Mickey Thompson’s rich off-road history or for more information about the range of Mickey Thompson tyres visit www.mickeythompsontires.com.au or call 1300 MICKEY.

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