Watch Some SsangYong Pickup Truck Racing from New Zealand

Watch Some SsangYong Pickup Truck Racing from New Zealand 8 photos
Photo: SsangYoung Pickup Racing Challenge
One-make racing series are an awesome way to level the playing field. The Leon Cupra, Clio RS, and various Audis have all been converted to track tools. But there's a bunch of crazies in New Zealand that like to play only with the SsangYong Musso.
I'll be honest with you guys; the Musso is such a race truck that I even forgot what it was called. It's based on the Korando SUV, as you can probably see, and has been designed for the one-ton market. Probably the best thing about it is the affordability, as the Koreans are not exactly known for their livestock or oil rig carrying equipment.

At no point in my life did I desire to sit behind the wheel of a Musso, but the racing footage from NZ has changed my perception. For a split second, this oddball track car became as desirable as a single-seater.

To make them faster, the trucks are stripped of non-essentials and fitted with Proflex racing dampers and Speedline Corse wheels with Avon tires. That's it as far as the go-faster kit is concerned. There's no fancy dog box, just a clutch, and a 6-speed manual. Of course, roll cages and bucket seats had to be fitted in accordance with the safety regulations.

Which means that you're stuck with a 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel engine 178 PS (176 bhp) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) on tap. The cool think is that the Musso can tow up to 3 tons or carry 2.04 square meters (102.9 cubic feet), which is enough room for a Euro pallet in the bed. So if one of them crashes and wrecks the track, the other ones can just bring over some ballast and new barriers. She'll be as good as new in an afternoon.

The field is made up of 12 Mussos and each season of racing has six events stretching into October. There’s a qualifying session, rolling starts and a 15-minute race format. Did we mention the crashes?

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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