What does the future of off-road racing look like? Chances are the next generation of racers was born after the year 2000 and likely spent a lot of time on simulators racing in online connected competitions. With that said, let us introduce you to Christopher Polvoorde. A strappy young Southern Californian with curly hair and a quirky smile, Polvoorde has determined his future goals and has carved out a racing career that puts him squarely in the driver seat.
Christopher’s entry into racing was somewhat unique in the case that his first race car, a “Trophy Kart”, was acquired in a debt settlement. Once given the taste of competition, and the convenience to race locally in the Lucas Oil Regional Off Road Series, Polvoorde’s future was practically decided . This eventually led to a deeper desire to race at the national level.
With the support of mom & dad and a new family activity, Polvoorde Racing was formally arranged. Years later, Christopher has climbed the ladder and broken through the professional ranks, earning a list of profound career accolades along the way.
These great racing accomplishments include claiming a Rookie Of The Year Award in 2014, the Championship in 2015, and Mod Kart World Champion in 2015 & 2016 just to name a few. This was no easy task, as Polvoorde was groomed from the very same class that produced off-road racing super stars like Sheldon Creed, Jerett Brooks, Brock Heger, and more. At the professional level, Christopher won Rookie Of The Year in 2017, and in 2019, he went on a roll. He swept the Lucas Oil Mid-West Short Course League, winning all seven races in the series, and then went onto victory in the Crandon Pro Lite World Championship.
Polvoorde has reaped a plentiful bounty of racing hardware, and Off Road Xtreme wanted to learn more about what motivates him and gain some insight into his racing career. We had such a good time sitting down with young Christopher, he has invited us back to do some real off-roading. ORX is excited to announce “Off Roading With Christopher Polvoorde” will be a recurring feature that will take us and the readers on numerous adventures.
ORX: Tell us about your race program and what has it taken to get to this point?
Christopher Polvoorde: My race program consists of a team with two race vehicles. For the past few years, I have been racing a Ford Ranger Prolite in short-course off-road racing. This year, however, I am adding a second vehicle to the fleet, a Spec Trophy Truck. I am extremely excited and I think it will be a huge test for the team. Getting to this point took years, hard work, and dedication. To properly run a race team nowadays, it is much more than just the racing. You must also be a marketing asset to the people you represent. It has been a huge learning curve, with its ups and downs and just running the race team in a successful manner. We set goals and then work towards them.
ORX: We are thrilled about the Great American Short Course series coming together. Tell us what you think about GAS?
CP: I am beyond excited about the new GAS Series. The short-course racing industry needed some change and the team behind GAS are just the people to do it. Dave Cole is a very successful and innovative man who has the proper mindset to grow short-course racing to a level it deserves. Short-course is a form of racing that is extremely unique and has so much potential, so I am excited to see where it goes and I plan on supporting it. I believe it is going to be important for both fans and race teams to support it in the first few years to get the ball rolling. So, to all the fans, come on out and support GAS at your nearest track, or by watching the live streaming coverage. We need YOU guys!
ORX: What drives you and how do you gain a competitive edge?
CP: Well, I’d say one of my largest driving forces when it comes to racing, is winning. Winning is something pretty hard to describe. You just can’t get anywhere else artificially. It’s a feeling that once you get, you just want more of it. Hard work and dedication is what is needed to gain that competitive edge. It is all about setting goals, putting your head down, and doing whatever it takes to achieve them. Another huge part of success is the people around you. It is so important to surround yourself with good people, whether it’s racing or just life. Without people who have that same desire to win, nothing will get achieved.
ORX: What is your most cherished memory since you started racing?
CP: Winning the 2019 Crandon World Championship after sweeping the 2019 series winning 7 out of 7 and then winning the World Championship Race making it 8 for 8.
ORX: That sounds incredible. Tell us how it made you feel.
CP: Winning the Crandon World Cup was a feeling that is hard to describe, it was truly something special. I still get the chills just talking about it right now. That year, my team and I put in huge amounts of time to get to the level we were running at, so it was amazing to see it all come together. Crossing that finish line was just an experience that I can’t really put into words. A large amount of my family was at the race, it was the 50th Anniversary of Crandon, there was a Kid Rock concert at the venue. Just a lot of buzz and energy happening. It was surreal to have all these little things coming together that made that win even more special then the rest. Also, the huge amount of pressure was released off my shoulders. I know this may sound bad, but being on a winning streak is extremely stressful. There are large expectations to keep it up and it really can get into your head. I hated running (like the exercise running) during those times and during that weekend, I ran a ton! I went on several long runs just to try to clear the head and burn off the stress.
ORX: What is your daily driver?
CP: 2016 Ford Transit Van. It is a pretty simple but extremely practical van. Most laugh at first sight, but once you experience the van life, you’re hooked. It has a quad van 4×4 conversion. Inside, I have built a bed and small cabinet/table. It is a great simple van that is ready for any adventure, whether it’s a spontaneous solo overnight getaway or a full day of shuttling mountain bikes across trails with buddies.
ORX: You have a lot of Ford vehicles. What is your favorite thing to drive?
CP: Well, that’s a tough one. I honestly love them all, and they each have their specific purpose. If I had to pick one though, it would be my 1967 Ford F-100 Prerunner. When you drive the F-100, you just get this ear-to-ear smile and tingly feeling inside. Floating over four-foot whoops at 100mph with the radio on is something special that not many vehicles can do. Also it was my first truck, so it has a special place in my heart.
ORX: As a racer, you get to drive off-road all over. Where do you prefer to go, and where will you drive it next?
CP: My favorite place to drive off-road is Baja. There is no other place like it. Between the people, the terrain, and the good vibes, nothing compares. One of the coolest things about Baja is the ability to see so many different types of terrain in one day. For example, you can start your day off with some breakfast burritos on the Pacific Side. Run down the beach, see some whales and then begin to work your way into the mountains. Once up in the mountains, you are driving through a pine tree forest with lakes around. Grab some tacos from a small village and make your way down onto the desert floor. From there, we are running at high speed across dry lake beds and dodging cactuses. We head south-southeast, cutting through the washes and leading out towards the beaches of the Sea of Cortez. Driving down the beach until you find a small town or village, grab some fresh fish tacos for dinner and call it a day. There isn’t really anywhere else in the world that you can experience something like that.
ORX: Besides off-road racing, what do you like to do?
CP: Besides racing, I am pretty much a junkie for anything that gives you an adrenaline rush. During the week, you usually find me out on my mountain bike after work. I do have a habit of getting hooked on every cool activity ever. You can also find me skiing in the mountains with my dad, rock-climbing with my buddies, wake-surfing on the weekends at the river, chasing powder on my snowmobile, or out off-roading with the family, just to name a few of my hobbies.
ORX: What are your long-term future goals?
CP: My future goals are just to continue working towards the top of off-road and see where that takes me. I would really love to be able to race a Pro 4 one day, and also an unlimited truck. Those are some goals that I have set, but I also have some wilder ones brewing up in my head that I hope to reach one day, too.
ORX: Beach or River?
CP: Definitely the river. While the beach is cool and all, the river is where all my friends and family hang, so that is what puts the river on top.
ORX: Desert or Mountains?
CP: Mountains. While I love the desert, and it has so many awesome things that I enjoy, I feel at home in the mountains. There is so much to do and so much to see. There is also snow in the mountains and I love the snow.
ORX: Anything else you want to share?
CP: I have a lot of exciting things happening behind the scenes that I am really excited for and I can not wait to share, so be sure to stay connected. Also, I wanted to do a quick plug for my Christopher Polvoorde YouTube channel where I have vlogs that get released regularly and tons of action-packed content, so go hit the subscribe button.
ORX: Anyone you want to recognize for their contributions and support to help you get this far?
CP: The biggest people I have to thank are my parents. I have been EXTREMELY fortunate to have such loving and supporting parents. They have been supporting me since day one and are still helping me to try and reach my goals. I put them through quite a lot out of the “norm,” so I really couldn’t be luckier to have them supporting me and being part of this wild ride we call life. Another huge part of my success has been my crew chief, Jimmy Davidson. He puts so much time and dedication into my program that it is hard to explain how grateful I am for what he does for me. I could go on all day thanking people that have helped me get to where I am today. My entire team, the sponsors, friends, family and the fans. There are so many different variables to running a business like a race team that it does truly take an army to be successful, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has ever been part of my program.
In this first edition of Off Roading With Christopher Polvoorde, we were able to introduce the man in the driver seat. For the next segment, we will dive into his short-course race program right before the first inaugural event of the new Great American Short Course series kicks off next month. GAS Rounds 1 & 2 will take place at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, California on April 10-11. We invite everyone in the area to come check it out or catch the action via the online live stream coverage.
Championships By Year, Series, and Class:
- 2020 Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series Pro Lite Runner Up
- Polvoorde with his 2019 Pro Lite Crew at Crandon
- 2019 Crandon Pro Lite World Champion
- 2019 Lucas Oil MidWest Short Course League Pro Lite Champion
- 2018 LOORRS 3rd in Pro Lite Championship with two 1st Place Finishes
- 2017 LOORRS Pro Lite Rookie of the Year
- 2016 LOORRS Mod Kart Challenge Cup Winner
- 2015 & 2016 Crandon Mod Kart World Champion
- 2015 LOORRS Mod Kart Champion
- 2014 LOORRS Mod Kart Rookie of the Year