Special Achievement – Organization
In 1975, Ed Robinson was part of a dune buggy club in northern California’s Sacramento valley that had no off-road events on their calendar. That same year, he stepped forward to promote off-road races, founding Valley Off-Road Racing Association, better known as VORRA.
With the help of a local motocross promoter, Ed put together the first year of short course races at venues in Dixon and Plymouth, California. After the first year, Ed went out on his own as the sole proprietor running VORRA.
Ed continued to open new venues in northern California each year, including short course races at Marysville, Baylands Raceway Park in Fremont, Hollister Hills, Placerville Speedway and Prairie City in Sacramento. Desert racing became part of the schedule in VORRA’s second year, with the first event near the tiny town of Weeks in the neighboring state of Nevada. Ed continued to expand VORRA’s desert racing program in Nevada, adding races in Yerington, Reno, Dayton, Fernley, Fallon, Lovelock, Hawthorne, and the historic Comstock in Virginia City.
VORRA helped boost the racing careers of many racers, including Sherman Balch, who went on to race with Factory Nissan; Sam Berri, a successful Best in the Desert class 1500 racer; Kevin Kroyer, of Kroyer Racing Engines; and the Moss Brothers, Don and Ken. The iconic Moss Brothers’ Bronco went on to become one of the winningest vehicles in SCORE racing history, with more than 30 wins between 2002-08.
Ed founded VORRA for the working man. Race weekends were set up so that the racers could maintain their Monday through Friday jobs and not miss any days of work. The big summer 3-day weekends, Memorial Day and Labor Day, were always VORRA desert race weekends.
A working man himself, Ed ran VORRA while maintaining a 40-plus hour per week career in construction, along with raising his son Troy and daughter Trisha, with his wife Jenny.
Under Ed’s direction, VORRA races were always on time and well organized. The entry fees were kept as low as possible, so the average person could afford to race. VORRA was founded on the concept of the Sportsman racer and continues to offer a Sportsman class for new drivers.
Ed ran VORRA for 25 years. He sold the race series in 2000. After retiring from both his work career and VORRA, Ed spent the next few years volunteering occasionally with VORRA, as well as with SCORE, Best in the Desert, and SNORE, doing recovery and operations. Slowing down the past few years due to health
reasons, Ed and Jenny still attend races as their travels permit.
In 2018, VORRA entered its 43rd year, with its 5th owner, still with the primary goal of providing the every day working man with a fun and safe environment to enjoy the thrill of off-road competition.
Photo: Ed Robinson in 2018.
Edit: VORRA’s 5th owner, Ultra4 Racing’s Dave Cole, gifted VORRA back to the Robinson family at the 2018 Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction & Awards Ceremony. Ed’s son Troy, friends and family, are looking forward to bringing VORRA back for the every man (and woman) racer.
Contributor: Troy Robinson