Trucks at Work

Rev yer engines!

OK, so it’s more than a little ironic to be flacking a cable television program that broadcasts a fuel-guzzling “action sports driving” competition at a time when diesel and gasoline prices are again headed for the stratosphere.

But oh MY! Though it doesn’t involve big rigs, the new “Octane Academy” program – which premiers today on the “Fuel TV” channel – sure does offer some wild and crazy driving experiences.

“Octane Academy” is a 13-episode series funded (and founded) by Ford Motor Co. and hosted by Olympic snowboarder and TV announcer Todd Richards. In essence, the program is a “fantasy camp” of sorts for 32 amateur stunt drivers selected from a pool of 8,700 who submitted applications to be part of the show.

Four world-class stunt drivers – Brian Deegan, Ken Block (who has graced this space before), Tanner Foust and Vaughn Gittin Jr. – each host a team of eight amateur contestants and put them through a grueling series of on- and off-road challenges not only to test their technical skills, but also determine if they have the audacity and perseverance to be a successful action sports driver.

The final challenge at each compound ends in a grueling fast track competition, determining the four champions to compete for the ultimate title in the season finale.

[If you’ve got some free time, you can watch the full 22-plus minute “Octane Academy” pilot episode below.]

The premiere episode kicks off in Temecula, California with Ford Rally Cross and Off-Road truck racer Deegan, putting contestants through challenges such as attempting to flip a mini bike, navigating a paintball obstacle course, and driving Deegan’s Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.

[A lot of this reminds me of the madness inherent in Rally Car racing, I must say.]

Obviously, from the list of events above, not all the “Octane Academy” events involve pushing transmissions and engines to their limits – physical fitness is required. That’s typical for many of Fuel TV’s programs by the way. Just check out the “Shred Bus” episode from the “Built To Shred” program.

[I can tell you right now; you ain’t getting ME to try this stuff!]

Again, sure, “Octane Academy” sure doesn’t reflect these ever-more fuel-conscious times. But it’s sure fun to watch!

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