Never Done: Fox’s Racing Applications Development Program

It is always great to see the shiny new parts released by manufacturers, but a lot that goes on behind the scenes that aren't always shown. Fox is one company that has been at the forefront of OEM and aftermarket shock development while going as far as creating its own development program.

In 2019, under the leadership of John Marking and Bobby Smith, the Fox Factory Motorsports Group was formed, and the Racing Applications Development (RAD) program was reestablished. Products, components, and technologies that successfully complete the RAD cycle often find their way into FOX Aftermarket and OEM vehicle product lines.

Justin Lofton's no. 41 Trick Truck proved the importance of the technology winning a premier off-road race.

The first RAD product focus for the new group was determined – TT Live Valve. A platform vehicle was acquired for initial development, and the Motorsports team worked directly with the Advance Development Group (ADG) and Powered Vehicle Group (PVG) engineers to establish the foundation of TT Live Valve.

TT Live Valve was designed and further developed within the Motorsports Group in collaboration with Fox racers Rob MacCachren, Cameron Steele, and Justin Lofton. In October of 2020, in only its second race, TT Live Valve took its first win with Lofton in his no. 41 Fox Trick Truck nicknamed Fury, solidifying the technology with a premier class win in off-road racing.

That win only marked the beginning for TT Live Valve, which is slated for further RAD development. The data and knowledge gained in the process of this project is also shared with the ADG team as both groups work in parallel and collaboration on the next iterations of suspension technology.

In the words of founder Bob Fox, “we’re never done.”

The RAD program is key to the evolution of the Fox products as well as increasing the overall performance. At its core, the RAD program revolves around these key missions:

  • Innovation of performance-defining products and technologies in the spirit of competition.
  • Testing our products and technologies through our racers’ rigorous abuse in extreme environments and conditions.
  • Refining and perfecting our products and technologies by exceeding the specifications required by our racers.
  • Proving the viability and solidifying the superiority of our products and technologies through race-winning results.

“The RAD program is the core principle FOX was built on,” FOX Director of Motorsports Bobby Smith said. “RAD is critical for the racing industry because in racing nothing ever stays the same. You’re either driving progress or playing catch up; adapt or get left behind.

“FOX chooses to push progress through our RAD program. Our non-racing end users benefit from this significantly as we are able to test and refine technologies in an extreme environment and offer them a high-performance product.”

The RAD team listens to the feedback from Justin Lofton allowing to make adjustments from real world testing.

This behind-the-scenes look is just one way Fox is improving the products they put into the market space, but also helps elevate the sport of off-road racing to new levels. For more information on the RAD program or Fox's products, be sure to visit their website.