After a few weeks of unpredictable weather and an emergency reschedule we were finally racing! Round 3 of the AMA/Flexx Bars Western Checkpoint Enduro Championship would mark the first trip up north into District 36 territory. Which would mean LOTS of water and even more trees! On hand were the top racers in the local district and they were all ready to do battle. The weather was near perfect with highs in the mid 80’s, a good amount of water still on the ground and the river was just deep enough to give everyone a good dousing.
First of the line however would be District 37’s Kel Postel riding his first ever National Restart Format Enduro, his first ever District 36 Enduro and one of his first times riding in trees like this. “I really had no idea what to expect!” exclaimed Kel “I had no one to pace off of so I had no idea how fast I was supposed to go through the trees.”
Dick’s Racing’s Jordan Brandt would be the first local AA rider off on minute 5 and he would post some excellent times through the first few special tests. Hot on his tail however would be 2011’s runner up Nolan Irwin aboard his Mach 1 backed YZ 250 and NV2 Suspensions Mason Harrison all dropping only 1 point in the first special. This would set the tone for the entire day as the 3 racers would stay neck and neck through almost every test.
With only a handful of the D37 riders being able to make the trek up north after the reschedule it was up to the faithful few to represent. BTO Powersport’s Kevin Murphy would bring out his brand new 2012 KTM 500 to bash through some trees and would put in a great showing finishing 10th overall and 3rd Vet A. 250 A competitors Postel and Erek Kudla aboard their steadfast KTM XC’s would go back and forth all day finishing 21st and 22nd overall and rounding out the top 25 would be United MC’s Tomas Baxter.
All the way through the day the top 3 would be separated by mere seconds. Brandt would take the 3nd special by 4 seconds over Irwin and then Irwin would take the 4th special by 7 seconds over Brandt; even after looping his bike up a steep rutted hill! It would all come down to the 5th Special Test. This would be the tightest trail of the day with many sections riders would barely be able to walk through. Brandt was even heard stating “oh no, this is the special that lost me the race last year…” just before he was off. On the other end of the test, bruised and scratched from limbs Brant would come through with the fastest time of the day only dropping 4 minutes and some change. Irwin would fall just short of the win dropping 5 minutes but still was very upbeat. “Hey, atleast I’m not at work…” Irwin said at the finish.
The final special test of the day would have riders blasting across close to 20 knee deep river crossings. While some may think of this as torture others saw it as the perfect way to end the day. It was akin to working the longest, toughest shift of your life then coming home and diving straight into a swimming pool. At the finish, Harrison would round out the podium taking 3rd overall followed by Kenny Pedersen taking the 250 A victory followed by Jonothan Estes in 5th.
In the West Chec Series James Ptarcinski would keep and extend his Overall lead with a solid 6th overall finish and Pedersen would take over 2nd Overall with his finish over Estes. Pedersen would also more then extend his grasp on the 250 A title and is in solid standing in the championship running so far!