The 2013 GNCC season started off with a bang! This is going to be a very competitive year of racing. I want to give a shout out to Josh Strang. A podium finish at River Ranch shows that he will be a contender for the championship again this year. It is great to see Josh back in his element again. Chilly
From KTM – Factory FMF/KTM Team riders Charlie Mullins and Kailub Russell finished 1st and 2nd respectively at the opening round of the GNCC Series at the Westgate River Ranch Resort.
The normally sandy and dusty course was greeted with rain during the morning race which helped improve the riding conditions dramatically for the start of the pro race. Both Mullins and Russell had a decent start and immediately worked their way into the top five.
Partway into the first lap Russell had moved into 3rd place while Mullins was one more position back in 4th. The two teammates would stay close throughout the 3-hour race continuously pushing each other to the front of the pack.
On the second lap, Mullins took over the lead while Russell began to pressure Paul Whibley to move into 2nd. The next lap Mullins continued to lead while Russell had moved into 2nd and was a bike length behind. For the remainder of the race, the two KTM teammates battled for the lead. With one lap to go it was Russell who was leading Mullins. When they got to the long straight of sand whoops Mullins was able to make a pass on his teammate and took over the lead. Russell remained close to Mullins all the way to the checkers but was unable to pass his teammate back. When the flag flew, it was Mullins who captured the first win of the season with Russell in tow to put both Factory FMF/KTM riders on the podium.
“It feels really good to get a win here,” commented Mullins. “My team and I have been working really hard during the off season and I already had a couple races this year where I finished well which helped my confidence heading to this race. I am very happy to leave the first round with the points lead.”
Russell was equally happy with his finish, stating, “The last two years I haven’t even finished this race so to get on the podium today almost feels like a win. I am glad to have 25 points heading into the next round.”
From Husaberg – Nick Fahringer finished 7th overall in the XC1 class at the opening round of the GNCC Series while Factory riders Mike Lafferty and Russell Bobbitt encountered problems that kept them from finishing the race.
Bobbitt launched off the line to a good start and was sitting in 2nd place as the riders went into the second corner. Unfortunately, Bobbitt got hit from behind coming out of that corner causing him to wreck in the corner. He recovered from the crash and returned back to the track to join the racing action.
Meanwhile, his teammate, Mike Lafferty, had moved from outside the top ten into the lead as the riders neared the end of the first lap. When they crossed the checkpoint, it was Lafferty who led the field while Fahringer was in 7th. On the second lap, Lafferty got stuck in a mud hole in a back section of the track which dropped him to 10th place. At the same time, Bobbitt had to withdrawal from the race after he suffered a mechanical issue.
Lafferty continued to push forward gaining time back on the top ten on the third lap of the race before he suffered a big crash after clipping a tree. Lafferty was shook up after the crash and decided to pull off and return to the pits. That left Fahringer as the sole Husaberg rider on the course.
Fahringer remained consistent and was able to hang on to 7th place throughout the remaining laps, eventually finishing 7th overall. “I am happy to get a top ten result today,” commented Fahringer. “I was hoping to finish inside the top five but I am happy to finish safely. I hope to race a few more GNCC’s this year and continue to improve upon my finishes.”
Team Shenandoah Honda/USWE-sports – The highly anticipated start of the GNCC season took place at the River Ranch Resort in Florida on Tuesday. Many riders have been getting them self prepared for the season by riding in Florida leading up to the event, so did Team Shenandoah Honda/USWE-sports.com’s rider Thad Duvall.
Lots of work was put in to pick the right Dunlop tire, the best WER suspension settings and in general preparing a solid bike that would with stand a grueling three hours whopped out track. Some rain before the event made the race dust free with some minor mud holes. After a mid pack start, Thad Duvall made steady progress resulting in a fifth place after two laps.
In a heavy battle with Josh Strang, Duvall was able to pass him for fourth. Shortly after this the Troy Lee Design supported rider had a hard get off, resulting in a brushed body, unable to really push hard to fight Whibley and Strang for third. First and second place Mullins and Russell were to far ahead in a battle by themselves. At the end of the day, Duvall finish in 5th place. A solid performance for the GNCC opener, something to build on for the second round in Georgia this Sunday.