Can-Am rider takes title after team truck catches fire
Team Motoworks / Can-Am DS 450 EFI ATV racer Chad Wienen is the inaugural Pro-class World MX Racing Champion after the final weekend of racing for the series. This after the Team Motoworks / Can-Am semi-truck carrying Wienen’s race ATV and all the team’s equipment caught fire on the way to the Anza, Calif. track a day before the final two rounds were set to start. After working all night Friday to prep another DS 450, the race team was ready to battle hard for the championship.
“I arrived at the scene minutes after the fire was extinguished. What I saw was devastating; thank the Lord no one was injured. To see the Motoworks team rally together like they did and overcome all the adversity thrown at them this weekend was impressive,” says Jimmie O’Dell, racing manager for Can-Am ATVs at BRP. “This type of perseverance is of what championship teams are made. Congratulations to Chad and the entire Motoworks organization on their championship win.”
“It was pretty nerve-wracking with the rig catching on fire and the bikes getting destroyed,” says Wienen. “I think the worst part of it was for the crew because they put so much work into everything they do. They felt really prepared going into this last round and to have something like this happen was really heartbreaking for everyone. But my mechanic Ryan Cox and the rest of the team are the best and they came through and worked almost all night to make sure that I would be able to race; I really have to thank those guys for all their hard work.”
The racers battled the rain and mud during the course of the doubleheader weekend. In the first moto during Saturday’s Round 7 action at Cahuilla Creek MX Park, Wienen would have to settle for second overall in the tough conditions. Going into Sunday’s Round 8, Wienen knew he just had to finish the motos to claim the Pro-class championship. In the first moto he was battling for the lead when a coolant line came loose, forcing him to back off a bit and finish third. The second moto saw Wienen quickly pass for the lead where he would stay until the checkered flag.
“It felt really good to go out and take a championship for Can-Am, especially it being my first year with the team,” says Wienen. Now that this series is over, we are going to focus on testing and getting the bikes fine tuned and also training so that we are ready for Nationals in March.”
Wienen’s Pro-class teammate, Jeremie Warnia, was absent for the final two rounds as he was in France racing a Motoworks-prepped DS 450 in the famous Le Touquet Beach Race on the English Channel. Warnia raced to the win during the three-hour race, beating second place by almost four minutes.