Yamaha Concludes 2023 Racing Season With Multiple Championships
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA has concluded its 2023 off-road racing season, a year marked by numerous championship victories and philanthropic activities. The company's racing team, known as bLU cRU, dominated various national series, showcasing the capabilities of Yamaha's off-road vehicles. Alongside racing successes, Yamaha also made significant contributions to breast cancer research and local schools.
In the King of the Hammers event, Kyle Anderson secured the Pro Stock N/A UTV championship, driving a Yamaha Wolverine RMAX2 1000 Sport. He was the only UTV in his class to complete two laps, earning a $5,000 bLU cRU bonus. In the Mid America Outdoors series, Owen VanEperen won the Pro Stock N/A championship in a Yamaha YXZ1000R SS. His father, Rodney VanEperen, finished third in the Championship Off-Road Tour’s Pro Turbo class.
In the ongoing Great American Short Course Series, bLU cRU racer Chad Williams is currently in third place overall. The series offers bonuses of $5,000, $1,500, and $1,000 for the top three finishers. In the AMA ATV Motocross series, Yamaha racers swept the podium, with Joel Hetrick winning his fourth overall championship. Hetrick, along with Bryce Ford and Chad Wienen, also represented Team USA in the Quadcross of Nations in Italy, securing the U.S.'s fifth consecutive championship.
In the ATV MX Pro-Am class, Mason Jackson captured the championship, earning a $2,500 bLU cRU bonus. Additional Yamaha racers also finished in the top five, securing the remaining bLU cRU Pro-Am bonuses. In the Grand National Cross Country series, Brycen Neal defended his XC1 Pro – ATV championship, followed by Walker Fowler and Hunter Hart. Jessica Elioff won her first WXC – ATV championship, and Steve Harrell clinched the XC2 Pro-Am ATV class championship.
Yamaha's philanthropic efforts were evident in their support for the GNCC’s annual "Race for the Cure" initiative. The company raised over $4,200 for the Montgomery County Community Foundation (MCCF) to fund local breast cancer care and research. Yamaha committed $50 for each class win and an additional $50 for each 2023 Yamaha championship.
Further charitable activities included the donation of balance bikes to local kindergarten schools in Crawfordsville, Indiana. The bikes, valued at $27,000, were built by Yamaha bLU cRU racers and donated as part of the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative program, aimed at encouraging outdoor activities among students.
To honor the achievements of its 2023 pro-class bLU cRU champions, Yamaha will hold a Wall of Champions induction ceremony in December. The event will take place at Yamaha’s motorsports headquarters in Marietta, Georgia, where custom plaques commemorating the racers' achievements will be displayed.
In summary, Yamaha's 2023 off-road racing season was not only successful in terms of championships but also impactful in terms of community contributions. The company's commitment to excellence in racing was matched by its dedication to making a meaningful difference in the communities it serves.
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