2011 GBC Motorsports Heartland Challenge Report

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney

The 4th Annual Heartland Challenge presented by GBC Motorsports took Carlisle, Iowa by storm this year. Great weather and great track conditions made this year’s event a fun and exciting weekend full of racing for all in attendance.

Andy Kyner and his IATVHSS (Iowa ATV Hare Scramble Series) team did a fantastic job with all aspects of the event, receiving rave reviews from riders and spectators alike. The course itself offered up a variety of terrain, including tight technical sections with frequent elevation changes, long and fast straight-aways through the heartland’s farm fields, and motocross-style whoops and jumps. The “Heartland Challenge” section is of course the defining feature of this event, in which competitors must negotiate a variety of obstacles.

GBC Motorsports was out in full force for the event, with its full line of ATV and UTV products on display. GBC showcased its new Kanati truck tire throughout the weekend. There was an impressive roster on vendor’s row, including PIAA lighting, which provided an array of products to help with the nighttime portion of the event, as well as C&D ATV.

The first event of the weekend was Friday night’s UTV challenge. The four-hour endurance race saw Team Elias narrowly beat out Team Coastal/Yokely Racing, with Team Extreme rounding out the podium. The Open UTV class podium was comprised of Team Coastal/Yokely Racing, Team Extreme and Team Donkey. The 850 Mod class saw overall winners Team Elias on top, followed by Team Galloping Zebra and Team LM1. Team I Love Hooters, Team D&S Racing and Team A-Team were the top three finishers in the 850 limited class.

Proving once again that endurance racing is not just for adults, Saturday morning’s three-hour youth challenge gave teams of young riders the opportunity to compete on much of the same terrain as their older and more experienced counterparts. When the checkered flag flew it was Team Dirtworks taking the overall win, with Team NA in second and Team Extreme in third.

Later on Saturday, 54 teams finished their preparations and lined up for a Le Mans style start, in which riders dashed 20 yards before firing up their quads and heading out on the course. After 10 hours of racing, defending champions Team Ballance Racing Yamaha (Kiser, Fowler and Brown) once again claimed the $6,000 top prize, putting on an impressive display of riding in the process. Team Woodhead (Wolf, Ockerman and Henthorn) finished second overall for the second consecutive year while Team Sweet Home Alabama (Pickens, Gallagher and Cecco) rounded out the podium in third.

“We had a lot of fun and we are happy with our finish,” says Pickens. “The tires worked awesome and we will be back next year to win this thing on GBCs.”

Ironman Class winner and GBC support rider Forrest Whorton was the talk of the race after taking first place with an incredible display of endurance on a brutally rough circuit.

“I have a lot of respect for Forrest Whorton,” says GBC sales representative Kory Ellis. “He has a lot of heart and we are proud to sponsor him.”

GBC Motorsports is already working closely with the IATVHSS crew on some ideas for 2012, with plans to make the event bigger and better than ever. Stay tuned to www.heartlandchallenge.com for updates along the way.

Lucas Cooney
Lucas Cooney

I have been working exclusively in digital media since 1997. I started out with TSN.ca, spending nearly nine years creating and editing content on Canada's leading sports website. I left to join VerticalScope, Inc., one of the world's largest online publishers, to start a number of powersports publications. While at VerticalScope, I've helped create and oversee content for a wide variety of different publications, including ATV.com, Off-Road.com, ArcheryTalk.com, Tractor.com, RVGuide.com, and many more.

More by Lucas Cooney