ITP Racing Review: 2011 GNCC Season
After thousands of laps at 13 different locations in the eastern U.S., the 2011 Grand National Cross Country Series came to a thrilling — albeit delayed — conclusion at Loretta Lynn’s in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. This location was originally to be round five, but diabolical weather forced a rare postponement and shift to the end of the schedule. Final celebrations may have been late in coming, but in the end there were a number of ITP riders heading for happy holidays.
Foremost Insurance/Warnert Can-Am teammates Adam McGill and Chris Bithell were consistent frontrunners all season in the premier XC1 Pro class. Implementing ITP Holeshot GNCC and QuadCross XC tires, McGill won two events and stepped onto the podium eight other times to claim an excellent second overall for the year. Bithell appeared in the top three a total of six times to finish a close fourth in the final standings.
In the highly competitive XC2 Pro Am division, Patrick McGuire showed he is one to watch by staking claim to fifth in 2011 points. He stepped onto the podium at three events.
Angel Atwell had the Women’s class title in her sights and was the winner at the Loretta’s — as well as two other rounds — but when the points were calculated (the best nine of 13 count in the Amateur classes), she came up just shy of her second championship. Foremost Insurance/Warnert Can-Am’s Lexie Coulter barely missed the top three in the series, despite winning two rounds and appearing on the podium a total of six times.
The side-by-side UTV classes are growing rapidly in the GNCC series, and in the popular Open Modified class, the Foremost Insurance/Warnert Can-Am team was a respectable fourth in the final standings. ITP’s TerraCross R/T XD tires were the choice for their Commander.
An inspiring highlight for ITP in 2011 was the performance of Masters 50+ competitor Dave Simmons. Don’t let that age fool you, because Simmons was often the overall morning race winner, and ended up earning National number 201 for 2012 — the highest honor for morning entrants (in which hundreds participate). Simmons won all but one 50+ event to score a perfect 180 points in the series.
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