Can-Am Finds Early Success in GNCC Series

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney
Bryan Buckhannon

With the first two rounds of the 2012 GNCC series in the books, Can-Am ATV and UTV racers are off to a roaring start.

Nobody does 4×4 ATV racing better than Can-Am and that’s showing as Can-Am X-Team racer Bryan Buckhannon dominated both 4×4 Open class races aboard his Outlander 800R, while Cliff Beasley also posted two consecutive class wins on the Renegade 800R 4×4. On the sport quad side of the coin, Team Motoworks / Can-Am DS 450 EFI racer Chris Bithell is third in the XC1 Pro class points after two rounds.

“Cliff and Bryan are as fast as ever and are already in the driver’s seat in their respective 4×4 classes,” says Jimmie O’Dell, race manager, Can-Am. “Even though there is plenty more racing left in the season, we’re content to have our riders positioned where they are after two rounds of Can-Am / GNCC racing. Bithell currently sits third in the XC1 class standings and I predict he’s about ready to show us what he’s made of as the series heads to some of his favorite tracks. I’m proud to see Kyle Chaney put the Commander side-by-side on the XC1 UTV Modified podium in Georgia in his first race with the Motoworks / Can-Am team.”

Round 1 – Florida

Chris Bithell

Bithell was at the back of the pack at the start of the XC1 Pro class in River Ranch, Fla., but quickly rode his DS 450 into the top five. By lap four, he took over the lead. Bithell fell to third on the final lap, but maintained that position to earn a spot on the XC1 class podium.

“It was really rough out there; brutal to be more exact, but the quad kept going,” says Bithell. “We have done a lot of training and put a lot of hard work into this and I think this is going to be a really good season.”

Buckhannon impressed aboard his new 2012 Outlander 800R EFI 4×4. Seeking to repeat as 4×4 Open class champion, Buckhannon overcame a mid-race mistake to win his class and earn the overall top spot on the morning podium. UXC Racing / Can-Am 4×4 Open class racer Michael Swift finished in third.

Cliff Beasley

Beasley, riding his UXC Racing / Can-Am Renegade 800 X xc, came out on top in the U2 class and also earned the final spot on the overall morning podium. Defending 4×4 Senior Class Champion and Can-Am X-Team racer Forrest Whorton started the 2012 season with a victory over fellow Can-Am X-Team racer Mike Penland. Can-Am X-Team competitor and Outlander 500 racer Kevin Trantham won 4×4 Lites class, leading from start to finish.

Round 2 – Georgia

Can-Am racers claimed four class wins and took second in the XC1 UTV Modified class at The General GNCC held in Washington, Ga.

In ATV action, Bithell got a mid-pack start in the XC1 Pro class, but soon rallied to join the racer leaders. At one point, the Motoworks / Can-Am racer moved into second overall. However, round two ran 20 minutes longer than the usual two-hour GNCC event and this caused a fuel shortage for Bithell. After taking on a splash of fuel for his ATV, Bithell charged ahead to retain a top-five finish in the XC1 class.

Beasley won the U2 class by more than a minute. Buckhannon, Trantham and Whorton also won their respective classes to post back-to-back wins to start the 2012 season. Buckhannon finished more than eight minutes better than second place in the 4×4 Open class. Trantham won the 4×4 Lites class and was second on the overall morning podium. Whorton notched the 4×4 Senior class win aboard his Outlander 800R.

Kyle Chaney

In the XC1 UTV Modified class, Motoworks / Can-Am Commander 1000 X racer Kyle Chaney was in the top three all day. On the final lap, Chaney made his move into second, but couldn’t overtake the leader. It was the team’s first Pro-level GNCC side-by-side podium.

Defending XC2 UTV Limited class champion Team Travalena (Can-Am X-Team) earned a hard-fought second-place finish in Georgia. Fellow Can-am X-Team competitor Mike Penland made his class debut in the Commander 1000 X and finished sixth in the class.

Lucas Cooney
Lucas Cooney

I have been working exclusively in digital media since 1997. I started out with, 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,,,,, and many more.

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