Can-Am Renegade 800R X xc ATV racer Bryan Buckhannon won the 4×4 Pro class and earned the top spot on the morning overall podium at round nine of the 2014 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country racing series. Can-Am amateur 4×4 racers also won three classes, as the 13-round national endurance series made its annual stop at Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Snowshoe, WV.
“I think it’s fair to say that Bryan Buckhannon has found his groove with the Can-Am Renegade 800R, earning back-to-back wins and three victories in the last four rounds. His outstanding performance at a challenging Snowshoe GNCC, which pushed him into the 4×4 Pro class points lead, gives him momentum heading into the two-month break,” says Jeff Leclerc, Racing Project Leader, Can-Am. “Can-Am 4×4 amateur class racers continue to outdistance their competition, as Tanner Bowles, Nick Eichelberger and Terry Whitesides all own the class points lead at the break.”
Can-Am Renegade 800R X xc racer Rob Smith won the U2 class and earned his first career 10 a.m. morning overall at round nine of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series in Snowshoe, W.Va. Fellow U2 class competitor and Renegade pilot Michael Swift joined Smith on the overall podium, 4×4 overall podium and U2 class podiums at the Snowshoe GNCC.
Can-Am ATV racers also won the other four 4×4 classes at round nine and Bryan Buckhannon extended his 4×4 Open class winning streak to nine races. At the first side-by-side event in the AMA Mid America Cross Country Championship Series, Can-Am Maverick 1000R X rs racer Matt Rowell won the UTV Modified class in Nashville, Ind.
“Can-Am ATV racers again dominated the morning session, winning all five 4×4 classes in spite of the wet, muddy and rugged conditions at the Snowshoe GNCC. Rob Smith and Michael Swift had a great battle for the top spot on the overall morning podium, the U2 class win and class points lead. We have several Can-Am racers who have good control of their class points lead heading into the GNCC summer break,” says Jimmie O’Dell, race manager, Can-Am. “Matt Rowell won his first race in the Maverick 1000R X rs in the MAXC series, proving the flagship Can-Am Maverick 1000R is truly a race-ready side-by-side.”
Coming into the historically tough Snowshoe GNCC in the mountains of West Virginia, Team UXC Racing’s Michael Swift prepared for the worst. His Can-Am Renegade X xc had been specially prepped to take on the long high-speed sections as well as the many rock gardens littering the lower sections of the course.
“We started into the dirt from the paved section third in our class and passing to first place before the two mile marker,” says Swift.
Swift was also able to catch and pass the open class riders before the five-mile mark on the first lap to try and pull away just a little. The plan was to pit early to insure enough fuel in case of any possible mishap that could prevent a pit late in the race. The second lap around was the scheduled pit and with a brief stop for fuel the second place rider in the U2 class was able to slip by. After getting back out in front of his class Swift made a line choice that narrowed too much for the Renegade to squeeze through. This kept the Team UXC racer behind his competition.
Adam McGill finished fifth in the XC1 Pro ATV class.
Team ITP racers won four classes and earned 10 total class podiums at round nine of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country series held in West Virginia. Dave Simmons, Brian Schmid, Mark Batson and Jordan Digby each won their class at a muddy Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Snowshoe, WV, while ITP Pro Adam McGill earned fifth in the XC1 Pro class.
“To come away with four class victories and 10 total podiums at a very rugged, muddy and difficult Snowshoe GNCC course is a nice accomplishment. Unfortunately, a few of our top riders had some issues at this round, but we’re pleased with our season so far going into the GNCC summer break,” says Pat McGuire, public relations / race support. “To have this many racers leading their class in points or owning the most class overall victories is rather impressive. We anxiously await the second portion of the GNCC in September as we make our final push for multiple championships.”
Modeled after the historic Blackwater 100, the Snowshoe GNCC features some of the roughest terrain on the 2013 schedule, offering racers rocks, tight woods, hills and, of course, mud. Heavy rain prior to the event and a downpour during the afternoon session only enhanced Snowshoe’s infamous reputation and made for slick, challenging conditions.
The Snowshoe GNCC is the most scenic (and toughest) race of the year. (Photo by Ken Hill)
Round 9 of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Snowshoe Mountain Resort this weekend for the toughest, most spectacular and most unique race on the whole circuit, the AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC. Four-time ATV champion Chris Borich leads the field into the final race before the summer break, but Saturday’s two-hour battle through the grueling woods of Snowshoe Mountain has the potential to shake things up in the XC1 class.
Set in the upscale ski village of West Virginia’s largest ski resort, this weekend’s Snowshoe GNCC promises to resurrect pieces of XC history with its live engine starts across the paved road located in the heart of Snowshoe’s village. The in town starts pay homage to the Blackwater 100-the original GNCC-where groups of five racers take off in five-second increments, making for a spectacular scene.
Yamaha Racing’s GNCC University will return this year at the Snowshoe Campus. Yamaha’s top off-road ATV and motorcycle racers will be on hand as instructors of this two-day riding school, beginning on Wednesday, June 26 just three days before the AMSOIL Snowshoe GNCC, Round 9 of the 2013 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series.
Led by Dean of motorcycles, seven-time AMA National Enduro Champion Randy Hawkins, this year’s Yamaha Racing bike instructors include five-time AMA National Hare Scramble Champion Jason Raines, reigning XC1 Champion Paul Whibley, XC1 rider Jordan Ashburn, XC2 riders Brad Bakken and Jedediah Haines, and Women’s class rider Becca Sheets.
Professor of ATVs, XC1 Pro Class rider Johnny Gallagher, will lead this year’s Yamaha Racing ATV instructors, including XC1 riders Walker Fowler, Jeff Pickens, Gabe Phillips and nine-time GNCC Women’s Class Champion Traci Cecco.
GBC Motorsport riders put together another strong day of ATV racing at what might be the most difficult stop on the GNCC Series – Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.
Bryan Buckhannon started things off by leading much of the morning race in both the 4×4 Open class and the overall position. A last lap issue would drop Bryan from the leader board; fortunately his fifth place finish combined with his six wins keep him firmly atop the points standings.
Forrest Whorton continued his domination of the 4×4 Senior class this season with his seventh win, as well as scoring a season high ninth overall. BNR’s Ryan Smith earned his second consecutive 4×4 Novice class win, and Scott Day put in his best race of 2012 with a second place in the U2 class good for fifth overall. Kylie Ahart is quickly proving to be a threat in the Pro Women’s class after moving up this season, and her third place finish this weekend marked her second podium appearance.
National Guard / Coastal / Bowers Motorcycle Supplies / Yokley Racing Team rider Jarrod McClure finished fourth overall and fourth in the XC1 Pro Class. There were 152 total entries including 16 XC1 Pro racers.
Yokley Racing Summary
One of the most interesting and unusual stops on the GNCC circuit is the Snowshoe. Taking place at the famed Snowshoe Resort in West Virginia, the race is known as one of the most difficult of the year. The racers as well as the fans love the amenities of the facility; great hotel accommodations, several restaurants, and ski lifts to transport you to different sections of the course.
The course goes up, down and around the main mountain. Steep hill climbs, many mud bog sections and lots of rocks make this a tough one just to finish. The start is on the main street right in front of the hotels featuring a Grand Prix style live engine start. Five ATVs per row are flagged off every few seconds, racing through the resort and then out into the mountain trails.
You’ll probably never get to drive a race car with Jeff Gordon or have Usain Bolt coach you for your local track & field meet, but you can get some lessons from nine-time GNCC champion Bill Ballance.
Yamaha Racing is presenting the 2012 GNCC University at the Snowshoe Mountain Resort from June 20-22, 2012. Scheduled just before the eighth round of the GNCC off-road racing series, the GNCC University will be led by the “Dean of ATVs,” Bill Ballance, and “Dean of Motorcycles,” Randy Hawkins. Tuition (including room and board) for the two-day school is $428 per student.
Ballance will lead the group of Yamaha Racing ATV instructors including Taylor Kiser, who is currently second in points in the GNCC’s XC1 pro class, 2011 XC2 champ Walker Fowler, eight-time GNCC Women’s Champion Traci Cecco and Johnny Gallagher, who is currently running 10th in the XC-1 class.
For the second time this year, ITP-mounted Adam McGill and Chris Bithell finished 1-2 in a Grand National Cross Country Series event. The Foremost Insurance/Warnert Can-Am teammates topped the Snowshoe GNCC, round eight of the 2011 series at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, some 4,800 feet high in the hills of West Virginia.
It was a big payday for McGill, as the Snowshoe GNCC rewards the winner an eye-popping $5,000 (the largest purse on the circuit). The win also moved McGill into close contention for the series championship with five events remaining on the 2011 schedule. Bithell holds third in the XC1 Pro class standings.
The key moment in the wet and sloppy race came on the last lap when McGill turned risk into reward by blasting directly through one of the many challenging mudholes while leader Bithell chose a more conservative route. McGill kept his momentum from there and finished the four-lap, two-hour race just 14 seconds ahead of Bithell. Both riders chose ITP’s Holeshot GNCC tires for the front of their Can-Am DS 450s, and ITP’s QuadCross XC tires for the rear.