PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Woods racers in the eastern United States still have several opportunities to collect championship points as the AMA East Harescrambles Championship Series kicks off the second half of its season with rounds in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Illinois.
“Harescrambles are one of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing, and for good reason,” said AMA Off-Road Manager Chuck Weir. “What could be more fun than racing your dirt bike through the woods?
“The AMA East Harescrambles Championship Series is an opportunity for racers to go up against the best for the chance to win an AMA No. 1 plate, and they won’t want to miss the next four rounds, which will provide some of this year’s best racing and most challenging terrain,” Weir said.
Round four of the AMA East Harescrambles Championship Series is this weekend, Aug. 2-3, in Catwissa, Pa. The event is promoted by the High Mountain Dirt Riders. Information is at www.hmdr.org.
“We call this a true old-school, grassroots harescrambles race,” said the club’s Mike Soudas. “The property is private and it’s only available for this event, so it’s a real unique opportunity to ride some nice, virgin trail. There are some elevation changes and a good mix of dirt, rocks and roots, but no really big climbs. This isn’t a grand-prix style course. It’s 90 percent woods with a small grass track thrown in. It will be a real good time.”
Round five is Aug. 16-17 in Athens, Ohio, and is promoted by the Athens Motorcycle Club. For information, see www.athensmotorcycleclub.com.
“We’re going to run ATVs on Saturday with youth, mini and regular ATV classes on a designated ATV course,” said the Athens Motorcycle Club’s Kevin Brown. “Then on Saturday on another piece of the property, we’ll have the motorcycle classes on a 7- to 8-mile course for the big bikes and shorter courses for the minibikes and youth classes. There will be some open stuff, but most of it is enduro trail, so there will be some tight sections. It’s a pretty big variety, really, with some awesome creek crossings and some real spectator-friendly areas.”
The sixth round is Sept. 27-28 in Bartow, Fla. The Central Florida Trail Riders will promote this round, and the event is a co-sanctioned round of the club’s annual harescrambles series. Get more information and enter online at www.cftriders.com.
“Riders can expect a big, fun crowd as we can have up to 700 riders,” said the club’s Keith Finnerty. “We’ve been working on the trail since early July and the club is putting a lot of work into this event. We’ll have separate courses for Saturday class trail (7-8 miles), Sunday class trail (10-11 miles), PeeWees (almost a mile) and ATV trail (8-9 miles). There’s not much sand on this property. All new trail is being carved out of an old mining property. It’s not your typical Florida terrain. There’s about 17,000 acres at this location, and we’ll use about 4,000 acres of it. Expect to see plenty of woods, grand-prix style fields, and some obstacles. The PeeWee course is open for riding during daylight when there is no PeeWee race on the course and always while under adult supervision.”
The seventh and final round is Oct. 12 in Plainview, Ill. WFO Promotions is holding the event. See www.wfopromotions.com for more.
“We run a pretty long course here,” said WFO Promotions’ Ron Whipple. “Last year, we had about a 13-mile course, so don’t expect much lapping. It’s mostly singletrack, fairly tight with hills, creek crossings and a lot of good spectator points. We’ll have a separate 50cc track where the little bikes can ride all day after they’re done racing. It’s all privately owned and doesn’t get ridden on except for these events. Folks are welcome to come down, get their registration done on Saturday and camp.”
Harescrambles are conducted on long, marked-loop courses through woods or desert and over rugged natural terrain. Events feature a designated number of laps or time limit, typically two to three hours. Competitive riders not only need to be fast, but also physically fit enough to maintain a race pace for hours.
For results of rounds one through three, and for additional series information, see http://americanmotorcyclist.com/asp/raceresults/typeindex.asp?year=2014&s=43.