Any hill climb presents its own unique challenges. Trying to make it up a muddy hill climb is asking for trouble. This guy charged hard, but in the end the the hill prevailed.
Husaberg Factory rider Graham Jarvis travelled from the United Kingdom to Alberta, Canada, for one of the countries toughest offroad races, known as Xtinction. His visit was well worth his time as he was able to take the victory in the 2-hour endurance race. His U.S. based teammate, Nick Fahringer, finished 4th overall for the day.
Rain the night before the race made the track slick for the first laps of the qualifier but did not affect the 2-hour main event. The qualifier was won by FMF/KTM Factory rider Mike Brown with Jarvis finishing 2nd and Fahringer 3rd. The track dried up rather quickly and the main was slightly dusty with warm temperatures.
In the main event, it was Brown with the holeshot in a run to your bike start with Fahringer in 2nd and Jarvis in 3rd. Brown blew a corner in the opening track section which left the door open and allowed Fahringer to make a pass for the lead. Fahringer led for several minutes until reaching the top of a large hill climb where the course markings were hard to read.
“Unfortunately, when I lost sight of the trail markers some spectators flagged me on in the wrong direction. That mistake cost me the lead and several positions,” remarked Fahringer.
When Fahringer lost his way, Jarvis capitalized on the mistake and took over the lead position. Fahringer fought hard and climbed back up to 2nd place ahead of Brown before making a mistake in a technical section and allowing Brown to pass back on another hill climb. It looked as if Fahringer would hang on to 3rd, but unfortunately he stalled on an off-camber ledge and slid off the trail. This allowed Kyle Redmond to move into 3rd place.
After 2-hours and one final lap, Jarvis crossed the checkers in 1st place to take the Xtinction win. Jarvis adds this victory to his long list of overall wins in 2011 including Hell’s Gate and the Tough One. Brown finished 2nd, Redmond took home 3rd and Fahringer rode back to an impressive 4th place.
Racing Pikes Peak is not something to be taken lightly. The utterly unforgiving nature of the road is clear to anyone who has driven it. In lieu of gravel traps, dense trees and sheer drop-offs line the course. It is not a race where you can push past the limit.
After a grueling 1300mi road trip from Crandon, WI from the Traxxas TORC Series and all-night prep job on the #44 AMSOIL Nissan Pro-Light, the brothers made it to tech inspection. A milestone in itself, tech inspection marks the beginning of three days of practice and Fan Fest, all of which culminate into race day on Sunday.
While Brad was returning for his second year, this was Roger’s rookie year on the peak. Sporting his familiar #4432 AMSOIL Ultra 4, Roger joined a class of six rock racers. Practice went well for the team as they tuned the trucks and worked through mechanical gremlins.
As the sun rose Sunday morning, the largest field in recent history lined up to battle the mountain. Roger took the green flag two vehicles ahead of Brad. Unfortunately, fate was not kind and several miles into the lower section, he missed an apex and experienced a disastrous roll. While the vehicle is likely a total loss, Roger walked away with only bumps and bruises. “It was a terrible feeling watching the safety trucks race up the road after my brother,” recalls Brad, “After a while I got word that he was alright but it left me with a lot to think about as I waited for my chance at the hill.”
Check out Brad’s run:
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Brad regained his focus and raced past the battered vehicle. Precision was key as the Nissan roared up the hill. Brad took the checkers with a time of 12:33 (2nd in Pikes Peak Open) which is nearly 45 seconds faster than his rookie attempt. “I was really pleased with my performance but it was a long day at 14,000 ft wondering about my brother. Our team, family, and friends did a tremendous job getting me from the podium at Crandon to the podium on Pikes Peak. I’m proud to get a strong finish for AMSOIL, BFG, Nissan, and all our sponsors.”
Check out Roger’s run:
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More footage of Roger’s crash:
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While #4432 might need a breather, both Brad and Roger will strive on in their 2011 campaign. Up next for the pair is the American Rocksports Challenge at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, UT July 14th – 16th. Only a week later, Brad will return to TORC short course racing at the legendary Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.
The XC1 rookie put his GT Thunder-backed Honda ahead of Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Chris Borich and Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing Can-Am’s Adam McGill at the end of the four-lap race, taking the checkered flag in a virtual downpour as a driving rainstorm moved overhead at the three-lap mark, turning the red Indiana farmland into slime.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Wolf. “I couldn’t believe things panned out like they did. I was just hoping to get on the box but I ended up in the middle of it.”
Jeffrey Pickens grabbed the holeshot to start the race and the $250 Motosport.com Holeshot Award that goes along with it. Meanwhile, Wolf was fourth behind Honda-mounted Jarrod McClure, McGill and Ballance Racing Yamaha’s Bill Ballance when the lead pack hit the woods for the first time.
“I snuck by Ballance in one of the fields,” said Wolf. “I sat behind McGill for about a half a lap and then he made a little mistake on a hill climb. Then I sat behind McClure for two laps and he made a mistake and I got around him. I never looked back after that.”
Borich, the series points leader, was behind the lead group after the start and he his work cut out for him when the rains came.
“I was sitting back in fifth or sixth after the start, just taking my time, but it was pretty hard to pass out there,” said Borich. “Every time I would get to the front I would get hung up or hit a little bottleneck and drop back.”
Borich finally worked his way into second just before the final lap, but by that time Wolf had built too much of a lead to for Borich to overcome in one lap. At the finish, Wolf took the win with 28 seconds to spare over the defending champ.
Rounding out the podium was McGill, who maintains second in the series points standings with the finish.
“This track went from being really good to really bad in a heartbeat, it was gnarly,” said McGill. “We pitted early and that worked out for us. When the rain came, I thought, “you’ve got to me kidding me. Mile-marker six was really bad and I thanks to all the folks who helped me out down there. It was crazy”
Taylor Kiser finished the mud-fest in fourth, moving the Ballance Racing Yamaha rider into a two-way tie with Chris Bithell for third overall in the series points. Meanwhile, local Honda rider Ryan Lane turned in a fantastic ride to finish fifth.
Donnie Ockerman put his JET Suspension Honda into sixth at the finish, beating out Ballance and FRE Racing KTM’s Bryan Cook, while GT Thunder rider Kevin Yoho and Foremost Insurance/Warnert Racing Can-Am rider Chris Bithell rounded out the top 10.
In the XC2 class, Walker Fowler extended his win streak to five, as the Ballance Racing Yamaha rider turned in another impressive ride after grabbing the $100Motosport.com Holeshot Award to start the race. The only flaw in Fowler’s race was when he got some barbed wire caught up in his bike. But he was soon on his way again, finishing the race with two minutes and forty seconds to spare over Greg’s ATV & Cycle Yamaha rider’s Patrick McGuire. The finish was McGuire’s best of the year and it bumped him from sixth to fourth in the XC2 standings.
Another Greg’s ATV & Cycle Yamaha rider, Gabe Phillips, finished third, edging out Honda-mounted Parker Jones for the spot.
Fifth through seventh positions went to Aarol Bright (KTM), Dustin Canipe (Hon), and Matt Pierce (Yam). Meanwhile, Honda rider Eric Hoyland finished ninth ahead of KTM riders Joshua Beavers and Richie Brown.
Kolton Burd was the top finishing “non-Pro” rider, winning the College A (16-21) class with a 21st overall finish.
In the A.M. race, Michael Swift (CAN) won the $100 GT Thunder Amateur Overall and topped the 4×4 Open class as well. Clifton Beasley (CAN) was second overall and first U2 rider, while Traci Cecco (Yam) won the Women’s division with a third overall finish.
Daryl Rath (POL) and Josh Day (CAN) rounded out the 4×4 Open podium. Meanwhile, Scott Day (CAN) and Jordan Phillips (CAN) were second and third respectively in the U2 division.
Travis Mader (Yam) topped John Rowling (Suz) and Justin Finley (Hon) to win the Sportsman A class.
Hunter Hart (Cob) got back on the winning track after finishing second at the Big Buck, taking the overall victory in the Youth race. Hart also won the 90 Open (8-11) division.
Second overall and first in the 90 Modified (12-15) went to Charlie Welch (DRR), with Alyssa Oplinger (Yam) taking third overall and winning the Girls (8-15) class.
The 90 Limited (11-15) class was won by Thomas Owen (APX), with Tyler Weltich (APX) and Brendan Golding (KYM) finishing second and third.
The UTVs took to a muddy track after the afternoon race, with Team NC Powersports (CAN) taking the overall victory, in addition to the win in the Open Modified class. Team Costal/National Guard (POL) finished second overall and second in Open Modified, with Team Hendershot (POL) finishing third in both the overall and Open Modified divisions.
The Open Limited class saw a Can-Am sweep of the podium with Team Travalena finishing first ahead of Team Held and ATV Parts Plus Stafford Racing.
John Trackside won the Single Seat class, beating fellow Honda riders Guy Trackside and Michael Doolittle.
In the Lites race, Team Faith (Yam) beat Team RMS Racing (Kaw).
The 2011 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series heads to Patton, Pennsylvania for the Rock Run GNCC on May 28 & 29. ATV racing will take place on Saturday, followed by bike racing on Sunday. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.
1. Brian Wolf (Hon)
2. Chris Borich (Suz)
3. Adam McGill (CAN)
4. Taylor Kiser (Yam)
5. Ryan Lane (Hon)
6. Donnie Ockerman (Hon)
7. Bill Ballance (Yam)
8. Bryan Cook (KTM)
9. Kevin Yoho (Yam)
10. Chris Bithell (Can)
1. Chris Borich (131 points/3 wins)
2. Adam McGill (115/1 win)
3. Chris Bithell (100)
4. Taylor Kiser (100)
5. Brian Wolf (75/1 win)
6. Bryan Cook (72)
7. Jarrod McClure (72)
8. Donnie Ockerman (68)
9. Kevin Yoho (61)
10. Jeffrey Pickens (51)
1. Walker Fowler (Yam)
2. Patrick McGuire (Yam)
3. Gabe Phillips (Yam)
4. Parker Jones (Hon)’
5. Aarol Bright (KTM)
6. Dustin Canipe (Hon)
7. Matt Pierce (Yam)
8. Eric Hoyland (Hon)
9. Joshua Beavers (KTM)
10. Richie Brown (KTM)
1. Walker Fowler (150 points/5 wins)
2. Gabe Phillips (101)
3. Eric Hoyland (89)
4. Patrick McGuire (84)
5. Parker Jones (84)
6. Aarol Bright (82)
7. Dustin Canipe (74)
8. Richie Brown (64)
9. Nathan Wallpe (57)
10. Matt Hanna (55)
Rock racer JT Taylor took his unique vehicle to Pikes Peak to tackle the race’s exhibition class at the 88th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He finished first in class with a time of 14 minutes, 7 seconds, hitting a top speed of 86 mph.
“I am so excited to be a part of this race, and then to have the fastest time in the class is awesome,” JT said. “If I could send in my entry fee for next year today I would.”
The 88th running of the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb commenced on June 27, 2010 in Colorado Springs, Colorado after a week-long practice and a fan appreciation day. The race itself is 12.42 miles long with 156 turns, as it goes from 9,390 feet to the summit at 14,110 ft.
Richard Hammond of the BBC television show Top Gear hosts an interesting, and somewhat surprising, battle with an off-road hill climb vehicle and a snowmobile charging across a lake. Yep, a lake. It’s pretty wild to see this Icelandic “Jeep,” made primarily for hill climbs, drive on top of the water. Hammond finds a driver crazy enough to try driving his 1 1/2-ton truck across a lake. Once that works, they challenge a snowmobile to which vehicle is faster.
Brad Lovell recently raced his Amsoil Pro-Lite short-course off-road truck at the 88th Pikes Peak Hill Climb. As he often does, Lovell wrote a race recap of the event and how he placed third in his class, which you can read here. To see him in action, check out the video he recently posted.