ITP ATV Racers Earn Four Class Wins a Loretta’s GNCC
Team ITP racers competed in both the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country series and World Off-Road Championship Series over the weekend. At round six of the Parts Unlimited Loretta Lynn’s GNCC race in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., ITP ATV racers tallied four class wins and 10 total podiums. Team side-by-side racers also raced at round five of WORCS in Ridgecrest, Calif.
“Our GNCC riders put in a good overall effort at Loretta’s, earning four class wins and several podiums,” said Pat McGuire, Public Relations / Race Support. “We put two racers in the XC2 Pro-Am class top five, saw Mark Batson, Kenneth Rich Jr., Justin Paul and Greg Covert all win their classes and Jordan Digby tally an impressive second place overall run in the Youth session and take second in his class.”
GNCC – Round 6
Round six of the GNCC series was held Saturday, May 10, at the famed Loretta Lynn Dude Ranch property in Tennessee. The course featured several hills, creeks and other challenges to keep the riders busy. The team came away with four overall class wins and a total of 10 podiums.
Leading the way for Team ITP in the afternoon session was College A (16-21) racer Greg Covert, who won his class and finished 18th overall to earn the top Amateur Award at Loretta’s. It was Covert’s first class win and third podium of the year using ITP Holeshot GNCC tires on his Yamaha ATV. Kristian Meyer took fifth in the College A (16-21) ranks. Another age-class racer, Mark Batson, also won in Tennessee. He won the Vet B (30+) class for the second time this year (to go with two second-place runs) to climb into a tie for third-place after six rounds of racing. Justin Paul climbed into the second-place position in the Junior B (22+) division standings after his win at round six (his third of the season).
ITP racers Kevin Cunningham and Jay Humphrey finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the XC2 Pro-Am class at Loretta Lynn’s. Cunningham (16th) and Humphrey (21st) also made it into the top 25 overall in the afternoon session. Junior A (22+) racer Aaron Pridgen was fifth in his class.
In the 10 a.m. session, ITP had a few second-place finishers and one class victory. Kenneth Rich Jr. followed up his round five victory with another solid performance at Loretta’s. He was in third after the first scored lap, but picked off the top two riders over the next five laps to earn his second win of the season. The victory pushed him into the top five in points, despite missing the opener and also suffering a DNF at another round. Current Masters 50+ class points leader Kenny Rich Sr. took second place at Loretta’s. Kelley Deloach finished second in the Women’s Amateur (13+) class. Deloach has now finished on the podium at every round and is the current class points leader. Second place was also earned by Suzuki racer Dale Batson in the 35+ C class. Super Senior (45+) racer Dave Simmons and WXC class competitor Angel Knox did not compete in Tennessee.
The early morning youth session saw Team ITP rider Jordan Digby notch his third class podium finish of the season in the 125 Sr. (12-15) ranks. However, he also took second place on the overall youth podium, finishing just roughly seven seconds out of the top spot. Marti Lantz competed in the Girls (8-15) division at Loretta’s and earned third in the class on her ITP-outfitted Yamaha. Dylan Walraven took fourth in the 90 Open (12-15) class to climb into second place in the standings. Fellow 90 Open class racer Carter Kerens did not race at round six. Parker Henderson extended his streak of podium finishes to six with a second-place ride in the 70 CVT (6-11) class.
WORCS – Round 5
Round five of the WORCS tour was held at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds a couple hours northeast of Los Angeles. The new course offered a mix of man-made and natural obstacles, but was overshadowed by the poor visibility and extremely windy conditions Saturday for the UTV racing. With gusts close to 70 mph, whiteout conditions slowed the speeds of many of the racers. ITP-supported side-by-side pilots earned one podium and two additional top 10 finishes in the challenging conditions.
“The Desert Empire round featured an all-new course that was rough and rutted, but the horrible wind made it all the more challenging,” said Ryan Edwards, ITP tech support representative / West Coast race coordinator. “Our racers put forth a valiant effort, as just finishing became a top goal at this round. We were thrilled with Chris Willing’s second-place run and the consistency shown from some of our other drivers. The bad-luck bug bit a few guys, too, and we look forward to improving at round six.”
The team’s lone podium went to Polaris pilot Chris Willing, who took second place in the SxS 850 class. Willing, who won the last round, now has two straight podium finishes with his ITP Black Water Evolution-equipped RZR 800. Despite missing the first three rounds, he’s currently in fourth place in the point standings.
Shawn Viola and Alfredo Ramirez each earned a top 10 finish in the SxS 1000 class that featured more than 20 entries at round five. Viola came from ninth place after lap one to climb into the top five on lap four. He maintained his spot from there to tally his second top-five run in four events using ITP Ultracross tires. He’s currently ninth in points. Ramirez, fifth in points, earned eighth with his Black Water Evolution-dressed Polaris. Del Amo Motorsports’ Kyle Melville was 12th at round five, but is currently in sixth place in the standings.
ITP had several Pro class racers compete at round five. IMG Motorsports John Pacheco took 12th, but came from nearly dead last to earn the respectable finish in his Can-Am. Niko Skiparnias ended up 15th, but passed eight other racers in the process.
Team ITP motocross racers will be in action this weekend, May 17-18, at the ATV Stampede event held at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pa. SxS drivers will also compete this weekend at round three of the 2014 Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road Series at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park in Lake Elsinore, Calif.