WASHINGTON, Ga. (March 5, 2008) -- The 2008 Can-Am Grand National Championship (GNCC) will trade Florida sand for red Georgia clay as America’s largest off-road racing series will bring its brand of ATV and dirt bike racing to Aonia Pass MX this weekend. The MAXXIS General is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9.
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series is the largest off-road racing series in the nation. The top pro racers make a lucrative living in the sport, reigning in six-figure salaries and endorsements, as well as a share of a $130,000 prize purse and more than $3 million in contingency and bonus money. GNCC events also offer classes for amateur riders of all skill and experience levels. Four-wheeled ATVs will compete on Saturday, March 8. Dirt bikes will race on Sunday, March 9. Riders can sign up at the track. The amateur racer entry fee is $40. Spectator passes run $15. Pro pit access and pro autographs are included at no additional charge.
The event takes place at Aonia Pass MX just off Highway 78 in Washington, Ga. The track features a modified Motocross course with trails through the surrounding woods. Georgia’s distinctive red clay makes the General what it is. If there’s rain, the soil gets soft and builds deep ruts, so riders need to be very careful when approaching traffic and bottlenecks. But when it’s dry, the course gets hard and fast.
The race will be telecast on Versus Network on Saturday, Aug. 16 (ATV) at 3 p.m. and Aug. 21 (motorcycle) at 4 p.m. EDT.
Defending motorcycle champion David Knight set the tone early with a victory in Round 1The Isle of Man, UK native dominated the Parts Unlimited Triton beating out a who's who of endurance racing to net the victory and the points lead. Jimmy Jarrett finished second in Florida, while Garrett Edmiston fought off fatigue and finished third. Many other riders will also be in contention here, including Americans Barry Hawk, Jr. and Charles Mullins, as well as New Zealand’s Paul Whibley and Australia’s Shane Watts.
Chris Borich gave Suzuki the Florida ATV victory, handily beating Bryan Cook and defending champion Bill Ballance. Borich joined the Rockstar Energy/Yoshimura Suzuki factory team this season, and the move paid off, as the Pennsylvanian took the win and the points lead. Kentucky’s Ballance has won the last eight GNCC ATV Titles, which is a record, but he knows there are young guns looking to end his run. However, there’s more factory support than ever in the four-wheeled ranks with Can-Am, KTM, Polaris and Yamaha fielding teams.
Fast Facts - The MAXXIS General - Washington, Ga.
What: The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC), America's Largest Off Road Racing Series. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to 12 miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed.
When: March 8-9, 2008
Where: The MAXXIS General at Aonia Pass MX in Washington, Ga. Located in Wilkes County between Athens and Augusta. From Atlanta: Take I-20 East to Exit 160 (Hwy 223 Norwood Exit). Go left and travel on Hwy 223 until it dead-ends with Hwy 78 (roughly 12-15 miles). Turn right on Hwy 78. The General is 2.5 miles down on your right (look for the big Aonia Pass Motoplex sign). From Thompson: Take I-20 to Exit 172 Rt. 78 for 14.8 miles. Track is 5 miles East of Washington, GA on Rt. 78.
Who: The Can-Am GNCC Series pits the best of the best in off-road racing against each other. More than 1,400 amateur racers are expected to compete on custom-built dirt bikes and four-wheeled ATVs. Top pro motorcycle riders include David Knight, Barry Hawk, Jr., Charles Mullins, Jimmy Jarrett and Shane Watts. ATV pro riders include Bill Ballance, Chris Borich, Chris Bithell, Matt Smiley and Adam McGill.
About GNCC Racing:
The Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America's premier off-road racing series. The 13-round championship series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions and has run since 1973. Cross country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1,800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC Racing will air weekly television shows on the Versus network starting August 2. GNCC featured sponsors include Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose Racing, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Acerbis, Elka, Geico, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Weekend Warrior, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Alpinestars, Cometic, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport Grafx, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, Ogio, Rekluse, and MotoTee’s. For more information log on to www.gnccracing.com.