Can-Am GNCC Series Looking For Fourth Winner at Round Four in South Carolina
Watts, Whibley, Hawk looking to win another
Union, SC– With three winners hailing from three different countries in the first three rounds of racing, the 2007 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series is gearing up as one of the most closely contested ever. This weekend the series rolls in Union South Carolina for the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC, with several riders focused on becoming the fourth winner of the season. The bike racing takes place on Sunday, April 15th, following the ATV national on Saturday the 14th. The riders will compete on a custom-built course through the tight woods of South Carolina, with the trademark Big Buck Creek Jump thrown in to add some air time.
On the bike side, there’s a talented pack searching for their first career GNCC win, which increases the odds of finding a fourth winner in four rounds of racing. The Isle of Man’s David Knight, of the Red Bull KTM team, has seen bad luck derail his early stints in the U.S. A hand injury slowed him at the first two series rounds in Florida and Georgia, and then bike troubles left him with fifth in North Carolina. But once Knighter recovered from the bike problems, he turned in the fastest laps of the day during the closing laps of the race. The multi-time World Enduro Champion has plenty of speed, but showing it consistently over three hours had been a problem. When he figures it out, through, look out.
Similar things have been said about Am-Pro Yamaha’s 21-year-old star Charlie Mullins. “Hot Rod” has never lacked speed or talent, but he’s still searching for a win in his second year of XC1 Pro competition in the GNCCs. He ran with the leaders all day in North Carolina before a crash left him dizzy and just able holding on to score a few championship points. For Mullins, though, every race appears to be the one where he will finally break though and lead through the finish, and the Big Buck is no exception.
Finally, FMF Suzuki’s Australian threat Glenn Kearney has proven himself perhaps the fastest of all the riders on the tour this year, and he’s also come the closest to winning a race without actually doing it. After leading the entire last lap in North Carolina, he battled Am-Pro Yamaha’s Barry Hawk through the final turns before Hawk knifed underneath in the very last corner of the race, stealing the victory. Kearney then collapsed of exhaustion after completely running himself out of energy. But he vows to be back this weekend ready to run for the win again.
As for Hawk, he joined Australia’s Shane Watts and New Zealand’s Paul Whibley as winners on the season. But privateer Kawasaki rider Garrett Edmisten still leads the series standings after logging third, second and fourth place finishes to start the season. Edmisten, too, would love to add his name to the list of winners.
About GNCC Racing:
The AMA/ATVA-sanctioned Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. 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. GNCC Racing airs weekly television shows on Versus (formerly Outdoor Life Network) every Saturday at 3 p.m. and Thursday at 4 p.m. beginning on April 14. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include BRP Can-Am, Parts Unlimited, Moose, 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, EK Chain, HiPer Technology, Laegers, Moose Utility Division, The National Guard, Powersport Grafx, Race Tools, REM, Scott, Thor, Tire Balls, Twin Air, and MotoTee’s. Media Sponsors include Racer X Illustrated, ATV Rider, ATV Sport, ATVRiders.com, Quadzone.com, Dirt Rider and ATV Insider. For more information log on to www.GNCCRacing.com.