Yadkinville, NC – He’s conquered massive hill climbs, deep mud, huge boulders and the best off-road riders in the world, but Red Bull KTM’s David Knight will attempt an even more difficult challenge this weekend when he races twice in one weekend on two different sides of the country. The series points leader in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series will race the Maxxis EnduroCross in Denver, Colorado on Saturday night, then step onto a private jet and fly to North Carolina overnight to compete in the Elka Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m glad I got the win and made some points at the last one, because this weekend is going to be really tough,” says Knighter. “I could be completely knackered by Sunday!”
His competitors see this as possibly the last opportunity to get in front of Knight in the GNCC standings, as just three rounds remain in the ’07 tour. The Am-Pro Yamaha offensive of Barry Hawk and Charlie Mullins have had troubles lately. Assorted small mechanical issues ruined Mullins at the last three races, while Hawk following up a win in Pennsylvania with a seventh at the last event while struggling with the front end of his machine. Hawk and Mullins both claim their troubles are fixed now.
But they’ll face the surging Team FMF Suzuki squad, with Ohio veteran Jimmy Jarrett landing four podiums in the last five rounds, including back-to-back runner-up finishes, and his young Australian teammate Josh Strang grabbing a rostrum spot at the last race. The other Aussie on the squad, Glen Kearney, needs a podium very badly. After starting the season strong he has struggled and now—like many riders on the tour—needs better results to help contract negotiations for 2008.
You can never count out Kawasaki privateer Garrett Edmisten, either, as the rookie still sits fourth in points—just ten behind Mullins for third, and his determination and consistency makes him a threat every time he lines up.
In the XC2 Pro Lites Class, the series turned upside down once former series leader Rodney Smith injured his groin in West Virginia. The five-time GNCC Champion has failed to finish the last two races, handing the lead over to Red Bull KTM’s Justin Williamson. That class is stacked, with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki FAR riders Scott Watkins and Josh Weisenfels in the hunt, as well as Am-Pro Yamaha’s Thad DuVall and PowerSport GrafX KTM’s Dustin Gibson and Kailub Russell.
The Elka Yadkin Valley Stomp GNCC begins with ATV racing on Saturday. Youth riders race at 8 a.m., followed by the showdown with the Utility and 4x4 Classes as well as the Women’s class at 10 a.m. Yamaha’s Traci Cecco is looking to lock up yet another Women’s title this weekend. The XC1 and XC2 pro classes race at 1 p.m., with East Coast ATV’s Chris Borich holding back Yamaha’s Bill Ballance in the chase for the GNCC #1 plate.
Bikes race on Sunday, with Youth racing at 8 a.m., a 10 a.m. morning race, and a three-hour race at 1 p.m. for XC1, XC2, A and B classes.
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 over $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 throughout the day on Saturday, September 14, and dirt bikes will race on Sunday, September 15. Riders can sign up at the track. The amateur racer entry fee is $40.
Spectator passes run $12 for the full weekend, with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge. On both Saturday and Sunday, youth riders race at 8 a.m., beginner riders race at 10 a.m., and the top amateurs and the pros race at 1 p.m.
For more information, check out the official series website at www.GNCCRacing.com or call 304-284-0084.
Directions: I-77 to Exit 73A to Highway 421 South. Go 10 miles to Exit 256, Unifi Industrial Road. Turn left, go 1.2 miles to end of road. Turn right on old Rte. 421. Go 2/10 mile, turn left on Myers Rd. Go 1 mile, race track is on left.
What: Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, Round 11, Elka Yadkinvalley Stomp GNCC in Yadkinville, NC. The best four-wheeled ATV and off-road dirt bike riders in the world will compete, chasing national championship points as part of a 13-round tour. The event will draw riders from Australia, New Zealand and Europe, as well as all regions of the U.S., and the best local talent. Racers compete on a custom-built extreme off-road course featuring mud, rocks, hills and jumps.
Where: Welborn family farm off of cross-country road. I-77 to Exit 73A to Highway 421 South. Go 10 miles to Exit 256, Unifi Industrial Road. Turn left, go 1.2 miles to end of road. Turn right on old Rte. 421. Go 2/10 mile, turn left on Myers Rd. Go 1 mile, race track is on left.
When: Racing on Saturday, September 29, for four-wheeled ATVs. Youth riders age 6-15 race from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Beginner adults race from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Pros race from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Bikes race on Sunday, September 30, following the same schedule as the ATVs.
Tickets: $12 per person for a weekend pass, children five and under are free. Primitive camping is available on site for no extra charge. Pro pit access and autograph sessions are included in the admission charge.
More information: www.gnccracing.com or call Racer Productions at 304-284-0084.
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.