It appears December 1 has become the silly season announcement day in American off-road racing, as tons of riders spent the week on social media thanking their old teams and looking forward to new homes....that will be announced later.
Today, the factory FMF KTM Factory Racing team got the ball rolling by announcing its traditional factory off-road effort for 2024, and also added in some expansion news. With the Trail Jesters development team announcing that it is closing its doors, a new team dubbed FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers will handle racing in the 250F and Womens classes in various series. Team Landers will be managed by Chris Landers, who previously ran the Magna1 Husqvarna team that won the 2022 GNCC Championship with Jordan Ashburn.
We expect much more news on other off-road teams soon.
KTM's press release announcing the roster for both teams is below.
FMF KTM Factory Off-Road Expands with Two Teams for 2024 Season
MURRIETA, Calif. – With a seasoned lineup for 2024, the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team heads into the new season with five returning riders to once again contest the nation’s top offroad championships in the premier division. For the first time ever, KTM will extend its factory efforts to include the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers, which will focus on GNCC’s XC2 250 Pro and WXC classes to provide a steppingstone for young riders into the premier XC1 class.
Representing FMF KTM Factory Racing on the west coast is the dynamic duo of Dante Oliveira and Mateo Oliveira, both competing in the AMA National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) and AMA West Hare Scrambles Series (WHS), while Ben Kelley and Johnny Girroir will lead the charge in the Grand National Cross Country Championship (GNCC) on the east coast. Additionally, Kelley will enter the AMA National Enduro Series and Girroir in the AMA U.S. Sprint Enduro Series. In addition, Trystan Hart will wear his number one plates across the AMA U.S. Hard Enduro and AMA EnduroCross Championships in search of a two-peat in 2024.
Tim Weigand, FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: "We're thrilled to announce the return of Trystan Hart, Ben Kelley, Johnny Girroir, Dante Oliveira, and Mateo Oliveira to the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team for 2024. These five exceptional riders epitomize the champion's mindset, showcasing unwavering dedication and unparalleled work ethic. Their commitment to excellence, leaving no stone unturned in their pursuit of greatness, defines the essence of our team. As we continue this journey together, we eagerly anticipate achieving new milestones and clinching numerous championships in the upcoming season."
Fresh from leading Team USA to the World Trophy victory and claiming an individual podium result at the FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), Dante Oliveira is in the form of his career and will defend his NGPC and WHS titles, to be teamed on the west coast with ISDE Junior World Trophy individual winner Mateo Oliveira – both to be equipped with the 2024 KTM 450 XC-F.
Dante Oliveira: "For 2024 I am feeling strong and ready to go racing! I’m going to work on being the best I can be to finish on top."
Mateo Oliveira: "It's a new year coming up and we maintain the same goals, to win races after learning a lot in 2023. I’m excited to keep working and make 2024 a good one!"
After finishing third this season with two victories to his credit, Kelley will be aiming to reclaim the GNCC Championship that he won in 2021, while also contesting the NEPG Series. In GNCC he will partner with Girroir, who will also defend his U.S. Sprint Enduro Series title, and they will be on board the 2024 KTM 350 XC-F on the east coast once again.
Ben Kelley: "I'm excited for the 2024 season, sticking with KTM and I'm super-proud of that. It will be our second year with this current bike and that will be positive for us, so I think we will be in a much better spot coming into the new year. Hopefully I can come in healthy, we still have a few months to get prepared, and I really want to get the GNCC title back, as well as to get back competition in the Enduros. I'm focused and want to give it my all."
Johnny Girroir: "I’m excited to get the 2024 season started! I am feeling healthy, am in a good position, and am ready to go!"
This past season was a remarkable one for Canadian international Hart, picking up a third-straight U.S. Hard Enduro title, as well as delivering a first career EnduroCross crown. As part of his recent multi-year extension with FMF KTM Factory Racing, he will ride a 2024 KTM 300 XC-W in Hard Enduro, before transitioning across to the razor-sharp 2024 KTM 350 XC-F when he heads into the tight confines of EnduroCross competition.
Trystan Hart: "2023 was a great year for us and it's going to be hard to top those results that we achieved. The team and I are definitely going to give it our all and work hard together to hopefully hold onto our championships."
FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers
Newly-introduced for 2024 is the FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers squad under the management of Chris Landers, which will be based on the east coast and features an exciting three-rider roster that includes the youthful combination of Angus Riordan – who was runner-up in GNCC XC2 this past season – and Grant Davis, alongside reigning ISDE Women's World Trophy Champion Brandy Richards.
All three riders will be on the 2024 KTM 250 XC-F throughout the season, with Riordan entering GNCC XC2 in addition to his U.S. Sprint Enduro Series Pro 2 title defense, while Davis will also contest GNCC alongside the NEPG Series in NE Pro2. Richards, meanwhile, is setting her sights on success in GNCC and the AMA U.S. Sprint Enduro Series within the WXC and Pro Women categories.
Angus Riordan: "I'm feeling good and am excited to get the show on the road with this new team at FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers. We have some new goals in place and are ready to get after it in 2024!"
Grant Davis: "I am pumped for the 2024 season to get started! I am feeling better than I’ve ever felt on the bike and am ready to go."
Brandy Richards: "Super-excited for 2024, riding for FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers. To go back east will be quite the change from what I am used to, so I am excited to get out there and to get in the mix."
Chris Landers, FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers Manager: "We're headed into 2024 with a new look, a new plan, and the new FMF KTM Factory Racing Team Landers. It's going to be really good to have Gus, Grant, and Brandy on the team, as well as our elite amateur program with Chase Landers and Cooper Jones. We're really looking forward to getting things going and are excited for the opportunity to work with KTM."
Antti Kallonen, Director of Off-Road Racing: "KTM is the leading manufacturer in offroad racing and it is our goal to keep it that way, and to keep progressing every year. With that, we are very pleased to see the current FMF KTM Factory Racing Team managed by Tim Weigand remain the same with the championship caliber riders, aiming to win the major offroad championships in the States and on the world stage. Something new for this year to progress within our programs, we are expanding our factory efforts in GNCC to include XC2 250 Pro riders and a WXC rider to represent FMF KTM Factory Racing. It will be managed and overseen by Chris Landers, who we are looking forward to working with on this new partnership. It is to make sure we have a pathway to success for young riders in their career, all the way from youth to amateurs, and the highest level of GNCC. Overall, with the entire FMF KTM Factory Racing Team consisting of west coast and east coast riders, we are looking forward to a strong and successful 2024 season."