Can-Am Racers Battle Rocks and Mud at Inaugural Rock Run GNCC
Can-Am GNCC racers made the trip to Patton, Pa., for the inaugural Rock Run GNCC over the weekend. The challenging and rocky course was fast with few areas for passing and became even more difficult with muddy conditions left from rains earlier in the week. Team Warnert / Can-Am XC1 Pro-class riders Adam McGill and Chris Bithell charged from the back of the pack to garner top five positions in the XC1 Pro class. Can-Am X-Team racers Cliff Beasley and Bryan Buckhannon each won their morning classes at round No. 7 of the 2011 Can-Am GNCC series.
"We were very disappointed that Can-Am riders didn’t reach the XC1 podium here in Pennsylvania, but each of our pro racers showed perseverance and battled back in the mud and rocks to salvage a pair of top five finishes," said Jimmie O'Dell, race manager, Can-Am. "In the morning race, it was great to see Buckhannon, and Beasley dominate in the nasty conditions and post class victories.”
In the XC1 Pro class, McGill got off to a slower start than usual and was in 11th place going into the second lap. However, by the end of the third lap, McGill had made his way through traffic and into sixth place. On the final lap, McGill pushed hard and passed teammate Bithell for fourth in the class.
“I’m glad I was able to get up to fourth, but I really, really wanted a win this race. My quad ran good, I just wish I could have gotten a little bit better start because I think I had a good chance of winning,” said McGill.
Bithell, who was in 12th after the first lap due to a bottleneck, put in a hearty charge aboard his Can-Am DS450 X xc to move up eight spots by the end of lap three. He caught and battled another racer for third place on the final lap, but fell off the pace and ended up in fifth place in the XC1 class.
“Everything was going good and then in the last lap, I tried to pass another rider and we came into the last two miles of the track, and he hit a tree and we got all bunched up behind him,” explained Bithell. “I went to pass him after that but couldn’t and that set me back, but this was a pretty rough race so I’ll take it.”
Buckhannon earned the 4x4 Open class win aboard his Can-Am Outlander 800R X xc. It was his third win of the 2011 season and he’s now just three points out of first place behind teammate Michael Swift. He also scored the overall win in the UTV Open Limited class aboard his Parts Plus/Stafford Racing Can-Am Commander 1000 X. Finishing right behind him was the Warnert Racing / Can-Am Commander 1000 X driven by Jerime Dudding.
Cliff Beasley remained undefeated in the U2 class this year as he dominated the Rock Run GNCC on his Can-Am Renegade 800R X xc. He led from start to finish, taking the U2 win by almost eight minutes. Beasley, who has tallied a GNCC-record 25 consecutive class wins, can earn the U2 class championship if he wins the next round at the Snowshoe GNCC.
Another Can-Am X-Team racer also remained undefeated after Rock Run. Kevin Trantham rode his Can-Am Outlander 500 EFI to his sixth straight 4x4 Lites win and now owns an 11-point lead over second place. Can-Am X-Team pilot Mike Penland, earned his first 4x4 Super Senior (45+) class victory of the year at Rock Run aboard a Can-Am Outlander 800R XT. He is second in points behind another Can-Am racer, Forrest Whorton.