Round 1 of the 2008 ATV GNCC
Rick Cecco had an impressive victory in the U2 ATV class with a time of 2:10:25 which was 30 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor allowing him to take 3rd place overall.
However a mix up in scoring almost cost Cecco his 3rd place. “My transponder somehow missed my 3rd lap, so they had me in 4th place, and Michael (Swift) in 3rd, but they got it taken care of,” said Cecco.
Michael Swift also cleaned up in the 4x4 Limited class taking first place with a finishing time of 2:10:54 putting him in 4th place overall in the A.M. races. “Everything went great, the bike ran well and I had a great time. I’m really looking forward to round 2 in Georgia,” said Swift who is hoping to claim two wins in a row.
Cliff Beasley had a fantastic run aboard his Outlander 500 in the 4x4 Lites class. Beasley crossed the finish line with a time of 2:14:14 placing him 1st in his class and 7th overall. “I came out mid pack in the holeshot, but I worked my way up and was leading before the end of the first lap,” Cliff stated. “The Warnert team did an excellent job setting up the quad, it ran really strong and I didn’t have any problems,” he concluded.
By the time the afternoon XC1 and XC2 classes lined up, the track conditions had already begun to deteriorate. “It got pretty rough towards the end,” stated Chris Bithell, who placed 10th in XC1 with a time of 2:12:18. “I really wanted to finish in the top 10 so I just put my head down and gave it all I had,” he said. Bithell, like the rest of the team, is really looking forward to round 2 in Georgia. “I can’t wait for Georgia to be back on more familiar terrain and I’m excited to try out some of the changes we’re making to the bike for that round,” Chris said excitedly.
Chris Jenks came out of the hole in 5th place and was pushing hard until a hole in his rear brake line sidelined him in the pits for about 10 minutes, putting him in the back of the pack. “I didn’t have any problems with the bike except for the brake line, but the Warnert guys were on top of it and got me back out there pretty quick,” Chris said. Jenks ended up finishing with an overall time of 2:22:48 giving him 17th in the XC1 class and placing him 21st overall.
Round 2 of the GNCC will be held on more familiar ground back in Washington, GA at the Aonia Pass Raceway. The track is made up of a more consistent dirt and clay mix as opposed to the sand and tree roots of Florida, which caught some of the racers by surprise. The Can-Am Warnert team will be coming on strong for round 2 in hopes of maintaining their ominous first round presence on the podium.