Ninth round of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series visits Pennsylvania on September 1 & 2. Top locals invited to compete against the nation’s best.
Somerset, PA – The long summer break is over for the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, and the world’s best off-road dirt bike and ATV racers are ready to resume their battles at this weekend’s Geico Mountain Ridge GNCC. Somerset, PA’s Mountain Ridge ATV Trails Resort will host their first GNCC, and it’s expected to be a rugged, rocky affair—a true test of who was training and who wasn’t over the last two months.
There’s no doubt that Yamaha’s Bill Ballance has been putting in the time. With seven GNCC titles in the bank already and the points lead this year, Ballance has a shot at history as he works on the all-time record of eight GNCC titles. Word from his Kentucky compound indicates that Ballance made major changes to his YFZ450 and has it working better than ever. His five-race run for the record books starts this weekend.
But Ballance has never been under this type of pressure, with Pennsylvania’s own Chris Borich sitting just six points behind him. Borich logged four-straight wins over Balance at mid season and wants to grab that kind of momentum down the stretch this year to take the lead back. The Pennsylvanian has embarked on an all-out training run through the summer to be sure he’s ready for the fight.
The rest of the field is just trying to build any momentum at all. Sophomore pros Chris Bithell (LTERacing.com) and Adam McGill (Baldwin/JB/PEP) have shown flashes of the speed needed to topple the Killer B’s in front of them, and veterans like Matt Smiley (East Coast ATV), Chris Jenks (GT Thunder/HMF) and William Yokley (Monster Kawasaki) would like to get back on the podium as well. Rookie Taylor Kiser still sits fourth in points and has been practicing at Balance’s house to adjust to the tight, rugged conditions expected at Mountain Ridge.
ATVs race on Saturday at GNCC events, with the XC1 pro class starting at 1 p.m. There are plenty of other races of interest, though, including youth ATV racing at 8 a.m., and the popular 10 a.m. race, featuring the Women’s class and the 4x4 classes. Yamaha’s Traci Cecco is closing on another Women’s class title against rivals Angel Atwell and Steph Parton, all while battling a host of 4x4 riders for the overall win every week. Can-Am’s Scott Kilby and Rick Cecco are battling for the Open 4x4 crown, with Cliff Beasley and Michael Swift controlling the other 4x4 divisions on their Can-Ams. Four-Stroke Tech’s Michael Benson is leading the Utility Unlimited class.
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 1, and dirt bikes will race on Sunday, September 2. 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.
The Mountain Ridge ATV Resort is located in Reels Corner, PA, on Route 160 just south of the intersection of Route 160 and Route 30, located only 20 minutes from both the Somerset Exit 110 and the Bedford Exit 145 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. >From Somerset, follow Route 281 North to Route 30 then take Route 30 East to Reels Corner and follow Route 160 South. From Bedford follow Route 30 West to Reels Corner and follow Route 160 South.
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.
What: Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, Round 9, Mountain Ridge GNCC in Somerset, PA. 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: Mountain Ridge ATV Trails Resort. Located in Reels Corner, PA, on Route 160 just South of the intersection of Route 160 and Route 30.
When: Racing on Saturday, September 1, 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, 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.