October 3, 2015, Ridgecrest, Calif., Viewfinders Grand Prix, Round 6, Day 1
ARTICLES & PHOTOS BY RODNEY RUTHERFORD
Day one of the two day 42ND Annual Viewfinders “Russ Jenkins Memorial” Grand Prix (GP), held in conjunction with round six of the eight round Big 6 GP series, at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds in Ridgecrest, California. Sunny skies welcomed over 1100 entries to day one, as we enter into the later stages of the series with battles for series titles heating up. In this web version of round six we will cover the spotlight race, the West Coast GP and selected action held on the reported ten mile course consisting of desert, asphalt, motocross, and Endurocross type sections.
Viewfinders banner on the corner of Upjohn Avenue and China Lake Boulevard, in Ridgecrest. The racing is this a way, pointing racers and spectators to the Fairgrounds for the 42ND Annual Viewfinders “Russ Jenkins Memorial” Grand Prix.
West Coast GP Pro podium, left to right. Colton Udall third, Robby Bell first, and Eric Yorba second. We have a pair of Barona Oaks alums in Bell and Yorba taking first and second, seems like Barona Oaks is still home to Champions, as its track sign touted for years.
Robby Bell #32 and Blayne Thompson #7, jousting on lap one of the WCGP Pro race as they enter the pasture section. The West Coast GP Pro class, garners the most attention of the Southern California based Big 6 series. OX Motorsports racer, Colton Udall, was on a roll of three straight wins going back to round three at Glen Helen continuing to round five at Primm. After a five month break. Precision Concepts racer, and recently crowned 2015 W.O.R.C.S Pro Champion Robby Bell, had his bike in the top four after lap one. Moving into second behind Blayne Thompson by the end of lap four. Tagging Thompson’s speed, Bell skillfully chopped down the lead until he was seeing the scuff marks on Thompson’s fender by the end of lap six. Thompson ran out of fuel on the last lap, lap seven, while reportedly leading, as Bell was attacking repetitively. Bell flies away for the lead and his second consecutive Viewfinders GP win.
Seasoned photo-journalist Mark Kariya (left), getting the scoop from a somber Blayne Thompson at the end of the WCGP Pro race. Leading by the end of lap one to lap six, Thompson ran out of fuel while dodging repeated pass attempts from Bell on the final lap. He settled for thirteenth overall and ninth in the WCGP Pro class. Thompson’s remedy for running out of gas, get a bigger tank, a subtle note to the competition, don’t look for a repeat of this mistake anytime soon. The affable speedster thanks Zip Ty Racing, Troy Lee Designs, FloMotorsports.com, Focus, Seat Conceptions and all his supporters.
FMF/RPM/KTM Off Road/Maxxis racer, Eric Yorba #1 and Colton Udall #51 coming through the Endurocross section before the scoring chicane, in third and fourth respectively at the end of lap five. Clocking the same exact time on this lap, the 2014 WCGP Pro Champion Yorba, poured it on pulling from Udall for second overall. Udall in the middle of the series title chase settled for a wise third at the checkers.
TheFastHouse.com’s Sean Collier, a colorful character in personality and rocket fast. Shows his GP style with a respectful fourth in the WCGP Pro class and fourth overall, after holding second for the first three laps, showing these GP guys how the motocrossers roll.
John Burr Cycles racer Ryan Reina, lit the burners and put the heat to the pack pushing the pace with the early lead on lap one. Reina ended lap one in third, riding most of the race in sixth, he concluded with a fifth in the WCGP Pro.
Gaerne Boots/Pro Circuit/BTO Motorsports Dalton Shirey, rode in the WCGP Pro II class never falling out of the top eight in the inter-class WCGP Pro race, finishing sixth overall and first in the WCGP Pro II ranks.
Maxxis Tires/Eks Brand Goggles/Split Designs Trevor Stewart, waded through the pack after what he described as a “terrible start”, working his way up to eighth overall and second in the WCGP Pro II class. 3Brosktm.com’s Nick Stover, finished behind Stewart in ninth overall and third in the WCGP Pro II ranks.
Cory Rash plowing through the chop like it is not there and hamming it up for the camera at the same time. Out of Norco, Rash went on to a fourth overall in the WCGP Novice and Beginner race, and won the WCGP Heavy-Weight (HWT) Novice class.
Robert Weber had a good weekend taking wins in the WCGP Vet Novice and the Vet HWT Novice. He is seen here in the WCGP race headed out bound in the pasture area.
Chris Griffin #V827X, closing out with six laps in the WCGP Vet Expert, for sixth in class. Jake Orchard #X08, running in the WCGP 250 Intermediate class and finishing third in class. Orchard also went to an eighth in the Light-Weight (LWT) I Intermediate.
Blake Turner surfing his steed through choppy ground, placed fifteenth overall in the WCGP Novice and Beginner race, which is a forty-five minute race. The WCGP Pro and Intermediate race is a ninety minute race. He was sixth in the WCGP 250 Novice, and also raced to a sixth in the LWT-I Novice.
Bullet fast Nicholas Burson, came on out for the Vet race, tossing his bike through the scoring chicane in first on lap one. Keeping that recipe for the next three laps to cook up the Vet race overall win and the Vet HWT Expert class win.
Mark Tilley made the drive out for a second in the Vet HWT Expert. Tilley sat behind Nicholas Burson at the end of lap two, remaining in the spot for the remainder of the race.
Racing in the Evolution class, Richard Cruz was nearing the finish line when his 1985 Kawasaki KX250 flooded. No time to deal with that, so he went into a full sprint with both hands on the bars as he ran along side his bike through the last section and across the checkers. For an ecstatic and courageous finish. The Southwest Cycles racer placed fourth in the EVO Expert class, fourth in the WCGP Vet Expert, and fourth in the Quad Expert. He would also like to thank his Mom Carol and Dad Art, for all the fun and support.
Billy Smith Jr. racing his Honda to the Evolution Expert win, and the overall win in race two.
Racing in her second round of the series, 3BrosKTM.com’s Kelly Barbosa, led all three laps winning the Women’s Expert.
Women’s Novice racer Victoria Johnson, puts the heart into her racing. Recovering from a round two injury that she received in Taft that took three months to diagnose, and still lingering, she was determined to race at this round. Bridling up her 2007 Kawasaki KX250F, she placed fifth in the Women’s Novice. Enjoying the social openness of the pits and the tracks in GP racing, Johnson would like to thank Mom Kim, Dad Max, and Ryan Abbatoye.
Representing the Desert Daisies, Women’s Intermediate Janine Grabow, raced to a fifth in class.
Viewfinder’s member Kyle, controlling the starts on day one of the Big 6 Grand Prix at Ridgecrest.
For complete results and information for the Big 6 Grand Prix, please go to http://www.big6racing.com/ .
For series points please go to http://www.moto-tally.com/D37/GP/Standings.aspx
WCGP PRO RESULTS:
1. Robby Bell
2. Eric Yorba
3. Colton Udall
4. Sean Collier
5. Ryan Reina
WCGP PRO II Results
1. Dalton Shirey
2. Trevor Stewart
3. Nick Stover
4. Beau Baron
5. Rowan Trefz