Gaitten Aces the Art Mitchell Memorial Enduro

| 3 April 2012 6:15 pm

ACES Appalachian Championship Enduro Series
Round 1: Chillicothe Enduro Riders Association Art Mitchell Memorial Enduro

Story by Heather Wilson
Photos by Steve Wheeler and Debbie Wilson

What started out as a cloudy Sunday morning eventually turned into a warm, sunny race day in Chillicothe, Ohio. A record number of rider entries were recorded, totaling 160, making this the second-largest turnout besides the District 15 co-sanctioned Treaty City event in 2010, which had approximately 175 riders. There were 20 riders new to the ACES series present at this race, including a couple of long-distance travelers from Michigan.

Dave Cash crashes in the woods at the Chillicothe Enduro Riders Association Art Mitchell Memorial Enduro. Photo by Steve Wheeler

Zach Klamfoth came in third in the AA class. Photo by Debbie Wilson

The terrain consisted of two 40-mile loops with 11 sections.

KTM jockey and 2010 and 2011 ACES series champion Josh Gaitten took the overall win in the Art Mitchell Memorial Enduro, finishing ahead of Gas Gas pilot Robbie Jenks and KTM rider Zach Klamfoth. Gaitten and Jenks tied with a score of 13 apiece, but Gaitten beat Jenks by 87 seconds with the emergency check points.

Once Gaitten got going, he felt good.

“I had a blast riding with Ryan Slopko during his first enduro,” he said, adding, “I just got a bike three weeks before the event. I had been sitting on the couch for four months prior to that. I was a little concerned about where my fitness and speed was going to be, coming into today.”

Klamfoth and Johnny Barber tied with scores of 14 apiece, but Klamfoth was able to pull out the third-place spot over Barber by 27 seconds.

Overall A winner Marty Kehlmeier is a Vet A-class rider and second-year competitor in the ACES series. A score of 24 earned this KTM rider the Overall A spot.

“Good but tough,” was his summation of his race, noting that his favorite section was the AA section. “The trail had good rhythm.”

Kehlmeier also said that he and Travis Green battled in the section that they expected to get checked out of, but didn’t. Kehlmeier was very appreciative of the people who work to put the races for the series together: “I would like to thank the ACES series for doing great work.”

(From left to right) Overall B winner Ryan Slopko, overall winner Josh Gaitten, and overall A winner Marty Kehlmeier proudly display their hard-won hardware after the ACES season opener. Photo by Debbie Wilson

The Overall B win went to Yamaha rider Ryan Slopko, an avid GNCC racer but a first-time enduro rider. Slopko proved his versatility in the sport of off-road racing on Sunday. With 22 points dropped for the day, Slopko said the hardest part of being a first-time enduro rider was “not knowing how to keep time, so I just followed Josh’s lead.” He added, “It was different than what I am used to, but it was really fun. “I am looking forward to the next enduro.”

Husaberg-mounted Mark Thomas (115) topped the Super Senior B class. Photo by Steve Wheeler

Michigander Scott Allen (113) was happy he made the trip to Chillicothe, Ohio. Photo by Steve Wheeler

“[It was a] fine event; the club and volunteers did a phenomenal job,” commented Michigan resident Scott Allen, who added that he and a few other riders drove down from Michigan for the ACES opener. “Sure glad we did – we had a blast! We will be back. It is no wonder that Ohio produces many talented riders. Ohio riders must think they are riding on sandpaper when they come to Michigan.”

This event was a great opener to the 2012 ACES season.

The ACES (Appalachian Championship Enduro Series) is a traditional time-keeping enduro series. The season continues on April 15 at the Moonshine Enduro in New Straitsville, Ohio. For more race results, the schedule, and rules, visit

ACES would like to thank the following sponsors for contributing to this series and supporting the riders: Osburn Signs, KTM, Husqvarna, EVS, EBC, Enduro Engineering, Scott, Kenda, MSR, T&E News, Point View Cycles, Smith’s Power Sports, Caton’s Cycle Center, Sport Cycles, Wheelsports, JM Cycles and Ohio Motorcycle.

Chillicothe Enduro Riders Association Art Mitchell Memorial Enduro
Chillicothe, Ohio
Results: March 25, 2012 (Round 1)

AA: 1. Josh Gaitten (KTM); 2. Robbie Jenks (GG); 3. Zach Klamfoth (KTM); 4. Johnny Barber (Hbg).

200 A: 1. Cody Meeks (KTM); 2. David Patterson (KTM); 3. Doug Kisor (KTM).

250 A: 1. Tyler Chadwell (KTM); 2.Michael Jolly (Hsq); ; 3. Brian Hollingshead (KTM);  4. Colin Klier (KTM).

OPEN A: 1. Brian Rickard (KTM); 2.John Grimm (Hon); 3. Robert Heinzerling (KTM); 4. Grant Smith (KTM).

VET A: 1. Marty Kehlmeier (KTM); 2. Mark McGrath (KTM); 3. John Yerkey (KTM); 4. Kraig George (Suz).

SR A: 1. Jeff Johnson (Hbg); 2. Doug Rinehart (KTM); 3. Wayne Perdue (KTM); 4. Harvey Whitaker (GG).

SUPER SR A: 1. Mark Lederle (KTM); 2.Wally Wilson (KTM); 3. Scott Klamfoth (KTM); 4. Robert McNeel (Yam).

200 B: 1. Ryan Slopko (Yam); 2. Tristan Stumbo (KTM); 3. John Hardesty (KTM); 4. Matt Kemp (Kaw).

250 B: 1. Andy Matheny (Hon); 2.Vinnie Petrela (KTM); 3. Zac Thomas (KTM); 4. Zayne Watson (Kaw).

OPEN B: 1. Adam Clark (KTM); 2. Jordan Collins (Yam); 3. Aaron Cooney (KTM); 4. Josh Mills (KTM).

VET B: 1. John Bittner (Hsq); 2. David Vancuren (Yam); 3. Christopher Knight (GG); 4. Trent Thomas (KTM).

SR B: 1. Robert Gorst (KTM); 2. Keith Matheny (KTM); 3. Edward Snyder (KTM); 4. Chuck Freeze (KTM).

SUPER SR B: 1. Mark Thomas (Hbg); 2. Mark Best (KTM); 3. Kurt Haveri (KTM); 4. Gerald Hensley (Yam).

OPEN C: 1. Jade Smith (KTM); 2. Jeremy Bernhart (GG); 3. Jason Laney (KTM); 4. Jason Jenkins (KTM).

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Category: Enduro, Regional

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