AMA Racing/ Kenda National Hare & Hound Championship Series
Round 4: Virgin Voyage at Johnson Valley OHV Area
By Chris Blais
Photos by Grumpy
LUCERNE VALLEY, CA, APR. 22, 2012
This year, the Vikings’ Virgin Voyage was a warm one. With temperatures reaching close to the 100-degree mark for the weekend, this made for some interesting racing action!
Blais Racing Services rider Kevin DeJongh got a great start, but just near the end of the bomb run, his bike suffered a fuel-starvation problem. After getting the problem fixed on the course, he was shortly back on his way. Kevin pulled off a seventh-place finish in the stacked 250cc A class (and 17th overall) on his Blais Racing Services/ Kenda/ ESR Suspension-sponsored KTM 250 XC.
Brendan Crow would suffered a broken throttle cable halfway through the first loop and limped back to camp with some vice grips attached to the cable. Brendan was unable to finish the race and garnered a DNF in his 250cc B class.
Ben Meza had to sit out this round due to a broken leg he sustained two weeks prior to this race.
However, Sam Bangert got his best finish ever, earning first place in the 200cc B class and finishing in the fifth-overall Amateur spot!
Blais Racing Services rider and 2011 Women’s champ Shayla Fulfer had to make a hard decision, and decided to give up her spot on the team, due to medical issues and personal reasons. The Blais Team has enjoyed having the Fulfer family on the team, and some lasting friendships have been forged; the team wishes Shayla good luck with whatever she decides for the future!
Race Report by Sam Bangert
First, I want to start off by saying that the Vikings put on one of the hardest races I have ever done! The heat made it even harder.
The race started off with a very tight ending to the bomb run. I was about 10th to the end [in the B row]. I knew I had to start pushing, because I was back so far. There might have been another 200 in front of me.
The first loop was just like any other first loop. I got passed on the bottleneck on the first hill. By this time, I was pumped and ready to race. I caught back up to [the other 200cc rider] and passed him.
On the second loop, another rider and I battled a little bit. Then I pulled away and didn’t see him again. The second loop was very consistent with its techiness and was ruthless the whole time. I laid it over once, hard, hitting my funny bone (which is not so funny!) and my hand went numb for a little bit!
I want to thank the Vikings MC members at the last check for pouring water down my back.
I finished first place in class and fifth overall for the Amateur line. It was the most fun and one of the hardest races I have ever had!
Thank you to all the people and companies that have helped me: Blais Racing Services, Bio-Tearoffs, Speed Unlimited, Muscle Milk/ CytoSport, ESR, TLD, Fasst Co., Fastway, and IMS. Also, thank you to Earl Shuler from ESR for coming out the day before to help me get my bike set up.
[For more on this event, please check out “Caselli, Pearson Go One-Two at Virgin Voyage” and “Race Report from the Virgin Voyage,” the latter by racer Jacob Argubright… Editor]