Race Reports from the GXE Christmas Classic GP

| 20 December 2013 7:48 pm

2013 GXE Get-Xtr-Eme Christmas Classic GP
The Ranch

Courtesy of Blais Racing Services
Photos by Romp World
ANZA, CA, DEC. 14-15, 2013

Race Report by Brendan Crow
Coming into the final GXE race, I was really relaxed. It would be my last race of the year, and it happened to be at one of my favorite locations: The Ranch. I went into the weekend with the mindset of just having a good time during the two-hour scrambles and not putting too much pressure on myself. I have spent most of the second half of the year getting comfortable on my new Blais Racing KTM 300 and catching up to a level that I felt I should have been since the beginning of the year. The race on Saturday wasn’t until 1p.m., so I had some time to get ready in the morning and prepare for the start.

Brendan Crow (192) takes the Expert-line holeshot at the third annual GXE Christmas Classic GP.

Brendan Crow (192) takes the Expert-line holeshot at the third annual GXE Christmas Classic GP.

I had a good jump off the start (although it caught me a little off-guard and I was pretty sloppy) and rounded the first few corners with the lead. I knew I had a good chance of maintaining my lead if I could hold everyone off through the motocross sections and stay out of the dust in the trees. (I was really glad I had my Fastway handguards to fend off the branches.)

The course was extremely fun and had a very good mix of all the terrain The Ranch has to offer, and my strategy worked, as I took a look back coming into the finish off the first lap and saw no one behind me. I rode tight through the trees on the first few laps and got pretty bad arm pump on the second lap, so then I tried to relax and stay smooth.

The third lap is where things began to get interesting. I realized that I had probably relaxed a bit too much, because my teammate Ben Meza had started to catch me. I made a few mistakes on that lap that definitely cost me some time, but I was able to maintain the lead all the way into the pits. I had decided to pit on lap three (which ended up being a good decision), but as I was coming out, Ben (who didn’t pit) rode by and gained the lead! I knew it was going to be critical to stay as close as possible on this lap, in the hopes he would pit, allowing me an easy pass back into the lead.

This plan worked perfectly!

I barely squeaked into the lead as he was going through his pit procedure, and I figured I had to put down solid laps to hold him off for the second half of the race. My Race Tech/ ESR suspension allowed me to ride steady and smooth for the last few laps, and I didn’t have any problems and just enjoyed riding my dirt bike. I came into the finish happy with a good race, knowing I had won my class. Then I was told I had finished second overall! Many of the riders on the first (Pro) line had issues, which allowed me to wiggle myself onto the overall podium!

Early Sunday, we got the news that the race was being canceled for the day (the wind was insane!), which was unfortunate.

I do want to thank Erek and everyone helping him that put in the effort for these races; I have yet to ride a GXE race that I didn’t like. I also want to thank all of my sponsors who I have the privilege of working with: Blais Racing Services, Fasst Co., Race Tech, ESR, AME, IMS, FMF, No Toil, Kenda, Dirt Tricks, BRP, X Brand goggles, Acerbis, Alpinestars, Fastway, Bulletproof Designs, TLD, and Rekluse. I also want to thank my dad, who had done so much more than just be a part of the pit crew.

See you in 2014!

Race Report by Ben Meza
The Christmas Classic GP had been on my calendar all year. I was more than excited to get out to Anza and shred!

I got out to The Ranch on Saturday at around 9:30 and got myself all ready for the 1 o’clock Pro/ A/ B race. I was signed up for the 250cc A class and ready to race! The start time came around fast, and I went to the start line to grab my spot.

I got an awesome jump off the start and was up front with Brendan Crow! Unfortunately, I made a big mistake and made a wrong turn while leading the pack. I had to work my way from the back up to the front.

On the first lap, I caught and passed three guys and hopped into the 250cc A lead. The dust was strong and I got caught behind a four-stroke Pro rider for the next two laps until I was able to get by him in a technical canyon. I then put the hammer down and got by Brendan to take over second overall and put a little gap on him.

Ben Meza goes flying on his Blais Racing/ Fasst Co. KTM 250 XC.

Ben Meza goes flying on his Blais Racing/ Fasst Co. KTM 250 XC.

I had to pit after four laps, and he was able to squeeze by me. After that, the two of us put the hammer down and checked out from the rest of the pack.

I don’t know what it is about Anza, but Brendan shreds up there! I tried to keep pushing, but he was able to hold me off. I ended up finishing first place in the 250cc A class and third overall, behind Brad Pace and Brendan. Sam [Banger] came in about three minutes behind me to make it a solid finish for all three of the Blais Boys! (We missed you, Skyler!)

I can’t thank my parents enough for all the support, as well as all my sponsors: Blais Racing Services, Fasst Co., TLD, Dirt Tricks, AME, Bullet Proof Designs, KTM USA, Asterisk, Alpinestars, Fastway, Kenda, BRP, ESR Suspension, FMF, Scott Goggles, HBD, Muscle Milk, and my HBMC family!

Race Report by Sam Bangert
The Christmas Classic has always been one of my favorite events of the year, so I was looking forward to it! Saturday would be filled with three races, with races one and two being the less difficult and shorter races and race three being the more technical one, which I was in.

My team and I cheered on friends in both of the early races and then got ready for our races. The start was up a gradual hill, so I figured I’d get pulled by the bigger bikes going up it, but I had two hours to make it up. The flag dropped and my Blais Racing KTM fired right up, and I was off!

Sam Bangert came away with fourth overall and first place in the 200cc A class.

Sam Bangert came away with fourth overall and first place in the 200cc A class.

Just like I suspected, I got pulled, but coming into the second turn, I made a sly inside move on Jake [Argubright] and got into third place. Ben then blew the next turn, so I was second!

Once we got into the tight stuff, I blew a bunch of turns and found myself stuck behind Ben, who was stuck behind someone else for, like, three laps! When Ben finally got around him, I didn’t; I was stuck behind him for another lap. Once I got around him, it was smooth sailing. I was just holdin’ it south, trying to catch back up to my teammates.

Thanks to my Flexx bars, I didn’t get as tired as I could have. I had so much fun during this race! I ended up first place in the 200cc Experts and fourth overall, right behind my teammates Brendan and Ben, who got second and third. I was so stoked! With Brad Pace taking the win, it meant the high-desert boys got the top four spots! Domination!

Thanks to GXE for an awesome course! Thank you, Romp World, for great photos; my family; God; my friends; Geralds MC; VCMC; and all my sponsors: Blais Racing Services, Fasst Co., AMSOIL, KTM, Asterisk, TLD, Racetech, ESR, Cytomax/ Muscle Milk, Alpinestars, Vonzipper, Fastway, Rad Wheels, Kenda, FMF, Enduro Engineering, Samco, and No Toil.

Till next time! Yee Yee!

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Category: Gran Prix, Hare Scrambles, Off-Road, POV, Regional, Riders, Riders All, Riders' POV, Riders' Race Reports

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