It's been over a month since the last Can-Am GNCC race as the 5th round of the series scheduled for May 1st at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN was postponed due to flooding at the event site. The series gets back to racing this weekend with a new venue in Gosport, IN, about 45 miles Southwest of Indianapolis.
The GNCC series rarely changes venues, so after a few years on the circuit riders become familiar with the terrain and the track's signature obstacles, with these new venue the playing field is leveled as far as track knowledge is concerned. This is a fairly big deal in GNCC racing as there is no practice or pre-running of the course, and pro racers aren't able to walk the track until the morning of the race.
In the XC1 Pro Class it has become a two man battle in the points between FMF/KTM's Charlie Mullins and defending GNCC champion, FMF/Makita/Suzuki's Josh Strang, with only 2 points separating them and nearly an entire race's worth of points back to 3rd-place in points, Yamaha's Paul Whibley. Strang and Mullins battled to the finish two races ago with Strang taking the win as Mullins crashed in the final turn. In the last round Mullins pulled away from Strang early in the race, and despite the Australian putting down the fastest laps of the race in the final 3rd-hour of racing he was unable to catch his championship rival by the time the checkered flag waved. Strang was very upset after the race for letting Mullins pull such a lead in the beginning and will definitely be looking for a win and the championship points lead in Indiana.
Here are a few things to watch out for at this weekend's race:
- AmPro Yamaha's Thad DuVall will make his return to GNCC racing after suffering a dislocated hip and broken wrist at the 3rd round of the series
- After suffering a mechanical at round one, and food poisoning at round two, FMF/KTM's XC1 rookie Kailub Russell is coming off of a 4th place at round three and his first XC1 podium with a 3rd at round four. With his confidence building, look for Russell to be a factor in Indiana.
- Former GNCC series regular, Australian Glenn Kearney has made a return to the States and will race his only GNCC of the year in Indiana. Kearney will be bumping down and racing the XC2 Pro Lites class on a Husqvarna TXC-250 sporting his earned number from 2010, #6.
The pro race gets underway at 1:00pm EST this Sunday. If you aren't able to make it to the race you can follow the live timing and scoring at www.gncclive.com.