The tandem of Warnert Racing / Can-Am riders Adam McGill and Chris Bithell have been on the Pro class podium nine times this year in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country series. Both riders are currently in the top five in the GNCC XC1 Pro class aboard their Can-AM DS 450 sport quads. McGill is second in the points race with 173 points and five podiums in eight rounds (round five was cancelled due to weather). At round three, with a hard charge on the fifth and final lap, he won the afternoon overall and the XC1 Pro class, which was McGill’s first win on the Can-Am DS 450, and the first afternoon overall for the machine in 2011. McGill won Round 8 which was dubbed “America’s Toughest Race” by GNCC officials. The Warnert Racing / Can-Am rider used a strategic pass in a mud hole to take the lead in West Virginia. McGill held on for the win and also scored $5,000 for his overall victory at the Snowshoe GNCC.
Bithell has accumulated four podium finishes, including three second-place rides, on his DS 450 and is currently fourth in the points race. He trails the second-place position (McGill) by 14 points heading into the mid-season GNCC break. The 2011 season resumes Saturday, Sept. 10th at the Can-Am Unadilla GNCC in New Berlin, N.Y.
Another Warnert Racing / Can-Am racer, Lexie Coulter, has faired well on her Can-Am DS 450 in 2011. The Tyler, Texas, ATV racer kicked off the season with a win in Florida and also won round 4 at Big Buck in South Carolina. Those impressive wins combined with two other podium finishes have put Coulter in third place in the Women’s class. After missing the last two rounds due to an injury, she’s dropped to sixth in the point standings, but that does not factor in throwouts.
As for the Can-Am X-Team and its Outlander and Renegade 4×4 racers, there has been plenty to talk about in 2011. Starting with the biggest news of all in the GNCC racing scene and that’s Clifton Beasley of Unionville, Tenn. Beasley has extended his impressive winning streak to 27 consecutive races with another win at round eight aboard his Team UXC Can-Am Renegade 800R X xc. And at the previous round, he won his class by more than 8 minutes. At the Snowshoe GNCC, Beasley finished third overall in the morning, won his class and also tallied the third spot on the 4×4 utility podium.
In the 4×4 Open class, Can-Am X-Team racers Bryan Buckhannon, Michael Swift, Zac Zakowski are in the top four in points in the race for the class title. Swift is leading the way in first, with four wins and three morning overalls. Buckhannon, who won round seven and nine aboard his Can-Am Outlander 800R X xc, also has four victories. He’s only four points behind Swift for the class points lead after winning in Ohio. Zakowski currently sits in fourth place in the class after his best finish of 2011, a second-place ride at Snowshoe was followed up by a fourth at The John Penton.
Can-Am X-Team member and Zakowski Motorsports rider Kevin Trantham is also having a banner year aboard his Can-Am Outlander 500 EFI. The Hot Springs, N.C. racer is undefeated in 2011 and currently holds an 15-point lead in the 4×4 Lites class heading into the GNCC break. In fact, Trantham has won 14 consecutive races and 19 of the last 21 class events.
At the inaugural Rock Run GNCC in Pennsylvania, MPR / Can-Am racer Mike Penland notched his first win of the season on an Outlander 800R XT. He’s third in points in the 4×4 Super Senior (45+) class to another Can-Am-mounted racer, Forrest Whorton, who has won all but one race in 2011. Whorton edged Penland for the win at The John Penton GNCC.
In side-by-side vehicle racing, the Can-Am Commander has been rather successful in its first season of Can-Am GNCC racing. Team NC Powersports of Pataskala, Ohio, has also won an overall in the Open Modified class with a Commander 1000 X and currently is third in points. Warnert Racing / Can-Am Jerime Dudding is piloting a Can-Am Commander 1000 X and placed in the top five in the Open Modified class at Big Buck in South Carolina. Team Travalena, Perryopolis, Pa., leads the UTV Open Limited class in points and has won three of the first four rounds in a Can-Am Commander. Buckhannon has also scored an overall win in the Open Limited class with his Parts Plus/Stafford Racing Can-Am Commander 1000 X.
The 2011 Can-Am GNCC racing series resumes in September at The Can-Am Unadilla GNCC in New Berlin, N.Y. ATV racing is on Saturday.