Photo credit: Darrin Chapman
Costal Racing/Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes returned to action over the weekend at the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance, where he came away with a dominating win at round seven of the series in Glen Daniel, West Virginia.
Over the course of two days of racing, Sipes won 9 of the 12 tests and finished nearly two minutes ahead of runner-up Cory Buttrick, while series point leader Steward Baylor came away with third overall, just a tick of the clock off of Buttrick’s time.
“It’s cool to come back to this series – this was a good event,” said Sipes. “I enjoy racing these sprint races and since it was on a golf course I couldn’t pass it up.”
The win marked Sipes’ third of the season in the series.
“Overall, I think I rode pretty good,” added Sipes. “I was a little cautious in the first test on Saturday, just because it was slick. But after that, I think I rode pretty well. It’s good to get the win and I’m happy with how I rode.”
In addition to the pro riders, a large contingent of amateur riders joined Sipes at this weekend’s event in pursuit of every dirt biker’s dream: to race on an active golf course. And according to Sipes it was a big thrill.
“I think everyone enjoyed racing on the golf course, it was awesome,” said Sipes. “It’s a nice course and we were actually racing down some of the fairways and jumping off of tee boxes. It was pretty cool.”
According to Full Gas Sprint Enduro promoter, Jason Hooper, Hidden Valley Golf Course made their clubhouse facilities, fairways, sand traps and greens available for the event.
“The owners of the golf course are into motorsports and they were looking for ways to get people out here, so they thought if they hosted a race it would be good publicity,” said Hooper. “I think everyone enjoyed it. It was one of those things you always fanaticize about doing.”
Buttrick matched his best result of the year with his runner-up finish. The SRT Racing KTM-backed rider from Ohio closed out the weekend with three seconds and five third-place finishes out of the 12 tests.
“I made a few mistakes today, but overall it was a good weekend,” said Buttrick. “I had a couple of crashes today that didn’t come at a good time, but I still managed second overall. Things went a little smoother on Saturday and I felt I was riding a little better. The fairways were sort of slippery, so you had to watch your lines in the Cross test.
“I’ve been working really hard lately, and it’s good to see it finally paying off. I’m hoping to keep the ball rolling and collect a few more podiums before the year is over.”
Baylor, on the other hand, got off to a slow start when he crashed in the first test on Saturday. After struggling for most of the first day with the Cross test, the SRT Racing KTM-backed Baylor finished day one in fifth place. On Sunday, however, the South Carolina rider won two of the Enduro tests and found some speed in the Cross test, which boosted him to second for the day and third overall for the weekend.
“I tucked the front and went down in the first test on Saturday and that put me behind the eight ball; I was playing catch-up the rest of the day,” said Baylor. “I struggled quite a bit on Saturday and I just wasn’t riding that great, but I think I turned it around on Sunday, especially in the Enduro test.”
Photo credit: Darrin Chapman
Despite finishing third, Baylor still managed to increase his point lead by a single point over Beta USA’s Jordan Ashburn, who was fourth overall for the weekend. With just two rounds remaining, Baylor now has 270 points while Ashburn left West Virginia sitting on 265 points. Buttrick is third overall in the title chase with a total of 231 points.
Josh Strang rounded out the top five. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider won the opening test of the weekend, but damaged his rear brake assembly in the second test and seemed to struggle after that.
Sixth place went to Connecticut’s Josh Toth, who edged his N-FAB/Am Pro Yamaha teammate Ricky Russell by 12 seconds for the position.
Integrity Acquisitions-backed KTM rider Evan Smith claimed eighth place, finishing ahead of ninth place Jesper Borjesson on the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KR4 Arrive-n-Ride Racing Husqvarna and Honda-mounted Damon Rummel.
Billy Schlag took the win in the Open A division, beating Jacob Rowland and Tanner Way in the process. Meanwhile, Cole Mattison continued his domination of the Lites A division with a solid win over Brewer Cawley and RJ Cook.
Photo credit: Darrin Chapman
Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/KR4 Arrive-n-Ride Racing’s Tayla Jones grabbed her sixth win of the season and wrapped up the title in the Women’s Pro division in the process, adding to the GNCC and National Enduro titles she wrapped up earlier in the month. The Aussie off-road star beat out KTM’s Becca Sheets by nearly three minutes for the overall.
“Other than a couple of crashes, I had a pretty good weekend,” said Jones. “Riding on the golf course was amazing and the Enduro test had some incredible grip, you could do just about anything you wanted.”
Bonanza Pluming KTM’s Mackenzie Tricker finished third with defending series champion, Brooke Cosner, in fourth.
The 2017 Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance resumes on October 21-22 at the Rock Crusher Farm for the Rock Crusher Sprint Enduro, round eight of the series in Young Harris, Georgia. For more information on the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series presented by PRI Powersports Insurance check out www.sprintenduro.com.
- Ryan Sipes (Hsq) 01:32:24.475
- Cory Buttrick (KTM) 01:34:07.087
- Steward Baylor (KTM) 01:34:08.480
- Jordan Ashburn (Bet) 01:34:22.980
- Josh Strang (Hsq) 01:34:42.708
- Josh Toth (Yam) 01:34:57.274
- Ricky Russell (Yam) 01:35:09.670
- Evan Smith (KTM) 01:35:43.700
- Jesper Borjesson (Hsq) 01:36:18.469
- Damon Rummel (Hon) 01:42:55.882
Shan MooreUS Contributorshan@tandenews.com