GNCC Racing: seven rounds, seven winners as Jordan Ashburn claims John Penton Trophy
Defending Champion Jordan Ashburn takes first win of the 2023 Grand National Cross Country season at round seven, the historic John Penton GNCC Trophy as Steward Baylor jumps into a 10-point series lead.
Has there ever been a season like this one? Seven rounds into the 2023 GNCC calendar and we have now seen seven different winners as Magna1 Motorsports Husqvarna’s Jordan Ashburn earned his first win of 2023.
A lot of rain made the Millfield Ohio course difficult for the early riders in the weekend, things were drying out by the time the PM race on Sunday afternoon saw the flag drop but it was still a mudder in places.
Johnny Girroir took the holeshot for FMF KTM but it was AmPro Yamaha’s Ricky Russell leading the way at the end of lap one with reigning champion Ashburn and Ben Kelley right behind.
It was a topsy-turvy race as riders moved up and down the leader board including Russell would fall back to eighth allowing Ashburn to the front. The results below are characterised by just how close the top 10 or so riders were with third to seventh all within 30 seconds at the flag.
The highlight though was the battle out front with Rocky Mountain ATV MC, Tely Energy KTM Racing’s Steward Baylor joining Ashburn for the remaining three hours.
Ashburn and Baylor swapped the lead multiple times, but ultimately Ashburn took the win by just over a one second to make it seven different winners at the first seven rounds of the GNCC season.
John Penton GNCC results:
Points lead for Steward
Baylor earned second overall on the day after he started at the back of the pack on the opening lap of the race. Second might not be where he wanted to finish but a 10 point lead at this stage of the season is not to be sniffed at.
GNCC points standings after round seven:
XC2 250 win for Cody Barnes
FMF RPM KTM Racing’s Angus Riordan hit the front first when the XC2 250 Pro line took off but Phoenix Racing Honda’s Cody Barnes and AmPro Yamaha’s Liam Draper fought out a battle much like the lead pair in XC1.
Barnes and Draper swapped the lead position multiple times throughout the race and it Barnes who had the lead as they began the last lap, coming through to earn his first win of the season just a one second ahead of Draper.
Phoenix Racing Honda’s Mike Witkowski would battle back to finish third in the XC2 class after starting his day back in the sixth.
In XC3 125 Pro-Am class Dakoda Devore coming through to earn the class win in Ohio ahead of Jason Lipscomb with points leader Toby Cleveland third.
Archer ticks-off convincing WXC win as Gutish lucks-out
In the morning race, AmPro Yamaha’s Rachael Archer took the WXC class win and second overall behind Zach Nolan in worse conditions than the Pro classes faced later on in the afternoon.
Rachel Gutish took the early lead and set pace but Archer moved to the front on the third lap as unfortunately Gutish suffered a mechanical issue.
Korie Steede moved into second after running third for the first couple of laps but, along with Prestin Raines taking her first WXC podium in third, neither was a match for Archer on the day who was 20 minutes clear of her nearest rival at the flag.
2023 John Penton AM race results:
The next round of GNCC Racing will take place on June 3-4 in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania with the Parts Unlimited Mason-Dixon GNCC.
More information: www.gnccracing.com
Photo Credit: Ken Hill