Taylor Robert returned to the WORCS Racing series and the top step of the podium at a Sand Hollow State Park for round five.
Giacomo Redondi finished second, padding his points lead, ahead of Gary Sutherlin. Justin Wallis and Travis Damon completed the top five. Austin Serpa won the Pro 2 race and Collin Elliott picked up his second consecutive victory in Pro 2 Lights.
High winds made the already challenging course downright gnarly for round five of the 2018 WORCS series. The shifting sand dunes hid buried rocks, which played havoc with the competitors particularly both Robert and Redondi who crashed into the first corner.
Robert remounted nearly last but quickly made his way through the field to score the victory on his KTM. Robert returned to WORCS after breaking both arms in a crash during practice after winning the season opener.
After missing two rounds, Robert was pleased to be back in winning form: “To come back and be right where I left off is good. The track was really technical and it was hard to go fast and push.
“Because of the track conditions, I couldn’t worry about the other guys. I had to focus on what was right in front of me. You had to be on your game today because if lost focus even for a moment, your head was in the sand.”
Giacomo Redondi also dumped his KTM twice on the first lap and had to climb back through the field to finish second. The Italian extended his lead to 87 from Gary Sutherlin on 78 and Zach Bell on 65.
“I pushed hard during the race, and I’m happy with second place,” said Redondi. “Taylor is the man to beat and we are close. This course is completely new to me. I’ve never ridden in the dunes. I gained some points and I’m looking forward to the next race.”
Sutherlin missed the first corner melee on his Suzuki, choosing a different line and took the lead. Unfortunately, he misjudged the shifting sand in a rock section and crashed. Brake problems further hampered his charge but he was happy to finish third and remain second in points.
Pro 2 class
Austin Serpa scored his first win of the season after a bad start in the Pro 2 class. After a pit stop, he made his way past Cooper Abbott, Clayton Hengeveld and Mitch Anderson to score the victory.
“I don’t think I ever touched first place until the second to last lap,” said Serpa. “Cooper was in front me, Clay passed me, and then Mitch passed me. By midway I thought I was going to have a bad result.
“After we pitted, a fire sparked in me. I was pacing myself when I caught Cooper so I sprinted the last two laps. This is such a relief because I’ve never done well here.”
Hengeveld had a hard crash in the 450A class earlier in the day, so he was pleased with his result in Pro 2. Hengeveld held the lead on his Kawasaki for several laps before losing the top spot to Serpa two laps from the finish. The runner-up effort marked his first Pro 2 podium.
Anderson was another rider to go down several times during the Pro 2 race. He rebounded to finish third and protect his lead in the points.
In Pro 2 Lights Collin Elliott scored his second consecutive victory. Points leader Spenser Wilton was second, ahead of Dallas Serpa. Elliott, who missed the first two rounds due to injury, was again dominant on his Yamaha. He was overjoyed with the victory.
More info at: worcsracing.com
Report and pictures: Harlen Foley