District 37 - Big 6 GP Series hosts it's FIRST UTV race
This would be the first time that UTV's would race at The Ranch MX park and at a Big 6 event. The host club, So Cal MC, asked my wife Patty and I to help get this rolling and help promote the event. This would be my first race in over a year in my Polaris RZR and I started to get it prepped.
Just after we started promoting the event, our friend Erik Ridens at Fiber-Tech Offroad and car owner / WORCS SxS racer, Steve Nottoli, asked me if I would like to drive their race ready Polaris RZR 900XP. An earlier decision to modify the car for physically challenged athletes after the WORCS Utah race was made by Steve and his wife (a Rehabilitation Physician). With the idea of making Glen Helen Baja Cup challenge and the Inaugural D37/Big 6 SxS Ranch race (back to back weekends), Steve thought these were good places to test/trial the new hand controls and physically challenged setup.
That's all it took for me and I was in a new RZR for the race. To say I was excited was an understatement! I couldn't wait to get in that car and have some fun. We arrived at the track on Friday evening to check everything out. This was going to be the perfect place for UTV's to race. The Ranch is a beautiful track in the rolling Anza hills. I was hanging out and found my co-pilot for the race, So Cal MC member, Tyler Kapko. I invited him along on the ride and he was stoked.
On Saturday afternoon Erik and Steve brought out the car for me to do a little testing and to race. The car was a beast. The hand controls in their car were the exact same setup I have in my personal RZR so it worked great. We ended up making a few suspension changes for me and some small seat adjustments.
Just before the start of the race the club took us out on a parade lap so we could check out the 7-mile course. The course was awesome and I was ready to go. There would end up being 8 cars that showed up for the race. I got off the line a little slow and let off for the first turn that wasn't very wide, and when I did I got creamed in the back by a couple of teenagers that decided they weren't going to let off. They put their right front tire over my left rear wheel and into the wheel well and we were stuck. It took about eight guys and ten minutes to get us apart after letting all the air out of our two tires. I was definitely bummed but we went into the pit area and got some air and went out onto the course a lap down.
After the first lap, I was getting a lot more comfortable in the RZR and started smoothing out. We kept passing cars broken down all over the course and knew we were going to end up pretty well in the end if we just finished. In the end, Tyler and I would end up finishing 3rd Place after all the course carnage! Thank you Tyler for being a great co-driver and keeping me from missing any of the blind corners in the afternoon sun.
Thank you Erik, Steve & Roxanne for the opportunity. A special thanks to Fiber-Tech, Cognito Motorsports and Alba Racing shops for the support offered in getting the car ready. It was a great experience and I can't thank you guys enough. Also thank you So Cal MC for giving the UTV's a chance to race at such an awesome facility!
The car owned by Steve and prepped by Fiber-Tech was a project car initially built with the support of Cognito Motorsports, Alba Racing, Benchmark Performance and All American KTM/Polaris. Each of the teams played a key role in helping get the car modified, prepped and ready to race.
By: Patty Blais
Racing at the Ranch is so much fun! I really love this facility, even though I'm not much a motorcrosser at all. The tracks are fun and smooth and the jumps are not too scary. Racing out and around the facility, out in the woods and through the Manzanita trees is so much fun!
We had one of the largest Expert rows I've seen in a long time - we had 12 Open Experts at Round 5. Usually there are about 8 of us or less. Since I'm always racing against the boys, the only thing I expect the most out of each race is to come away with a smile! And then of course, I'm scouring the results to see how well I did against the guys.
I've had a good run these last couple races, and I've been able to hold off most of the Vet guys that start behind us. I've been racing with many of these guys for 15 years and it's always a great time, especially after the race when they are making up excuses to my husband as to why they couldn't get around me! haha.....
There are usually only 2 or 3 women racing ATV's in the Grand Prix series. Over the years, I've seen many of them come and go as I also took a little break in between here and there to race more of the desert series events. This year, the #1 Worcs racer, Donna Ellsworth and her husband, are participating in the Big 6 Series. It's great to have someone pushing me as I usually get in between the lead pack of guys and the Intermediates and I just kind of stay there.
The banner dropped and we were into the first, silty turn. Holy cow, we literally could not see two feet in front of us. A few of us literally had to stop and wait for the dust to clear. Kind of scary and this was not how I wanted my race to start. Anyway, we were all safe so far and Donna was right in front of me. About halfway through the first motorcross track, I was able to get ahead of her and stay there for over 3 laps. During my 4th lap, the heat was taking it's toll on me. Our race started at Noon and it was 100 degrees! Donna stayed very consistent and I felt myself slowing down a little to catch my breathe. She ended up finishing ahead of me by one spot. I congratulated her at the finish and we were both just covered with "silty face"!
I ended up finishing in 9th Place! I want to thank all of our awesome friends for all the cheers around the course during the race. That keeps me smiling and motivated!
It was a great weekend all around as my husband Chris was also able to race in the UTV race the day before. The most fun for me is the bench racing that takes places after each event with my long-time buddies! Until the next one....... :)
Patty Blais with her after race smile
May 28th, 2013
June 1st, 2013
District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Round 3
Twenty Nine Palms, CA
St. George Utah
Feb 23, 2013
4 Aces Moose Run
Spangler Hills OHV
AMA GPR/FMF National Hare and Hound Championship Series
Round 1 DMC, Johnson Valley OHV Ca.
Jan 27th, 2013
Jan 13th, 2012
By: Ben Meza
CALVMX series - Round 1
Glen Helen Raceway
First Place Intermediate racer
AMA District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Series
Nicole got invited to the 2012 X-Games on July1st to compete in women's Endurocross.
Rider Number: B22
Rides: KTM 65
Hometown: Long Beach, CA