Ballance’s Quest for Record-Tying Suzuki ATVs GNCC Title Begins this Weekend
De Leon Springs, FL – They’ve packed up the trucks, trailers, ATVs and motorhomes. America’s best off-road racers are headed to Daytona for the kickoff of the 2006 Suzuki Grand National Cross Country Series, and by all indications the season-opening Suzuki Orange Crush GNCC is building into an all-time classic. Sunday’s ATV race kicks off Bill Ballance’s bid for a seventh-straight GNCC title, which would tie him with all-time “Quad God” Barry Hawk. But the factory Yamaha rider, who admits the 2005 series was the toughest yet, is going to have even more competition this year thanks to favorites likes Chris Borich, William Yokley, Chris Jenks and Matt Smiley.
You’ll get a full preview of the series with ATV practice on Saturday, March 4. ATV Racing kicks off on Sunday, March 5, with Youth racing at 8 a.m., a 10 a.m. morning race, and the Pro race at 1 p.m.
The track is a rugged collection of Florida sand whoops, and it will test the toughest riders. The legendary Daytona Beach Bike Week lays just 20 minutes away, as well, so make a week out of the trip and see everything Florida has to offer.
Also, the GNCC Bike Series kicks off with practice on Monday and racing on Tuesday. Supercross superstar Travis Pastrana will compete at 1 p.m. on Tuesday March 7th in the Bike Pro Race, battling Juha Salminen, Barry Hawk, Rodney Smith and Fred Andrews.
Admission is $12 for Sat-Sun and $12 for Mon-Tue. Take I-95 to State Road 40 West. Go 14 1/2 miles to Lake Winnona Road on left, and the track is two miles down the road on the left. For more information on the Suzuki Orange Crush GNCC, log on to GNCCRacing.com.
The AMA-sanctioned Suzuki Grand National Cross Country series is America’s premier off-road racing series. The 13-round series is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The nearly three-hour long GNCC races lead as many as 1800 riders through tracks ranging from eight to twelve miles in length. With varied terrain including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. GNCC featured sponsors include Parts Unlimited, Moose, Maxxis, Pirelli, Wiseco, Klotz, FMF, ITP and Tire Balls, and riders compete for over $3 million in series prizes and contingency money. Associate sponsors include Moose Utility Division, Scott, Acerbis, Alpinestars, Cometic, Outerwears, Twin Air, Polisport Plastics, Thor, Motion Pro, Hyper Wheels, Elka Suspension, MotoTee’s, Weekend Warrior, Owens Motorsports, Tom’s Marina Polaris, EK Chain and Laeger’s. . For more information log on to www.GNCCRacing.com.
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