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By: Jason Giacchino
Email: offthepegs@atvsource.com

May 2007 - Off The Pegs

All That’s Missing is the Quads

I doubt anyone reading this column could make an argument that today’s ATVs aren’t as versatile as ever. I equally doubt anyone out there feels like there are already too many ATV race series to follow. Let’s be honest--while the ATV racing industry has made great strides in recent years to get noticed by increasing TV coverage and attracting some major outside sponsors (such as Red Bull and Monster Energy Drink), there are still venues being neglected.

I pose the following question: Could quads benefit from another, totally unique new venue? Before answering that, let us first take a look at what we have going on so far. For 2007, ATV race enthusiasts have no less than seven major series to follow: GNCC, GNC/ATVA Nationals, Best in the Desert, Powersports Championship ATV Tour, SCORE, ITP Quadcross, and WORCS. It may sound to outsiders like we already have our calendars pretty well filled, but hold off on that line of thinking until after you’ve heard about the new venue I’ve been talking about.

Endurocross Track
Endurocross Track

Before a sold-out crowd at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, promoter Tim Clark recently put on quite a unique racing event that required truck loads of dirt be shipped in; bulldozers for obstacle shaping, rocks, tires, and even some telephone poles. This was no ordinary stadium dirt track. The event was given the catchy label “Endurocross.” To those who have yet to experience it, believe me when I say that this is the dawn of something big.

The track itself is fairly tight, a bit smaller and more compressed than an average AMA Supercross and while dirt still reigns supreme as a base, the obstacles are beyond gnarly. From killer sand traps, to half buried semi-tires, pyramids of telephone poles, to a man-made pond crossing (built by a local pool installer), this event manages to capture the enduro scene and turn it into a night out for the family. With a $10,000 paycheck on the line, riders battled hard and long through qualifiers hoping to make it into the night’s main event. Did I mention that there’s even a nighttime race in which the stadium lighting fades to black and portions of the track are illuminated via sporadically-placed spotlights? The battles in the main event were equally epic, as riders pounded over piles of square-edged boulders, became engulfed in steam from the pond crossing, and bucked across telephone poles that put even the wicked whoops to shame.

The event had everything a race enthusiast could ask for.--well, almost everything. All that was missing were the ATVs. At present the Endurocross is limited to motorcycles, but fortunately race promoter Tim Clark is on the fence about adding an ATV class. The series is still in its infancy, and your opinion can make a difference. Last year’s event caused such a stir that there wasn’t a single unsold seat available (and there are 7000 of them) weeks before the event’s scheduling. As it stands, the series is an annual affair, but the growth potential is unlimited. Tim Clark has managed to capture the skills and excitement of enduro racing and combine it with the user-friendliness of Supercross.

I mentioned above that your opinion on the issue of ATVs being run in the event counts. Clark says that he’ll consider forming an ATV class for future Endurocross races should the demand arise. The type of terrain he’s assembled for competition simply begs to be conquered by a quad. While clutch equipped, high performance ATVs could blitz along the terrain just like the bikes, there is no question that 4x4s would be right at home as well (some riders were contesting 2wd motorcycles on the course with success). Just point your browser over to the official site:
http://www.endurocross.com

Or better yet, email Tim Clark directly at: tc @ clarktime.com

Drop a line stating that, as an ATV enthusiast, you think quads would fit right in to the Endurocross formula. By banding together, we have an opportunity to climb another rung on the ladder of ATV racing domination.


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