The John Burr Cycles 24 Hours of Glen Helen came to a conclusion after a windy weekend Sunday. The hot, gusty conditions pushed the teams to their limits, and just finishing was a badge of honor. This year, Robby Bell’s Precision Concepts Team took a long overdue win, but Robby wasn’t on the list of riders himself. He has moved to the team manager role, and enlisted the help of Dirt Bike Magazine to put together what turned out to be the strongest team in the field. Justin Seeds, Blayne Thompson, Michael DelFante and Travis Damon rode Dirt Bike’s 2017 Kawasaki KX450F test bike to a narrow victory over the defending champions.
Team Ox, which has won several years in a row, had two pro teams, but it was the number one CRF450X piloted by Colton Udall, Mark Samuels, Justin Jones and Eric Swan that made a serious run at the overall lead in the early hours of Sunday morning. Swan moved into the lead right at sunrise, and that set up a wide-open race to the 10:00 a.m. finish. Blayne Thompson rode through most of that time for Precision Concepts and eventually opened up about a minute on the Honda team.
Dirt Bike Test had a pro team that ran a nearly perfect race all day and all night to finish third in the pro class and third overall on a Beta 2-stroke. They spent much of the race dicing with Ox’s number 3 team, which was led by Ian Young.
As usual, the night brought drama for most of the teams. The Precision Concepts riders at one time had a 10 minute lead over the Ox team, but then came a series of light problems. The number 1 Ox team quickly whittled that gap to nothing. The number 3 Ox team, with Ian Young, Ryan Dal Soglio, Ryan Penhall and Travis Frohlich, had more than their share of light issues, too. They swapped out most parts but never really solved the problem, riding most of the night on helmet lights alone.
The Ironman class was impressive, as always. The winner in the end was Justino Ochoa on a KTM 350. Second place was Jon Rice, who was riding a 20-year-old Honda XR400 that he got off Craigslist for $800.
Conner Eddy might be the the youngest Ironman to tackle the 24 Hour. He ride a KTM 85 to sixth in class. For full results, go to www.GlenHelen.com