NGPC HEADS TO BLYTHE!

NGPC THROUGH TWO ROUNDS 

If you haven’t watched the National Grand Prix Championship, maybe it’s time to start paying attention.  It’s been nearly fifteen years since we’ve seen brutal competition at off-road racing events. Days when Kurt Caselli, Mike Brown, Bobby Bonds, Ryan Hughes, Destry Abbott, Justin Soule, a young Taylor Robert, Ty Davis, Nathan Woods, Timmy Weigant, and Robby Bell, to name a few, ruled the starting gates of the WORCS series. All were lining up for a two-hour grind fest on the roughest off-road tracks the championship had to offer.  It was a time when semi-trucks filtered pit rows, with most manufacturers supporting genuine factory team efforts. However, when the economy took a hit in 2009, so did off-road racing. As a result, factory race teams became smaller, and races weren’t nearly as packed as before. Instead, more and more efforts became satellite teams with factory backing and forcing racers to have hope that there was some race purse to get by for the weekend’s racing.

There was a time in off-road racing that there were 40+ Pro racers at the starting gates, most with factory support of some sort.

Fast forward ten years, and the NGPC series, formerly known as the Big 6 series, has continuously grown to expand its racing efforts and its series as a whole. Working in coordination with District 37 race clubs, the series pieces together ten rounds for an AMA National Championship, exploring states like Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and California as their home base. Over the past five years, the series has taken an upswing in its pro racing department. Factory efforts have sprung back with teams like KTM, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, Honda, and even Beta. In addition, new and old faces are back, flooding the gates to get their taste of victory and take home an honest check at the end of the race weekend. The series has brought back the old light of what was and now of what is for the west coast off-road racing future.

As of late, the average proline has been around the fifteen-twenty range, with many factory-supported efforts

450 Pro Class

The Pro class in the 2023 race season has been the most entertaining racing we’ve seen in quite some time. JCR Hondas Ryan Surratt leads the points chase for the first time in his off-road racing career. Just last year, Surratt was riding under the lights of Anaheim and the whole West Coast SX series. Surratt has made his name known in the off-road world by winning various local district 37 races, lining up for National Hare and Hounds, and winning the opening round of the NGPC in Delano. He pressed late in the second round in Taft and finished just off the race win, salvaging a second.

Surratt could be dangerous as the series heads to Glen Helen in the coming weeks.

He leads the reining champion and Redbull/KTMs Dante Oliveira by just four points heading into round three. Oliveria is a three-time champion of the series and is looking to keep the ball rolling in his favor. Oliveira had a rough first round, where he was able to finish on the podium but banged himself up pretty well. However, the factory KTM rider struck back at Taft and assorted his dominance after taking the lead on lap three and never looking back.

 

Dante Oliveria and his Redbull/KTM are fierce; the three-time champion is only looking to win in the coming weeks.

Just as you would naturally think these two will run away from everyone else, you have the third-place rider and former professional SX and MX racer, Cole Martinez. Martinez and his SLR/Monster Energy Honda are off to a consistent start to the year. It was just last year that Martinez had the early points lead to the series and was pressuring the KTM racer of Dante. The two were inseparable most of last year, and if Martinez has learned anything, the series is long, and anything can happen. In his third full year of racing with the team, Cole is looking to rally off a few wins and put himself back in the championship before the early summer break. Keep your eye on the pro class, as the top fifteen racers have a championship, multiple race wins, and led laps.

Martinez has led this championship in years past. The only thing stopping him from clinching the championship is himself

250 Pro Class

The Pro 250 class has been nothing short of an all-out war for the podium’s top step.  In the first round, Purvines Yamaha racer of Jack Simpson proved that he would be the racer to beat throughout the series. He dominated the first round finishing an impressive 8th overall and winning by four minutes, and is only looking to extend his points lead at round three. So a switch to Yamaha for the former SLR Honda racer seems to be the right recipe for success.

Simpson is finding a new home on his YZ250F.

Sitting second in the points and only twelve points off the leader is former SX and MX racer Colton Aeck. Aeck and his 3 Brothers/ Hatch racing KTM have found success in the series in years past, but injuries have riddled his chances at contending for a championship. Will this be the year the KTM rider puts it all together? His former teammate may have something to say about that.

Aeck continues to search for his winning ways, as Taft was a gigantic leap for the 250 pro racer.

Kai Aiello riding for the Three Brothers Husqvarna team, may have been Jack Simpson’s closes competitor, but a slight mistake allowed him to fall back from third to sixth in round two and drop to third in the series. Aiello, another former MX racer, is looking to get his first win of the year and establish himself as a contender in the series. However, it will be hard to do with a stacked 250 pro class; racers such as JP Alvarez, Cole Zellar, Kade Walker, Collier Martinez, Thomas Dunn, and Clay Hengeveld filter the class, with many of them winning races in the past.

Kai Aiello is a major Dark Horse in the series.

The series heads to go sand surfing this weekend in Blythe, California, for round three of the ten-round National Championship. The Prospectors MC will be the club hosting at the beautiful Shorty’s Motocross track. Racers expect a six-mile sand track to test the rider’s endurance, bike setup, and racer craft to earn the weekend’s victories. So if you plan on racing this weekend, skip the lines and pre-register for your weekend of racing HERE! For more on results, click HERE!

A WEEKEND PREVIEW OF WHAT TO EXPECT!

Lil Stoopy Films

Comments are closed.

edit