Industry News

WORCS Round 3 Race Recap – Crazy Horse

Robert VanBeekum
Muzzys’ Robert VanBeekum takes the Pro UTV win at Crazy Horse

2013 WORCS ATV Racing
Round 3 – Crazy Horse
March 24, 2013
Lake Havasu, Arizona

Photos and Text by Seth Fargher,

The World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) returned to Crazy Horse campground on the shores of Lake Havsu Arizona this past weekend as 65 UTV’s lined up in their perspective classes to do battle on what has been deemed one of the roughest, most challenging course on the circuit.
The Lake Havasu round is always a favorite for drivers and teams alike because it usually falls in line with peak Spring Break season, bringing additional spectators and camaraderie to the already exciting event.  While the environment at Havasu is preferred over some of the other courses, the track however is not.  Over the course of a race weekend the hard packed MX track tends to develop deep pot holes and straight edge whoops while the majority of the rest of the track becomes a one line train track making passing virtually impossible.  Golf ball to softball size rock were everywhere making passing, and visibility, all the more difficult.

RJ Anderson jumps the Lagoon

One of the key features of the track is the infamous lagoon jump.  This 40+ foot gap allows a rider to knock between 6-8 seconds off their time if they have the guts to try it.  New for this year, WORCS officials decided to leave the Lagoon jump open for all classes throughout the weekend which meant if someone had the cajones to jump it in a side by side, they would have the chance.

WORCS announcer Tim Shelman made sure every side by side driver was aware of the $100 prize and more importantly, the bragging rights, for being the first side by side to try it.

Ken Benson
Ken Benson gets the holeshot

With the wave of the green flag the 995cc Dragon Fire Polaris RZR XP 900 of Ken Benson shot out of the blocks in the Pro Production class and managed to beat every other racer, including series points leader Beau Baron out of the first turn.  Benson had him by several car lengths but Baron would overtake him a few turns into the motocross track.

Beau Baron navigates the huge ruts at Havasu

 This Havasu track was very spectator friendly because it was condensed into such a small area.  From the start, drivers pass through the MX portion of the track before disappearing into one of two ravines on either side of a plateau that stretched all the way to the beach.  Drivers would dip and resurface from either ravine several times until emptying out onto the beach.  This short section provided the most rock free portion of the track however deep, and I mean DEEP ruts developed in the sand as the race wore on.

Scoring would once again be conducted on adjusted time as racers left in waves from three separate starting lines.  After Baron passed for the lead it seemed as if it might be the same old story as rounds 1 and 2, Baron checking out with everyone else trying to reel him in.  That looked to be the case until the final lap when Baron suffered a mechanical issue and was unable to get moving again.

Ryan Piplic
Ryan Piplic

Baron’s mishap left the door wide open for Ryan Piplic to move into first place and claim his first overall of the season but his excitement was short lived.  He managed to blow a belt on the final lap ending his chances of a win.  Never let it be said that Ryan Piplic isn’t a fighter, that’s for sure.  After running to his pit, he returned to replace the belt and finish out the final lap to salvage a tenth place finish.

RJ Anderson was another one, not only looking for his first win of the season but also his first finish after mechanical issues plagued him at rounds 1 and 2.  Although he wasn’t the first one to claim the lagoon jump, (that honor and the cash goes to Doug Eichner) RJ was the only racer jumping the lagoon on every lap allowing him to make up some serious time on the leaders.  Even despite a roll over on lap one, RJ was able to flip the car back over, remount and get back on pace to stay within striking distance of the leaders.  Unfortunately his efforts were in vain as he too fell victim to the course after a rock sheered a front wheel right off the hub.

Robert VanBeekum
Robert VanBeekum

With three of the fastest drivers out of the running it opened the door for a slew of new faces to stand atop the Pro Production podium.  Muzzy’s Robert VanBeekum started a row ahead of Anderson and kept a reasonable awareness of his position by keeping an eye on Anderson.  “I knew RJ was making up time but I also knew he was pushing his car to the limit,” said VanBeekum.  “On the last lap when I started passing other broken down cars and I didn’t see RJ, I knew I was near the front.”
James Hill was the second racer this season to put the new Can-Am Maverick on the WORCS podium as he finished the race in physical first place.  His adjusted time wasn’t enough to unseat VanBeekum but Hill was ecstatic with his personal best 2nd place finish.  Andrew Berry rounded out the podium of newcomers with a third place spot.

James Hill

As impressive as the lagoon jump was and the podium full of new faces in the pro production classes, one of the most impressive feats of the day was the 2nd place finish in the Production 850 class by first time racer Sarah Price.  There aren’t many women willing to come out and wage war with the boys but Sarah charged hard the entire race, earning her the fastest lap of the day in her class.  Jake Morton would take the overall ahead of Price in the production 850 Class.
Mitch Guthrie bested the entire Production 1000 class yet again, earning him his third straight victory and now holds the honor of being the only racer to win every round so far this season.
After nearly a month off, racers will venture to the sandy trails and slick rocks of Sand Hollow State park in Hurricane Utah for round 4 of racing action.  If we learned anything round 3 it’s that anything can happen in racing and simply being the fastest guy on the course is no guarantee.  Driving smart and consistent can go further in the long run and those who find the right balance are likely to be the ones in the hunt at the end of the season.

WORCS Round 3 Race Results:

SXS Production 600
Finish Nbr Brand Name City,State Overall Laps Elapsed Time
1 352 POL   Ronnie Anderson Riverside, CA 7   5 00:41:00.275
2 525 POL   Amelia Morton Taft, CA 13   5 00:46:36.695
SXS Pro Production
Finish Nbr Brand Name City,State Overall Laps Elapsed Time
1 664 POL   Robert Vanbeekum Mesa, AZ 1   6 00:43:28.909
2 91 CA   James Hill Lake Ellsinore, CA 2   6 00:44:12.417
3 268 POL   Andrew Berry Paso Robles, CA 3   6 00:44:14.089
4 179 POL   Nick Nelson Tehachapi, CA 6   6 00:45:10.615
5 457 POL   Jeffrey Obering Cedar City, UT 8   6 00:45:48.065
6 17 CA   John Pacheco Lake Elsinore, CA 9   6 00:46:10.298
7 111 ARC   Tommy Scranton Perris, CA 11   6 00:46:46.968
8 816 POL   Cody Rahders Alpine, CA 12   6 00:46:47.156
9 55 POL   Tim Wyatt Canton, GA 13   6 00:47:51.760
10 1 POL   Ryan Q. Piplic Las Vegas, NV 15   6 00:52:54.875
11 549 POL   Beau Baron Atascadero, CA 16   5 00:33:59.598
12 37 POL   Rj Anderson Riverside, CA 17   5 00:35:08.382
13 603 CA   Josh Frederick Moapa, NV 18   5 00:36:26.626
14 25 YAM   Darwin Mao Las Vegas, NV 23   5 00:49:31.528
15 148 POL   Wesley Barker Dawsonville, GA 24   5 00:49:41.333
16 21 POL   Clint Roberts Corona, CA 25   4 00:30:18.851
17 800 POL   Mark Queen Lake Havasu City, AZ 26   3 00:21:19.512
18 917 CA   David Martinez Newport Beach, CA 27   3 00:23:56.425
19 23 CA   Pablo Veglia Manhattan Beach, CA 29   3 00:30:43.524
DNF 431 POL   Doug Eichner El Cajon, CA DNF   1 00:07:10.831
DNF 995 POL   Ken Benson Queen Creek, AZ DNF   1 00:06:22.202
DNF 19 CA   Johnny Leach Lake Elsinore, CA DNF   1 00:07:28.252
DNF 708 POL   Joe Greco Lweiston, ID DNF   1 00:06:55.103
DNF 7 POL   Greg Row Alpine, CA DNF   1 00:06:41.564
DNS 788 POL   Mark Patridge Santa Ana, CA DNS   0  
SXS Production 1000
Finish Nbr Brand Name City,State Overall Laps Elapsed Time
1 751 POL   Mitch Guthrie Jr Glendora, CA 4   6 00:44:33.360
2 777 POL   Jake Greco Lewiston, ID 7   6 00:45:40.734
3 161 POL   Scott Larsen Newhall, CA 5   6 00:45:41.700
4 214 POL   Garrett Haxby Seabeck, WA 10   6 00:47:32.341
5 80 POL   Robert Mowrer N Las Vegas, NV 14   6 00:48:37.624
6 28 POL   Darren Kelley Logandale, NV 19   5 00:41:20.207
7 191 POL   Jacob Shaw Lakeside, CA 20   5 00:42:40.403
8 14 POL   Angela Olander Wittmann, AZ 21   5 00:43:40.777
9 626 POL   Michael Gonzales Glendora, CA 22   5 00:46:57.963
DNF 999 POL   Andrei Isac Las Vegas, NV DNF   2 00:15:27.680
DNF 707 POL   Gary Bright Canyon Country, CA DNF   1 00:07:47.197
DNS 108 POL   Mike Gardner Lake Forest, CA DNS   0  
DNS 45 POL   Ryan Scolman Bend, OR DNS   0  
DNS 500 POL   Levi Gilkison San Juan Capistrano, CA DNS   0  
SXS Production 850
Finish Nbr Brand Name City,State Overall Laps Elapsed Time
1 291 YAM   Jake Morton Taft, CA 3   5 00:40:33.569
2 238 POL   Sara Price Canyon Lake, CA 4   5 00:40:40.731
3 654 POL   Chris Willing Gardnerville, NV 5   5 00:40:46.118
4 929 POL   Michael Redhead Yorba Linda, CA 9   5 00:41:19.833
5 138 JD   Daniel Rosenzweig San Marcos, CA 10   5 00:41:37.942
6 456 POL   Alfredo Ramirez Paso Robles, CA 11   5 00:43:25.714
7 964 KAW   Hobie Oconnor Anaheim, CA 14   5 00:48:10.018
8 115 KAW   Wayne Taylor La Mesa, CA 15   4 00:33:57.738
9 237 OTH   Kipp Mickels Apple Valley, CA 20   3 00:31:25.883
DNF 22 POL   Brice Ginn Scottsdale, AZ DNF   2 00:15:57.290
DNF 417 KAW   Nolan Remlinger Fullerton, CA DNF   1 00:07:04.265
SXS Production 700
Finish Nbr Brand Name City,State Overall Laps Elapsed Time
1 422 POL   David Haagsma Bakersfield, CA 1   6 00:45:48.010
2 95 YAM   Kayla Smith Valley Center, CA 2   6 00:46:06.147
3 50 POL   Michael Bunyea Atascadero, CA 8   5 00:41:07.883
4 93 HON   Matt Hancock Tempe, AZ 12   5 00:43:33.627
5 983 YAM   Mark Popjoy Las Vegas, NV 16   4 00:36:02.236
6 816 POL   Cody Rahders Alpine, CA 18   3 00:22:14.529
7 353 YAM   Cody Mao Las Vegas, NV 19   3 00:27:50.713
8 72 YAM   Brian Garcia Lake Havasu City, AZ 21   3 00:46:50.802
2013 WORCS ATV/UTV Schedule:
  1. Jan. 25-27, 2013 – Canyon Raceway, Peroria, AZ
  2. Feb. 8-10, 2013 – Buffalo Bills, Primm, NV
  3. March 22-24, 2013 – Crazy Horse, Lake Havasu City, AZ
  4. April 19-21, 2013 – Sand Hollow, Hurricane, UT
  5. May 10-12, 2013 – Speed World Night Race, Suprise, AZ
  6. July 12-14, 2013 – Pala Raceway, Pala, CA
  7. Aug. 9-11, 2013 – Glen Helen Raceway, Devore, CA
  8. Sept. 20-22, 2013 – Honey Lake MX, Milford, CA
  9. Oct. 11-13, 2013 – Honolulu Hills, Taft, CA

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