The 2nd Annual GXE Purvines Racing Baja Challenge, staged at the Quail Canyon MX park in Hungry Valley SVRA, moved to the summer months this year offering riders a chance to get back on their bikes during the break in most off-road racing seasons.The 12.5 mile course offered lots of great terrain – MX track, rolling hills, mountainous roads, fast washes, rocky canyons and many more types of obstacles you encounter while in the mountains of the world famous Baja 1000. The formatting offers another huge obstacle that the Baja 1000 throws at riders… THE DARK. This one-of-a-kind Dual Stage, Day/Night Team race is becoming a fan favorite as more and more riders participate in the event.
At the start of the Day Stage 35 teams would line up and riders start the event like a normal GXE event – Dead engine and by class. At the green flag for the PRO row the Purvines Racing’s team of Axel Pearson and Tallon Taylor got off to a great lead pulling a full minute on AS Racing Evan Kelly and Austin Keys. The Purvines team would stay a solid minute and thirty seconds ahead until the AS Racing team would have to pull out on lap 5 of 9 with cam chain issues. Having completed half of the laps they still would be able to start the night section but were unable to resolve the problem.
This would hand 2nd overall to the Expert AS Racing team of Damion Tacket and Junior Delgado. They were leading their class by 2 laps at this point and now had their eye on the overall! At the finish Purvines Racing would cross 6 minutes ahead of 2nd and would take pole position for the Night stage which would start 1 rider every 30 seconds based on your day finish. This would give Delgado and Tackett the leverage they needed heading into dusk.
Third overall was now up in the air and the two Pro Quad teams were at each other’s throats! The first lap would go to TTR Racing’s Jeremy Grey and Jose Torres but FASST CO’s Nick Destout and Frankie Quiroz wouldn’t let them off easily making the pass on lap 2 except they went straight into the pit’s with a flat tire! They would quickly change the tire but the pit crew would accidentally install it backwards causing even more issues and giving them a taste of what was in store for them for the rest of the evening.
Another battle that was brewing was between the two SRT Off-Road Industry teams! They would go back and forth all day long and the “A Team” of Kevin Murphy, Leon Hanson and Ashley Ornsby-Atkins would pull in exactly 60 seconds ahead of Ryan Gutile, Kyle Smith and SRT Owner Craig Thompson.
After 4 hours of racing the riders had a 2-hour break, depending on when they finally finished, to get their bikes prepped for the night portion of the event. Air Filters, installing lights, duct tapping holes and anything else that they needed to get ready before the 2nd half of the event.
The Purvines Racing team would take to the course first with the sun having gone down just minutes before the green flag. AS Racing was right behind them followed by the Santa Barbara Motorsports team and the 1st Quad of Gray and Torres. By the end of the first lap Tackett of the AS Racing team had made up the 30 seconds, made the pass and put 30 seconds on Taylor aboard his Purvines Beta. The two teams would put on a clinic against the rest of the field pulling 3 minutes on the TTR Quad team in 3rd.
AS Racing definitely didn’t pull away with the Purvines Racing team staying just seconds behind them for the first 4 laps. An AMAZING battle between the two teams as would hook up in the canyon just above the pits and put on a great light show for the spectators and they were, what looked like, side-by-side for nearly 2-miles in the dark! On the 5th lap the AS Racing team would get a little breather, but not much, as the brakes would start to get hot for the Purvines team and on the 6th lap they would suffer electrical issues having to push the bike the last 100 yards to the pits to swap back to the day bike and ride with only helmet lights.
Everyone on hand was hoping for an all night battle between the two but you can be sure the AS Racing Team was relieved to be able to have a little luck on their side and be able to cross the finish line with no issues and no competition the last 3 laps finishing 225-miles and completing 18 laps with a total time of 8 Hours and 11 minutes of seat time between the two of them. Purvines Racing would still cross the line in 2nd overall and 1st PRO, doing everything they could to stay on the lead lap so they could collect the PRO pay out. Finishing 3rd overall, and 1st overall Quad, was the TTR PRO Quad team of Jose Torres and Jeremy Grey who had pretty smooth sailing the entire evening, a nice change from their stator issues from last season. The Destout/Quiroz team would have issue upon issue – lights going out, flat tires, missing parts and just all around bad luck dropping to 10th overall.
The most hard core racers of the day had to be the Ironmen! Racers who purposely raced the entire event on their own! During the day Quinn Harrison would take the Ironman win finishing 7th overall and taking 1st in the Open B class, followed by Bon Fire Racing’s Bill Markel taking 14th overall and 2nd in the Open Quad class. While Harrison would elect to call it before the night stage Markel would line up again with his eye on the 1st Overall Ironman Etched Clock award! Markel would take the Ironman win AND finish 7th overall during the night after 8 hours and 25 minutes riding solo! Think Ink Racing’s Jay Justiz would finish 2nd Ironman finishing 16th overall after 8 hours and 24 minutes but a full lap behind Markel.
With zero injuries and 100% satisfaction this is definitely a round of the Get-Xtr-Eme Motorcycle Endurance Series that you will not want to miss in 2015!!!
Top 10 Overall