Chaparral Motorsports PC Kawasaki 2019 Glen Helen 2 Sprint Hero Race Report
The 2019 Sprint Hero Enduro series headed to a dry, dusty Glen Helen Raceway for the finale. After the original location fell through, series promoters were forced to reschedule the last round to the popular venue. With multiple events coinciding at the track, a fast and furious layout awaited the riders. The moto test was on the short side, utilizing just the national motocross track. The second, enduro loop headed up to the hills surrounding the park, using many of the faster, flowing ridges. The ridges were dry, slick and silty, which made for a balance between throttle control and flat-out sprint pace.
Zach Bell - 1st place pro
From the very first test, Zach set the pace to beat, winning moto test one by seven seconds. He was able to post the best time in the first enduro test as well, extending his lead a further two seconds over series leader Taylor Robert. Following those two tests, the promoters sent the riders straight through all five remaining moto loops. Zach proved unbeatable in each moto test, extending his lead out to thirty seconds before the racing switched back to the enduro loop. Over the first two enduro tests, Bell continued to extend his lead by a few seconds each time. It wasn't until the final three tests of the day that Zach conceded the fastest time. By then, Bell was focussing more on conserving his lead and was able to do so successfully. With a margin of twenty-nine seconds, Zach took his first win of the Sprint Hero season. He also locked up second place in the championship standings.
In His Own Words
"I felt really good all day long. I came in straight off a vacation, without any time on the bike. So, the first moto test went really well with the win. And same with the first off-road test. That put me first in the staging order and I just kind of led throughout the day from there. I was able to put myself in a good position ahead of Taylor [Robert]. I had a thirty-six second lead or so heading into the last few tests. The off-road loop was really slippery. There on the second-to-last test I went off the track a little bit. I was thinking 'uh-oh, this might be a crash', but other than that it was pretty smooth sailing. I felt comfortable on the fast, slick terrain and my KX450 was working awesome. It was just a recipe to feel good and go fast and it was a really good day for me and the team."
Blayne Thompson - 4th place pro
Blayne had a solid day at the Sprint Hero finale. Through the first moto and enduro tests, he had solidified himself in fourth place in the staging order. From there, Thompson pushed to close the gap on third-place Dante Oliveira, but couldn't quite close the times down. As the tests headed to the off-road, Blayne was sitting thirty seconds off the podium spot. In the early enduro tests, Thompson was struggling with traction points slightly, and was in danger of losing his fourth place. Blayne was able to rally in the final couple tests, improving his times and cementing himself in fourth on the day. The finished moved Thompson into fifth overall in the final standings.
Robby Bell, Team Manager
"The courses were fast today, and the off-road was dusty. So, it was great that Zach was able to get the first staging spot after the initial two tests and subsequent re-staging. He was outstanding on the moto test, which shouldn't be a surprise. But it's still impressive to watch him generate so much speed. For Zach to carry that pace into the off-road, that was where he sealed the victory. After the first couple enduro tests, he was able to back it down a percent or two and really enjoy the win. It was a fantastic performance and we're so happy as a team for Zach.
"Blayne had another solid ride, backing up his WORCS performance. He was just off the pace of the front three, but the effort was clearly there. It's been good to see him finding his form and aggression as the season winds down. I was especially happy to see him respond late in the day and put down his fastest enduro test time on the final loop. With the rounds that remain, I'm looking forward to seeing him get closer to the podium once more."