The Sierra Cross Country Series is just about ready to begin. This weekend is the first round of the year, and it holds the same fun, camaraderie, and good racing it did last year. 2012 will see 6 rounds of unique track in the Nor-Cal area, cut in by former GNCC racer and SCCS promoter John Scott. These 2 day events (Saturday, Sunday) have something for the whole family, and the series is for quads and side by sides only.
John Scott lived in Texas and was racing GNCC in the early 2000s. He moved out West to the Sierras and put his GNCC expertise to work last year, creating an 8 event cross-country series for quads. Each event averaged about 60 to 70 riders in peewee to expert skill levels. This year, the schedule has been cut down to 6 races, and already the number of pre-registered and returning riders looks to outstrip last year’s numbers, not including the expected side by side turnout (which is supposed to be quite good).
This grassroots program does not have a “grassroots” track layout. John cuts in a unique and challenging track based on his quad experiences, and it doesn’t disappoint. Each round has something challenging for all skill levels, so even the most experienced riders are not bored or finding the track “too easy.” This year’s first round takes place in the rolling hills of Jackson, California. The track will consist of mostly grassland, a few areas of oak trees to race through, and possibly a mud hole, since there’s a spring on the property. The track is mostly a red clay with some areas of exposed rock. If you venture off course, you will be greeted with hidden rocks and stumps, so it is ill-advised. This track will be less technical and riders can expect to be making fast laps.
Additionally, this track is very spectator friendly. It is only $10 per vehicle to enter, and that includes camping for the weekend. The track layout will make it easy for pit vehicles and spectators to navigate their way to optimal viewing areas to capture or watch the action!
Saturday practice starts at 8:30am and ends at 9:45am. Each class will have approximately 20 minutes and you must register PRIOR to 8:30 in order to practice. SCCS is working very hard at keeping a strict schedule this year so that riders can better anticipate what is happening and at what time it is happening.
SCCS also has a new Saturday schedule: (Sunday to remain the same, SxS’s after A/B class)
Race 1 @ 10:30am Pee Wee stock and modified (20 minute clock)
Race 2 @ 11:00am Ladies Wee (30 minute clock)
Race 3 @ 12:00 ‘C’ class (75 minute clock)
Race 4 @ 1:45 ATV Sportsman (60 minute clock)
Race 5 @ 3:15 SxS Sportsman (60 minute clock)
Some say the best part about SCCS is the family environment, others say the good racing, and most agree it’s the company of good people that make the events worthwhile. Saturday nights usually consist of a group bonfire and excellent conversation, while after Sunday’s races a raffle takes place with certificates and products from various vendors to entice riders out if great tracks and cool people isn’t enough. If even that isn’t enough, SCCS will have a Maxxis tire vendor on hand to help you with your tire requirements at the tracks, and Ed Teixeira of Teixeira Tech and Mark Norman of Mark Norman ATV/UTV Repair will be on hand to provide some training at certain events. Ed will be doing a class on suspension, and at a different date, Mark will be covering more in-depth why you should have your top end rebuild (like he wrote in this article). Rumors also circulate, of at least one spontaneous pit bike race during the season.
So, if you want to try racing with an exceptional group of quad-family on fun tracks, with quads and side by sides only, try giving this series a chance. It looks to grow bigger this year and be better than ever.
All photos courtesy of Mark Norman.