Team Warnert Racing / Can-Am DS 450 racer Adam McGill won round eight of the 2011 Can-Am GNCC Racing series this past weekend at Snowshoe Ski Resort in West Virginia.
The victory moved McGill to within seven points of the XC1 (Pro class) points lead. McGill’s teammate Chris Bithell finished second aboard his DS 450 sport ATV to move into third place in the points standings.
“I was very pleased to see Adam win the Snowshoe GNCC, the most prestigious race of the season and see Bithell earn a well-deserved second-place finish,” said Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “We love seeing our racers on the podium. Can-Am riders earned first and second in the XC1 class, in the morning race we had three X-Team racers win their class and we swept the morning overall podium — another successful weekend of racing.”
Based on the legendary Blackwater 100, the Snowshoe round of the GNCC series is one of the toughest courses on the circuit and it did not disappoint. The terrain was rocky and very muddy. Racers were greeted by a lengthy 16-mile starting course that was cut in half after the first lap.
The racers began the more than two-hour race with a live-engine start in the streets of the resort with five riders leaving the line at a time at five-second intervals.
This was McGill’s second Can-Am GNCC win of the season and he has now reached the XC1 podium in five of the seven rounds. At Snowshoe, he was in fifth place after the first lap, but moved up one spot by the end of the second lap.
On the next lap, he moved into third place and then saw a chance to take the lead. McGill trailed two other riders, including Bithell, the race leader at the time, but passed for the lead by charging through a large mud hole.
From there, McGill pressed hard and ended up with a 14-second victory margin at the end of the day and the added bonus of $5,000, the prize for the winner of the afternoon race.
“We came up on this mud hole and the second-place rider went one way, Bithell went the other and I just plowed through the middle of it,” said McGill. “I was really hoping I wouldn’t get stuck, but it all worked out and I came out ahead of those guys and rode it all the way to the finish. This season has been going really good and I am happy to be closing the gap in the points race.”
Bithell was contending for the victory and led the first two plus laps of the race, but an issue with his chain slowed his chase for his first win of 2011. It was the third second-place finish for the Pennsylvania pro this season and fourth XC1 podium.
Can-Am X-Team racers dominated the top five overall positions in the 4×4 Open class as competitor Michael Swift earned the top spot on the morning podium aboard his Outlander 800R X xc.
Swift started off a little slowly, but overcame a wrong turn, several bottlenecks and lapped traffic to post his fourth win of the season. He leads Can-Am X-Team teammate Bryan Buckhannon, who finished third in the class and fifth overall in the morning, for the class points lead. Can-Am X-Team and 4×4 Open class racer Zac Zakowski put in his best race of the year with second overall aboard his Can-Am.
Reigning U2 class champion and Can-Am X-Team racer Clifton Beasley kept his winning streak alive with another victory aboard his Can-Am Renegade 800R X xc. He also reached the morning podium with third overall. Beasley has now won 26 consecutive races.
Riding a Can-Am Outlander 500, X-Team racer Kevin Trantham won the 4×4 Lites class and earned fourth overall in West Virginia. He led from start to finish and won his class by more than 39 minutes.
For more information on Can-Am racing, the entire 2011 schedule, the 2011 contingency program and Can-Am DS 450 ATV amateur racer support program, please visit www.can-amxteam.com.