Trip Reports

2013 WORCS Round 4 at Sand Hollow

2013 WORCS Round 4 at Sand Hollow

Beau Baron - Polaris RZR XP 900 at WORCS
Series LeaderBeau Baron pulled off a third place finish at Sand Hollow

Photos and Text by Seth Fargher,

Racers and fans were greeted with sunny skies, warm temperatures and breathtaking scenery at the 4th round of the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) held at Sand Hollow State Park near Hurricane Utah.  The WORCS event literally took over the park and officials worked closely with the BLM to ensure the environmental impact was minimal while still providing an unbelievable racing experience.

Sand Hollow State Park - WORCS RacingLogistically the location provided a few problems as there were only a handful of parking areas and even fewer camping areas.  Registration and vendor row were located in the main lot near the starting line and the other areas were spread out down the highway, some as far as a mile away.

While the pit situation was a little inconvenient, it had a relaxing feel to it and I actually felt more like I was on a camping trip with a bunch of buddies than at a race. A few folks even made their way down to the reservoir and reeled in some bass over the course of the weekend.

While the scenery was spectacular, the 13 mile course would prove to be incredibly hard on equipment.  Most of the course was dry sand which made traction a problem and also caused deep whoops to develop.  There were several areas with optional lines through the rocks and the course eventually snaked through the sand dunes before dropping back down to the finish line.  With lap times greater than 30 minutes for most of the field, racers would only complete 2 laps…that is if they didn’t fall prey to the course on the first lap which happened to be the case for almost a ¼ of the field.

Pro SxS Start at WORCS Racing Round 4 at Sand HollowBeau Baron and Robert VanBeekum were in a dead sprint from the wave of the green flag and it appeared as though VanBeekum had a slight advantage until he got squirrelly and crossed in front of Baron, forcing Baron to brake hard and kill his engine.  VanBeekum recovered and managed to exit turn one in the lead with Doug Eichner, Ryan Piplic and Nick Nelson right on his heels.

In row 2, RJ Anderson came off the line like a man with something to prove and rightly so.  The Polaris/Loan Mart/Holz Racing Products driver has yet to finish a race this season and was hoping to regain some valuable points at Sand Hollow.

From the long deep, sandy starting line, racers would fall in line down a severely whooped out fence line before crossing the highway and heading out into the sage covered hillside.  Eager to make it two wins in a row, VanBeekum would fall short after snapping a tie-rod not long into the first lap.  His misfortune opened the door for Ryan Piplic to take over the lead who was trading places with Doug Eichner in the opening miles of the race.  Eichner would continue to pressure for the remainder of lap one until a front end problem would sideline him completely.

Series points leader Beau Baron is usually among the front runners if not checking out completely but his first turn fiasco with VanBeekum put him almost all the way to the rear of the first wave of racers.  By the end of lap one Baron had worked his way up to third and was trailing Eichner entering the final lap.

RJ Anderson - Polaris RZR XPDespite leaving the line 30 seconds behind the front row, RJ Anderson managed to reel that group in with half of the first lap remaining.  Evidently it didn’t take him long to wade through traffic because by the time he passed me near mile marker 11 he was in physical 4th position and gaining ground quickly.

Because the course was so long there was very little visibility for spectators however I managed to sneak backwards on the track after the start of the race to capture some photos as the racers came through.

Ryan Piplic managed to hold off the charging Anderson and come down the hill in first place despite having completely blown out the bottom of his left rear shock reservoir as well destroying the right rear CV joint.  Piplic would finish the race physically in first place but RJ Anderson would end up taking the overall on adjusted time.  This win snapped RJ’s string of bad luck and he was incredibly happy to finally put together a win.

Beau Baron managed to get bumped on the second lap by Ken Benson while Benson was trying for a pass.   The collision tore the right front fender off of Baron’s Polaris RZR XP and caused Benson to lose control and flip.  After breaking a ball joint on the final lap at Havasu which cost him the win, Baron decided to baby his car for the remainder of the race and just cruise to the finish.  After crossing the line he had no clue that he actually finished the race in third.

Brent Fox - Polaris RZR XPIn the Production 1000 class Brent Fox would end Mitch Guthrie’s string of first place finishes with Tanner Godfrey finishing in second and Ritchie Gainer rounding out the Podium.  Godfrey, who is a member of the famed Nitro Circus recently set a new world record for the longest UTV jump which is even more impressive considering he has limited use of his legs.  He actually drives his Arctic Cat Wildcat with one hand while operating a lever that controls the throttle and the brake.  Amazingly impressive feat and we’re confident we’ll be seeing more from this racer who doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit.

Speaking of not quitting, Mitch Guthrie managed to break both of his thumbs after a hard impact during Saturday’s race.  Rather than throw in the towel and seek medical attention, he charged on and finished the race.  Despite ending his bid for a perfect season, Guthrie still sits comfortably in first place, a whole 32 points ahead of his closest competitor.

Kawasaki Teryx at WORCS Racing Round 4Alfredo Ramirez was pleased to be back atop the podium in the Production 850 class after a less than stellar 6th place finish at Havasu.  Chris Willing and Magnum Offroad’s Daniel Rosenzweig rounded out the podium with Rosenzweig giving John Deere and the Gator RSX 850i its first ever WORCS podium.  Dirt bike cross over gal Sara Price was unable to match her second place finish from Havasu but she drove hard and steady, earning herself a top five finish on the day.

Although 2013 is his first go at side by side racing, David Haagsma seems quite at home inside a cage.  What’s more, he’s able to pilot his Polaris RZR 570 around a course faster than most of the drivers in larger displaced machines ahead of him.  Haagsma and Michael Bunyea were on the gas the entire race and finished just three seconds apart, giving Haagsma the win in the Production 700 class and 6th place overall.

Round four was definitely one for the books.  The scenery was by far the best we’ve seen all season and the racing action was intense.  One of the greatest things about WORCS racing is everything can change in an instant and with five rounds remaining, the door for the championship is still wide open!

Polaris RZR XP's at start of WORCS Racing Round 4Sara Price - Polaris RZRJohn Deere Gator RSX850iRyan Piplic - Polaris RZR XP 900

Ryan Piplic - Polaris RZR XP 900Ryan Piplic - Polaris RZR XP 900Nick Nelson - Polaris RZR XPNick Nelson - Polaris RZR XP

Michael Bunyea - Polaris RZR 570Justin Lambert - Kawasaki TeryxDoug Eichner - Polaris RZR XPDavid Haagsma - Polaris RZR 570

Brent Fox - Polaris RZR XPBeau Baron - Polaris RZR XPBeau Baron - Polaris RZR XPAlfredo Ramirez - Polaris RZR

Alfredo Ramirez - Polaris RZRJohn Deere Gator RSX850iJohn Deere Gator RSX850i

WORCS Round 4 Results
SXS Pro Production
Finish Nbr Brand Name City,State Laps Elapsed Time
1 37 POL Rj Anderson Riverside, CA 2 00:55:53.231
2 1 POL Ryan Q. Piplic Las Vegas, NV 2 00:56:22.798
3 549 POL Beau Baron Atascadero, CA 2 00:59:28.802
4 68 POL Nic Granlund Las Vegas, NV 2 01:00:00.065
5 91 CA James Hill Lake Ellsinore, CA 2 01:01:47.971
6 17 CA John Pacheco Lake Elsinore, CA 2 01:03:12.404
7 66 POL Cain Smead Leona Valle, CA 2 01:05:42.065
8 23 CA Pablo Veglia Manhattan Beach, CA 2 01:07:37.961
9 55 POL Tim Wyatt Canton, GA 2 01:07:39.637
10 179 POL Nick Nelson Tehachapi, CA 2 01:08:21.783
11 111 ARC Tommy Scranton Perris, CA 2 01:13:27.358
12 603 CA Gilbert Flores Belen, NM 2 01:30:13.628
13 431 POL Doug Eichner El Cajon, CA 1 00:27:10.875
14 21 POL Clint Roberts Corona, CA 1 00:30:27.984
15 457 POL Jeffrey Obering Cedar City, UT 1 00:31:34.988
16 917 CA David Martinez Newport Beach, CA 1 00:33:30.368
DNS 995 POL Ken Benson Queen Creek, AZ 0  
DNS 664 POL Robert Vanbeekum Mesa, AZ 0  
DNS 19 CA Johnny Leach Lake Elsinore, CA 0  
DNS 77 POL Curtis Niederhauser Enterprise, UT 0  
DNS 148 POL Wesley Barker Dawsonville, GA 0  
DNS 7 POL Greg Row Alpine, CA 0  
SXS Production 1000
Finish Nbr Brand Name City,State Laps Elapsed Time
1 215 POL Brent Fox Highland, UT 2 01:01:17.619
2 213 ARC Tanner Godfrey Sandy, UT 2 01:04:27.733
3 210 ARC Richie Gainer West Jordan, UT 2 01:05:36.573
4 751 POL Mitch Guthrie Jr Glendora, CA 2 01:06:25.299
5 194 POL Kipp Mickels Apple Valley, CA 2 01:07:02.588
6 796 POL Michael  Gonzales Glendora, CA 2 01:07:06.630
7 28 POL Darren Kelley Logandale, NV 2 01:07:14.777
8 xx OTH Mark Lundgreen Riverton, UT 2 01:09:53.950
9 95 POL Michael Camp Lake Elsinore, CA 2 01:11:50.685
10 14 POL Angela Olander Wittmann, AZ 2 01:12:02.168
11 999 POL Andrei Isac Las Vegas, NV 2 01:14:21.856
12 69 POL Richie Laatz N Las Vegas, NV 2 01:21:08.608
13 195 OTH Lanse Chournos St George, UT 2 01:21:22.838
14 15 POL Jamie Piplic Las Vegas, NV 2 01:24:07.204
15 723 POL Josh Little Highland, UT 2 01:26:29.833
16 191 POL Jacob Shaw Lakeside, CA 1 00:31:01.019
17 80 POL Robert Mowrer N Las Vegas, NV 1 00:33:58.446
18 108 POL Mike Gardner Lake Forest, CA 1 00:34:57.208
DNS 1648 HON Marc Craighead Ramona, CA 0  
SXS Production 850
Finish Nbr Brand Name City,State Laps Elapsed Time
1 456 POL Alfredo Ramirez Paso Robles, CA 2 01:06:44.700
2 918 KAW Justin Lambert Bakersfield, CA 2 01:07:35.116
3 138 JD Daniel Rosenzweig San Marcos, CA 2 01:07:35.850
4 78 POL Sara Price Canyon Lake, CA 2 01:08:31.766
5 241 OTH Jeremy Thompson St George, UT 2 01:13:34.435
6 417 KAW Nolan Remlinger Fullerton, CA 1 00:32:01.674
7 654 POL Chris Willing Gardnerville, NV 1 00:34:21.899
8 242 YAM Chris Elias Lake Havasu, AZ 1 00:45:04.868
DNS 240 OTH Tanesha Bland Herriman, UT 0  
DNS 929 POL Michael Redhead Yorba Linda, CA 0  
DNS 239 OTH Joe Butler Apple Valley, CA 0  
SXS Production 700
Finish Nbr Brand Name City,State Laps Elapsed Time
1 422 POL David Haagsma Bakersfield, CA 2 01:01:21.730
2 50 POL Michael Bunyea Atascadero, CA 2 01:01:24.634
3 93 HON Matt Hancock Tempe, AZ 2 01:06:58.925
4 354 YAM Craig Birchard L Elsinore, CA 2 01:32:19.570
5 983 YAM Mark Popjoy Las Vegas, NV 2 01:40:40.860
DNS 84 POL Joshua Edwards Richfield Park, AZ 0

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, Surprise, 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

2013 WORCS Racing:



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