|2013 WORCS Round 8 at Honey Lake
Photos and Text by Seth Fargher, SethFargher.com
WORCS racers made their way north to Milford California this past weekend for the 8th round of the World Off-Road Championship series. Attendance was down significantly this round, likely due to the distance for most racers as well as a historically rough and technical track known for tearing up equipment. The showdown between Pro Production points leader Beau Baron and reigning champion Ryan Piplic (both racing Polaris RZ XP 900) was the focal point of the weekend and with just ten points separating the two, a DNF for either racer would likely cost them the championship.
The track featured an uphill start which favored Baron and his Curtis Sparks motor powered him to yet another holeshot with Pablo Veglia and James Hill falling in behind. Piplic would round the first turn in fourth and be forced to fight his way forward on a track with next to no opportunities for passing.
By the time the racers reached the scoring shoot Piplic had passed Hill and set his sights on the Del Amo Motorsports Can-Am Maverick of Pablo Veglia. The lack of passing opportunities proved to be a headache for several drivers as they would fall in behind a slower car but not have the horsepower to get by on one of the few wider sections of the course.
With Baron out front distancing himself from the pack, Piplic put pressure on Veglia and finally went for the pass over a tabletop in front of the grandstands. Unwilling to give up his position, Veglia connected with Piplics driver side door as the course made a sharp left hand turn and both drivers flipped off the course landing on their lids.
While the incident could, and probably should have ended Piplics bid for the championship, several spectators were quick to right both drivers and they managed to get back on the course without losing a position. Although Veglia regained his 2nd place position, his Maverick had suffered too much damage and Piplic was able to get around him quickly and keep his championship bid alive by following Baron to a second place finish despite having a broken axle. Veglia would drop to seventh after stopping for repairs.
Behind the carnage, Jeffrey Obering was working his way back from a tenth place start and was able to make a final pass on David Martinez on the last lap to capture the final podium position. Behind the leaders, it was actually an unbelievably tight race for third between Obering, Martinez and Can-Ams Gilbert Flores.
In the Production 1000 class, Jacob Shaw carried his momentum from Glen Helen over to Honey Lake and lead almost the entire race. After capturing the holeshot he battled with Magnum Offroads Mike Gardner (Polaris RZR XP 1000) for several laps but Gardner would ultimately fall victim to the course, giving Shaw the victory. Behind Shaw, Darren Kelley bettered his third place from Glen Helen with a second place finish at Honey Lake and first time WORCS racer Cody Stutsman managed to bring home a third.
While most of the focus is on the Pro Production class this season, there has been no shortage of excitement in the Production 850 class. Justin Lambert has been tough to beat when his Cognito Motorsports Kawasaki Teryx holds together and despite a few mechanical issues, Muzzy Racings Nolan Remlinger is always battling for a podium position.
Much like Baron in the Pro Production class, Lambert managed to grab the production 850 holeshot and drive uncontested to the class win. Remlinger took over second ahead of the Magnum Offroad/John Deere driven by Danny Rosenzweig however a flat tire on lap three dropped him to the back of the pack and he would ultimately settle for a fifth. Rosenzweig was able to keep the Gator RSX850i together and claim his best finish of the season, a second place behind Lambert. Despite a pair of DNFs at the previous two rounds, this second place in Milford moves Rosenzweig into fourth place in the season points standings.
First time UTV racer, womens MX champion Sarah Price has impressed all season and looks to be getting more and more comfortable on four wheels. She drove to a solid third place finish at Honey Lake in her near stock Polaris RZR 800, her first visit to the podium since round three at Havasu. Price has shown she has no problem getting out there and competing with the boys and the general consensus is that if she had a little bit more motor behind her, she would be a serious threat for the class.
After dealing with motor issues in practice, David Haagsma raced the Production 700 class in a borrowed Polaris RZR 570. His win in the class solidified the championship for him with one round remaining.
The final round of racing will take place at Buffalo Bills Resort in Primm Nevada. This course always draws large numbers as its centrally located and isnt particularly rough. For Beau Baron and Ryan Piplic, Primm is a do or die event and it will no doubt be an all out drag out battled to the finish.
SxS Racing Results – Honey Lake – Milford, California – September 13, 2013
SXS Pro Production
2 1 POL Ryan Q. Piplic Las Vegas, NV 2 7 00:48:16.680
3 457 POL Jeffrey Obering Cedar City, UT 4 7 00:49:53.090
4 917 CA David Martinez Highland, CA 5 7 00:50:12.495
5 603 CA Gilbert Flores Belen, NM 6 7 00:50:15.942
6 91 CA James Hill Lake Elsinore, CA 7 7 00:51:13.671
7 23 CA Pablo Veglia Redondo Beach, CA 13 5 00:33:31.561
8 111. POL Tommy Scranton Perris, CA 17 4 01:09:00.000
DNF 171 POL Steve Bechard Redmond, OR DNF 3 00:20:58.237
DNF 179 POL Nick Nelson Tehachapi, CA DNF 3 00:20:19.216
DNF 431 POL Doug Eichner El Cajon, CA DNF 3 00:20:22.644
DNF 435 ARC Ray Bulloch Cedar City, UT DNF 2 00:14:25.730
DNF 17 CA John Pacheco Lake Elsinore, CA DNF 1 00:06:08.000
SXS Production 1000
2 28 POL Darren Kelley Logandale, NV 8 7 00:52:15.649
3 222 POL Cody F. Stutsman Ukiah, CA 9 7 00:52:32.000
4 796 POL Michael “speedy Gonzales Glendora, CA 10 7 00:55:32.000
5 93 HON Matt Hancock Tempe, AZ 11 6 00:44:17.151
6 56 POL Justin Imhof Alta Loma, CA 12 6 00:50:27.000
7 824 POL Charles Lotshaw Apple Valley, CA 14 5 00:44:33.373
8 48 POL John Pezzi Washoe Valley, NV 15 5 00:45:05.487
9 108 POL Mike Gardner Lake Forest, CA 16 4 00:27:32.346
DNF 194 POL Kipp Mickels Apple Valley, CA DNF 1 00:07:10.024
DNS 223 KTM Elmer J. Pezzi Reno, NV DNS 0
SXS Production 850
2 138. JD Daniel Rosenzweig San Marcos, CA 2 7 00:52:00.598
3 78 POL Sara Price Canyon Lake, CA 3 6 00:45:34.570
4 654 POL Chris Willing Gardnerville, NV 4 6 00:45:37.006
5 417 KAW Nolan Remlinger Fullerton, CA 5 6 00:46:13.495
6 777 POL Terrin B. Vargas Susanville, CA 7 5 00:38:57.547
DNS 456 POL Alfredo Ramirez Paso Robles, CA DNS 0
SXS Production 700
DNS 983 YAM Mark Popjoy Las Vegas, NV DNS 0
DNS 361 POL Tyler Vrba Scottsdale, AZ DNS 0
2013 WORCS ATV/UTV Schedule:
2013 WORCS Racing: