2019 Sprint Hero Round 1 | Against The Clock
As a relatively new racing format for off-road, Sprint Hero events offer riders a chance to race against the clock on various special test loops. The opening round of the season at Glen Helen Raceway in SoCal consisted of six special tests each day. And after some rain hit the area, the trails were left in epic condition.
For the Chaparral Motorsports/Precision Concepts/Kawasaki team, the race served as their first of the year, and prooved that they will be a force to be reckoned with this season. Zach Bell ran near the front with great times on every test, ultimately landing in third after two days of racing. For a taste of what it was like, watch his GoPro video from the Enduro test above. Blayne Thompson finished 12th overall, however, that finish wasn't due to a lack of speed. A small tip-over on a hill caused his bike to land on a stump, ripping out the stator wires. He limped back to the pits for a replacement part, but ultimately couldn't make up the lost time. In the Open A Class, young Clay Hengeveld finished 12th after a freak mechanical incident caused a battery wire to come loose.
In the end, Team Manager Robby Bell was pleased with the weekend, "The Sprint Enduro format is a new one for us and many of the riders," Bell said. "It’s a really cool format, more of a race against the clock. There’s definitely a different dynamic to the race weekend and a slightly different skill-set involved as compared to a traditional grand prix-style race. Our riders seemed to enjoy it for sure. It was our first race on the all-new KX450 and it showed to be a great base. We’re still learning the bike and the potential is going to be unreal."
CLICK HERE for a full report, more photos, and videos from the team.
Photos by Harlen Foley