GNCC Championship Finale
With the XC1 title wrapped up one round early by Red Bul KTM’s Kailub Russel, the spotlight was cast on the rest of the field. Here is a recap of the final round of the 2017 GNCC season at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team was met with extremely cold weather, but near perfect course conditions due to the rain and cold temperatures throughout the week. The track was about 13-miles with lap times averaging 29-minutes long for the top contenders.
Avidly working on recovering from a previously sustained wrist injury, Thad Duvall would race this round in hopes of securing the second place overall in Championship points. As the start flag waved, Duvall struggled to get going and rounded the first turn around mid-pack where he would stay for the first mile before catching the pack in front of him. He charged forward, ending the first lap in a strong fourth place position. As lap two would down, he had moved into third but had some catching up to do to catch the leaders. By lap four he Duvall made the pass into second and set his sights on catching the leader, however, the gap remained the same until the end. He would finish the day in second, claiming the second place overall points for the 2017 GNCC season.
“It felt great to take another podium this weekend after missing the last three rounds due to injury. It’s been a long season of ups and downs, but this was my best season to date. Finishing 2nd overall in championship points is an accomplishment for me, and sets my goals even higher for 2018.” said an excited Thad Duvall.
Australia’s Josh Strang had a quick jump off the line and almost claimed the holeshot around the first turn. From there, he worked hard to maintain speed but had dropped back into ninth place. As the race continued, Strang made some moves towards the front and by the final lap, he had moved right outside of the top five. With only four corners left in the race, Strang made a pass on two riders, securing fifth for the day.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s, Pascal Rauchenecker, from the European SuperEnduro team made a guest appearance to race this round in the XC2 class. He rode with a lot of confidence getting a great start, and continuing that speed throughout the day. He would finish first in the XC2 class for the day.
Ironman GNCC Final XC1 Results:
1. Kailub Russell (KTM)
2. Thad Duvall (HUS)
3. Ricky Russell (YAM)
4. Grant Baylor (HUS)
5. Josh Strang (HUS)