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GNCC Round 8 Race Report: Ohio « All Terrain Research – Custom Off-Road Products
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GNCC Round 8 Race Report: Ohio

Published on June th, 2010

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Menasha, WI:  It was another nail-biting weekend as team pilot and Can-am X-Team rider Zac Zakowski fought neck and neck for the lead at the fast paced Ohio track for round 8 of the GNCC Circuit.  Zac came out of the gate in a strong 3rd place position before nudging by 2nd heading into the woods.  After leading at different times during the day, Zac finished 2nd in class and a very successful 8th overall.  Another strong weekend leaves Zac sitting in 2nd for points and an estimated national rank of 6th overall in the morning class!

Zac Zakowski:  Well, it looked to be another fun-filled weekend of GNCC racing this past weekend as we headed down to Ohio. The forecast called for possible thunderstorms all day during the race.  All we could hope for was to not get pulled out in our new rig.   Have I said before how much I LOVE mud races (that’s sarcasm)?  Ok, they aren’t that bad, just not my track of choice.  I prefer courses that are fast, fast, fast.

Once we arrived at the track my father/mechanic did some last minute things to the quad as I headed out to bike some of the course to help gain every advantage I could for this race.  After biking a couple miles with fellow GNCC racer and utility limited class rider Andrew Langston, I found much joy in watching him fall off his bike while trying to have a conversation with his mother on the phone ha-ha.  I was feeling pretty good about this race going into it.  I have not won a race since round 4 at South Carolina but I have stayed very consistent and know that I am completely capable of getting another win.  I was ready to get it done.

While sitting on the starting-line I couldn’t help but be a little intimidated by the rather steep incline to the first turn.   So steep actually, that everyone had to prop rocks behind their rear tires so they wouldn’t roll down the hill.  I tuned my focus to the flag man, hearing the 10 second call ringing through my head.  We were off!!  Full throttle up the hill, trying to keep it out of a wheelie, as my Janssen Motorsports/Frogz Skins Intake engine pulled me to the corner. I got to the corner in second but swung out too wide, allowing Yamaha mounted Alex Layn to sneak by me.  I remained focused and passed for 2nd before diving into the woods.

It was me and Buckhannon flying through both the tight woods and fast fields of the Ohio track, with both of us on a similar mission.  We whizzed by groups of people cheering and drifted around sweeping field corners, while both of us had a close call in a whooped out straight-a-way, not built for a utility. We quickly caught the limited and lights classes as we tried to get by them as quickly as possible. I remained glued to his bumper for the next 2-3 laps, never letting him get out of my sight or hearing.  On lap 3, Bryan pulled in for a pit-stop allowing me to make a quick pass.  I remained smooth, trying to build a gap between us to lighten the pressure on me.  I built a decent gap before coming up on a small bottleneck.  It seemed as though I had my less than positive luck in a bottleneck again, as I pushed a quad forward and had to back-up, it left a gap for Bryan to get by.

We rode hard together, as I tried to keep my Rath Racing bumper as close to Bryan as I could.  I knew it was going to be a drag race to the end.  As we got the white flag, I was a close 15 seconds back.  I put my head down, took a tear-off from my Scott Goggles, and gripped the throttle tight.  “Here we go,” I said to myself.  I went tearing through the woods really putting a pounding on my All Terrain Research components as I nicked trees here and there and bounced over whoops.  About halfway through the final lap I started running into some little defects which slowed me down a little bit.  Something felt a little off in the suspension, which we later found to be a collapsed spring.  I also started to get a little light headed being out in the 90+ degree weather and about 90% humidity we were experiencing.  Obviously these are not excuses, simply observations that I had to quickly adjust to try to stay fast and focused.

As we crossed the finish line I held on to a solid 2nd place finish and 8th overall.  It was another good weekend for me and Zakowski Motorsports.  As much as I’d love to get back to that first place finish, I really couldn’t be happier with my finishes and the way the season is going.  We finally have an awesome set-up going and I know what I need to do.  We haven’t given up on the championship yet.  We are ready to kick it into overdrive and get it done.  We have one more round left until our 2 month break.  In 2 weeks we will be heading to Snow Shoe, WV which is by far my favorite track out of all of them.  I absolutely cannot wait to get back to that track.  This was my best track last year and I can’t wait to see what I can do this year.  The bike is being rebuilt with shiny new parts as we speak, so stop by on Main Street on Snow Shoe Mt. during the start, check it out, and say hi.  See you there!

I would like to thank the following for your support: Can-Am/BRP, Countryside Auto Transport, Janssen Motorsports, Bopp Race Components, All Terrain Research, Tire-Balls, Rath Racing, Straightline Performance, Frogz Skins, OMF Wheels, Ricochet Skids, Ron Woods Racing,  Amsoil, Scott USA, Fasst Company, VP Fuels, and Cycra..

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