— A great place to have a WORCS race —
Way back in 2007, before there were World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) SxS races, Pismo Beach hosted a different kind of side-by-side racing. WORCS promoters laid out side-by-side courses through the beach dunes for ATVs and dirt bikes to race simultaneously. Now, 11 years later, WORCS brought back side-by-side racing at the Sand Hollow State Park near Hurricane, Utah. A combined ATV Pro and 450 Pro dirt bike 1.5-hour race saw the Pro classes start on the beach and race up the dunes, where the ATVs turned east and the bikes turned west, looping on separate courses back down to the beach.
Eleven UTV classes raced the same course as the ATVs, with two Pro classes leading the waves of 141 UTV entries into the dunes, desert and sandstone rocks of Sand Hollow State Park near Hurricane, Utah. During the dune-round hiatus between Pismo’s last 2007 round and the first Sand Hollow State Park round in 2013, the Lake Havasu, Arizona, round served as the sandiest race on the schedule. Now, Havasu and Hurricane serve as the midpoints of the WORCS UTV rounds and wreak havoc on the less-prepared and less-patient racers. Located near Zion National Park, Sand Hollow is beautiful indeed, but the rocks are the same color as the red sand dunes and can take out the unwary.
SLINGING SAND HOLLOW SAND
Randy Romo and Nic Granlund shot into the early lead in Saturday’s UTV Pro Turbo and 1000 Stock race and battled it out for five laps. Cody Bradbury, Ryan Piplic and defending champ Davi Haagsma also started in the first wave and battled as they worked to the front. Bradbury banzaied into the lead, turning his fastest lap time on the fourth, while Piplic worked up to second with his fastest time on the white-flag lap. Haagsma did the same to take third ahead of Granlund and Romo.
In Sunday’s Pro Stock 1000 race, Romo and Granlund again took the early lead, with Matt Hancock, Corbin Leaverton, Shelby Anderson and defending champ Beau Baron in tow. Ray Bulloch, who had failed to finish the Saturday Pro UTV race, started on the third Pro wave on Sunday and let his Wildcat XX loose on the field. Granlund and Romo battled up front until Granlund broke a CV, then Baron and Romo pounced. Baron worked into the physical lead, but Bulloch fought the clock to take the overall win ahead of Baron and Romo.
While former teammates and current champions Davi Haagsma and Beau Baron retained their Pro points leads with podium finishes, attrition scrambled the series points standings for the other top contenders with four UTV rounds to go. The fast Iron Mine round is at Cedar City, Utah, on May 25–27. SoCal’s Glen Helen Raceway tests moto skills September 14–16. Nevada’s Mesquite MX hosts UTVs October 26–28. Buffalo Bill’s Casino hosts the UTV World Finals November 2–4.
MORE FUN IN THE SUN
While the WORCS racing is done for the year at Sand Hollow State Park, SHSP will host the SxS Adventure Rally on November 8–10, 2018. Guided rides will start on the beach and snake into the dunes and desert, but most rides then head to the slick-rock escarpment on the park’s west and most breathtaking side. It will most likely still be warm enough to cool off in the Sand Hollow Reservoir after the daily rides.