WHO’S WHO IN WORCS: Movers and shakers in World Off-Road Championship Series
While the Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC) is the largest racing series in the U.S.A., you can count the number of races held west of the Mississippi River on one hand. The World Off-Road Racing Series (WORCS) was born in 2003 to provide off-road enthusiasts on the West Coast a series to showcase their speed and talent. That first year, WORCS was broken down into western and eastern regional championships, and western regional champ Doug Eichner scored more points in seven rounds than eastern champ Adam Ferrell. The east-west breakdown went away for 2004, and the series has grown ever since, but there have only been four pro ATV champions (five, if you count regional winner Ferrell) in WORCS history. Will 2010 bring a new champion to the roster, or will one of the four series regulars repeat? Four of nine rounds have been held by presstime, and here’s how the ATV pros have done in those rounds. For event fliers and information on racing (there are 47 classes!), log onto www.worcsracing.com.
WORCS ATV PRO CHAMPIONS
|2003||(W) Doug Eichner/Hon||156/3|
|2003||(E) Doug Ferrell/Hon||137/2|
WORCS ATV SCHEDULE
1. Jan. 22-24 Surprise, AZ
2. Feb. 26-28 Stateline, NV
3. March 19-21 Lake Havasu, AZ
4. April 24-25 Adelanto, CA
5. May 21-23 Milford, CA
6. June 4-6 Temecula, CA
7. July 23-25 Olympia, WA
8. Sept. 24-25 Devore, CA
9. Oct. 15-17 Mesquite, NV
Contact: (435) 635-1597
WORCS ATV PRO POINTS/WINS
After 4 of 9 rounds:
1. Josh Frederick/C-A 94/2
2. Beau Baron/Hon 87/1
3. Josh Row/Hon 68
4. Dillon Zimmerman/C-A 62
5. Robbie Mitchell/Kaw 57
6. Dustin Nelson/Yam 56/1
Defending champion number one Beau Baron came out swinging in his title defense and won the first 2010 race at Speedworld near Surprise, Arizona. Baron beat Josh Frederick by 1 minute 45 seconds and Mike “Mr. Baja” Cafro by 6 minutes. Beau finished second at Primm, Nevada, and Lake Havasu, Arizona, and would’ve finished on the podium at 395 Raceway, California, if not for upstart Dustin Nelson. Baron worked hard in the off-season for his title defense and is keeping current points leader Frederick in his sights. He also won the Milford, California, round last year, which is the fifth round this season. If anyone can keep Frederick from the 2010 title and a tie with Doug Eichner for series titles, it’s Baron.
Twice champion number two Josh Frederick fought back at the Primm, Nevada, WORCS round to take the win and tie Baron in points, and then he won the Lake Havasu round at the Crazy Horse Campground, a brutal course. Josh took the series points lead at the third round and has every plan to keep it with support from the Motoworks Can-Am team, which sponsors the ATV series. Being the top rider on the biggest and only official factory team can’t hurt. Temecula is a new venue, but Josh won Olympia in 2008 and the series finale (Mesquite, Nevada) in 2009. Only a freak accident, like the 2009 practice crash where Eichner mistakenly rode backwards on the Glen Helen (Devore) course, would keep Frederick from winning in 2010.
ITP Quadcross champion number 94 Dustin Nelson moonlights in a few WORCS rounds, like the fourth one at 395 Raceway near Adelanto, California. Since 395 is also on the ITP-QX schedule, Nelson has the MX section down, and he smoked the field in April. Frederick gained points on Baron at the 395 round, as his Can-Am teammate Jeremie Warnia knocked Beau off the podium.
Fast Frenchman Jeremie Warnia kept his number 62 for 2010, as he was third in points in 2009. Warnia is racing the Moose/ITP ATV MX Nationals this season for Motoworks Can-Am but missed the first two rounds of that series with an off-season injury. No dates conflict between the two series, so Warnia could well return to WORCS if Frederick is hurting for points in later rounds.
Honda privateer Josh Row finished 2009 fifth in points after three top-10 finishes, and he has already scored three more in the first four rounds. Row was on the podium at Primm and Havasu (thirds) and was fifth at 395; if he stays this consistent, he may be on the podium in final points.
Motoworks Can-Am pilot number 49 Dillon Zimmerman was the 2009 WORCS Pro-Am champion, and he scored a top-10 finish at the ’09 finale. Zimmerman scored three top fives in a row but dropped back to seventh at 395, and he sits fourth in Pro ATV points. He needs a bit more speed and endurance to run with the top guns, though.
Kawasaki privateer number 14 Robbie Mitchell almost made the podium at Surprise and has four top-10 finishes (4-8-7-9). He sits fifth in points after four rounds. Robbie was number 7 in 2009 but missed three rounds in the middle of the season, so this is a rebuilding year. Pros and Pro-Ams get no throwaways.