REM GLEN HELEN RACE REPORT: FROM THE “ROAD CLOSED” TO A 450 PRO WAR, IT WAS A NEW DAY
The main road to Glen Helen was closed for repaving, so the racers had to come through the old Blockbuster Pavilion fairgrounds and drive down a narrow winding road to get to the track. Getting two-way traffic in and out at the same time was a challenge until practice started.
PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI WITH HELP FROM DAN ALAMANGOS AND JON ORTNER
This week’s REM race at Glen Helen had a cool vibe. It must have had something to do with the old school way of getting to the track. The main road was closed because the county was repaving it, so the racers had to come down the long winding road that ran through the canyon between the Glen Helen Pavilion and the racetrack. Additionally, the pits were compressed to make room for a two-lane road, actually, just a wide swath of dirt through the pits bordered by cattle guard, to let people come and go from the track. Plus, there were a bunch of really good Pros at the track this week, helped by off-road racers who came to REM because they planned on racing the next day at the SRA Grand Prix. It was two races in one trip—down the long winding road.
THE FAST GUYS & THE LIVES THEY LEAD
Trevor Stewart (75) and Justin Jones (leading) were both up-and-coming motocross prospects a few years ago, but both switched to off-road racing. They have both been successful and they both are still fast on a motocross track. Stewart went 1-1 in the 450 Pro class and Jones went 5-3.
The 450 Pro race boiled down to motocross guys versus off-road guys, although most of the off-road guys used to be REM regulars when they were young. The off-road contingent was led by Trevor Stewart, Justin Jones, Dalton Shirey and Ezra Lewis, while the MX’ers were represented by Josh Mosiman, Sean Lipanovich, Dominic Desimone, Brian Medeiros, Dylan Gaszak and J.P. Alvarez.
Life in the 450 Pro class may seem like it mimics life in the 450 Novice class, but the intensity of the Pros is evident in this photo. Sean Lipanovich (505) pitches his white KTM into the corner ahead of Josh Mosiman (53), who is about to push Dominic Desimone (565) out, while Brian Medeiros (black gear) tries to go around the group.
As always at REM the big classes and hardcore battles were reserved for the Over-50 and Over-60 classes. In the 50s Jon Ortner, Kevin Barda, Robert Reisinger, Phil Dowell, Ron Shuler, Mike David, Dan Alamangos, Greg Pierce, Randy Skinner, Mike Monaghan and Pasha Afshar were there to do battle. Additionally, the Over-40 Experts were melded into the Over-50 Elite/Expert race adding Billy Joe Mercier and Ralf Schmidt to the war. The 60s were just as strong, as Robert Reisinger, Mike Monaghan and Randy Skinner did double-duty in both the Over-50 Experts and the Over-60 Experts. They were joined in the Over-60s by Dave Eropkin, Val Tamietti, Ron Lawson, Ed Guajardo, and. in the older age groups, Gary Jones and Bob Rutten joined in.
The highlight of the day of racing and at the riders meeting wa guest of honor Major General Randy Efferson, who came to SoCal to take part in a Panic Rev three-day camp at Lake Elsinore and stayed over to race at Glen Helen. The General brought his Crew Chief and son to beef up the Air Force’s motocross squadron at REM. All the racers were thrilled that a General actually raced motocross—and came away with a very good opinion of the the U. S. Air Force and the Air National Guard after meeting the general and racing with him.
Enjoy Debbi’s, Dan’s and Jon’s photos from this week’s REM race — and think about joining in the fun next Saturday, July 24.
In the first 450 Pro moto, Justin Jones got separated from the freight train made up of Trevor Stewart (75), Sean Lipanovich (505) and Josh Mosiman (53). Mosiman would get by Lipanovich, but not Stewart.
Hawaiian Brian Medeiros was the only rider jumping the transition from the REM Tower over the finish line hump, but because he had to go high in the bowl turn before the tower to get up enough speed he didn’t waste time doing it in the Pro race. Photo;: Jon Ortner
Josh Mosiman never gave up. Once he latches onto the guy in front of him he sticks there like glue. He ended with $150 in second place money and 100 bruises from being pelted by rocks. He wears a roost guard, which is why he doesn’t have any bruises on his chest, but it doesn’t cover his shoulders or arms
THE OLDER & SMARTER GUYS & THE LIVES THEY LEAD
Billy Joe Mercier (501), who was in the Over-40 Expert class, leads the Over-50 Elite riders over the tower jump. Jon Ortner (54) would win both Elite motos on a KTM 450SXF, Kevin Barda (852), Robert Reisinger (96) and Phil Dowell (23) give chase. But, this race was red flagged for a Ron Shuler crash and restarted for the same result.
Four-time 250 National Champion Gary Jones (5) took time off to have his knee replaced and is still testing it out. The amazing thing is that Gary finished second in the Over-65 Expert class to former desert hero Bob Rutten, who has had both of his knees replaced.
Mike Davis (202) went 1-1 in the Over-50 Expert class in front of top ten of Dan Alamangos, Greg Pierce, Randy Skinner, Robert Pocius, Mike Monaghan, Nick Waters, Phil Desimone, Dean Adkins and Joe Sutter.
Every week at REM, one rider is given a framed photo of himself from Rich Stuelke’s MotoPhotoLLC company. Rich races and shoots photos for his website at www.motophotollc.com. Steve Moore was this week’s recipient.
Phil Dowell (23) Jon Ortner (10), Kevin Barda and Dan Alamangos wait out a Red Flag in the Over-50 Elite/Expert race from the top of the small rise. No rush to go back to the concrete starting line on a 95-degree day.
Famous motocross innovator, Horst Leitner, who raced at REM for decades, came out to watch his old friends race. Horst, a former Grand Prix racer and multi-time ISDT medal winner, is now 80 years old and says that his racing days are behind him. Photo: Jon Ortner
DAN FLINCHED, BUT HE KEPT RIGHT ON SHOOTING
THE REST OF THAT OLD GANG OF MINE
You can be forgiven for mistaking Nick Reisinger for this dad Robert. They have the same number, wear the same gear and have the same style. The only difference is that Nick races a Husky TC125 two-stroke.
THE MXA AIR FORCE MEETS THE U.S. AIR FORCE
This is the Efferson clan, save for the guy on the left who is photo bombing their vacation photo album. Josh Mosiman (left) spent five days in Alabama learning how to be a fighter pilot (and how to use a barf bag). From left to right is Josh Mosiman, Ethan Efferson, Crew Chief Dillon Luttrel, General Randy Efferson, wife Melody Efferson and daughter Elizabeth.
REM’s Frank Thomason interviewed General Efferson at the rider’s meetings. All the racers were thrilled to meet an Air Force General who raced. All day long racers came up to shake his hand and tell him stories about their connections to the Air Force.
Randy Efferson (43) could be mistaken for any Over-50 motocross racer at Glen Helen with his motocross gear on, but at his day job he wears the uniform of a Major General in the U.S. Air Force, to which he always adds, “Your Air Force.” At 55 years old, he spent 25 years as a fighter pilot and wasn’t allowed to race. Now as a General, he can.
Dillon Luttrel l(55) works on F-16 fighter jets in the Air National Guard, goes to college and races motocross back home in Alabama. The U.S. Air Forces pays his college tuition and when he graduates he will be debt free.
At 21 year olds, Dillon Luttrell was the Crew Chief on the F-16 that MXA’s Josh Mosiman flew with the Air National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field, Alabama. MXA returned the favor, by being the Crew Chiefs on the RM-Z450 that Dillon holeshot the 450 Novice class on. Photo: Jon Ortner
2021 REM RACE SCHEDULE
July 24…REM track
Aug. 7…National track
Aug. 14…REM track
Aug. 21…REM track
Sept. 11…REM track
Sept. 18…REM track
Oct. 30…National Track Octobercross
Nov. 20…REM track
Dec. 4…REM track
Dec. 18…REM track