REM GLEN HELEN RACE REPORT: NEW LAYOUT LEADS TO INTENSE BATTLES

Sean Lipanvich (505) won both motos of the 450 Pro class on his white KTM 450SXF. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI

REM has been changing their track on regular intervals, and have begun adding new sections back in the Bud’s Creek area of Glen Helen’s massive motocross park. Last week the riders came down a steep hill, over two drop-offs and a paved road before making a right-hand downhill turn to get over to the K-Rail straight. This week, the riders entered  the new section by not turning after the paved road, but instead going down two more drop-offs before sweeping to the right to get over to the K-Rail straight. It was a true-to-life “thrill ride” section, where you had to choose your speed commensurate with your willingness to hit the next drop-off at speed.

South African Alan Jullien (70) chases Mike Carter (50) in the Over-50 Elite class. Jullien took the win with a 1-1 in front of Pete Murray’s 2-2 and Mike Carter’s 3-3.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Most of the unusual suspects were at REM this week. The only noticeable absentee was Jon Ortner who broke his left foot in several places at a semi-secret practice track last week. As a true motocross racer, Jon blamed his bike and since he faces a couple month lay-off, Jon vows that he will not race again until he gets a new 2022 model. This is indirect contrast to the walking wounded that fill the pits at REM on a weekly basis.

Pete Murray (7) came back to win the Over-60 Experts, which everyone expects from the Over-60 World Vet Champion.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

For those who have never been to REM. It is located on a plateau above the Glen Helen National track. This was the location of the 1970s Arroyo Cycle Park and had fallen into disuse over the years. REM’s Frank Thomason looked at the old weather-worn and abandoned track almost 30 years ago and decided that it could be turned into a very good natural terrain racetrack. The starting gate was moved to the northeast corner of the parcel and over the years the track has been changed many times (and has been used for REM, Vintage, hillclimb and even the Red Bull X-Fighters). Portions of the REM track are used for everything from mud runs to the 24 Hour of Glen Helen to off-road truck races. REM has also been utilized as part of the Glen Helen National track, back before the powers-that-be demanded that AMA National track lap times be capped at the 2-minute mark (a request that Glen Helen never complied with).

Hawaiian Brian Medeiros (76) styled for awhile in the 250 Pro class, but fell in the second moto of finish second overall to winner Max Groom.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

The REM racers are the most loyal of the Glen Helen racers. They show up to race when the wind blows 30 mph, when it rains (and they have to come in on the back road), when it is 115 degrees and they even show up on Saturdays when REM isn’t racing and water the track themselves so they can play race against their buddies. What follows are Debbi Tamietti’s photos of Saturday’s REM race.

Val Tamietti went 5-5 in the Over-60 Expert class, which was the biggest class of the day—it always is.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Tyler Nichols tucks in as he starts down the K-Rail straight, which is less of a straight than a quick trip to the left-hand turn at the end of the K-Rail.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

At every REM race a lucky rider gets a framed action photo from Rich Stuelke’s MotoPhotoLLC. This week recipient was Hollywood stuntman Mic Rodgers.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

13-year-old Ethan Webb (222) is from Wyoming. He won the 125 Novice class.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Jim Hanson (83), with Bruce Ashmore in his wake, finished 8th in the Over-60 Experts. Bruce Ashmore was 10th.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

MXA’s Dennis Stapleton (184) won the Vet Pro class, but spent most of both motos mixing it up the 250 and 450 Pros.  Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Australian Dan Alamangos (98) went 2-3 in the Over-50 Expert class, only to lose to Mike Davis’ 3-2. Moto winner’s Jonny Benskin and Bryan Friday were third and fourth overall respectively. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Mike Davis (202) won the Over-50 Expert class without winning a moto. Jonny Benskin (77) won the second moto, but a 5th in the first moto resulted in a third overall.. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

American TM importer Ralf Schmidt won the Over-40 Expert class and came back to win the Open Vet class on, what else, a TM 250MX. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Jody Weisel (92) has been riding a GasGas EX 350 cross-country bike (you can see the off-road gas tank sticking out by his left knee) for the last month. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

This steep downhill already had two drop-offs on it, but got extended for this week’s race with two more. It was a real roller coaster ride. Tom Holmes (510) leads Kent Reed (491), Tony Parsons (68), Stephen Johnston (525), Mike King (47) and eventual Over-65 Intermediate winner Phil Cruz (950). Photo: Debbi Tamietti

In a two-moto battle for the Vet Intermediate win, Adam Taki (232) led Beta 300RX-mounted Josh Fout (41) in both motos. Fout passed Adam the first moto when Adam fell in a slick right-hand corner after the quad-drop-off downhill and in the second moto when Adam hit a pot hole on the steep climb up the back of Mt. Whitney and went down again. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Lance Sloane (124) only got to lead a few laps in the first moto of the Over-60 Intermediate class before Marc Crosby (138) passed him for the win. And in the second moto, Lance only got to lead for ten feet, but it was the ten feet before the checkered flag, giving him a 2-1 victory over Crosby’s 1-2. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

This may look like 6D helmet’s Robert Reisinger, but instead it is Robert’s son Nick, who won the 125 Beginner class with a 1-1. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Scalvini importer Pete Vetrano double classed it with a 4th in the Over-50 Intermediates and a 11th in the Over-60 Experts. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Dirt Bike Magazine editor Ron Lawson decided to not wait to get custom numbers on his test Yamaha. He just slapped “5s” on the blue plates and went for it. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

John Caper (44) finished the second moto even though he heard his fibula snap in his ankle. He will have to get X-Rays or a hearing test to find out if his leg is actually broken. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Randel Fout was flying on MXA’s 2021 KTM 350SXF, but he hit a rock, which flatted his front tire, as he approached a fast uphill tabletop. The bike flew off the side of the jump and into a deep rain rut. Randel’s day was done—awaiting X-Rays of his left wrist. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Randy Skinner (53), on MXA’s 2021 GasGas MC 450, raced without putting his leg on the ground as he awaits word from his doctor on whether he will need a knee replacement. He asked his doctor if he could keep racing while waiting and the doctors said, “Go ahead, you can’t make your knee any worse than it already is.” Photo: Debbi Tamietti

Pat Veritch (7) bought this 2014 Suzuki RM-Z450 for $3500, brought it to REM and went 1-2 in the Over-50 Novice class. It still had the original tires on it. Photo: Debbi Tamietti

For more information about REM got to www.remsatmx.com.

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