REM GLEN HELEN RACE REPORT: NEW LAYOUT LEADS TO INTENSE BATTLES
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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
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
For more information about REM got to www.remsatmx.com.