REM GLEN HELEN “UN-RACE IV”: WE HAVE TO STOP MEETING THIS WAY
There wasn’t supposed to be an “Un-Race” at Glen Helen this Saturday. Instead REM planned to hold the opening round of their 2018 Summer Series. Unfortunately, REM promoter Frank Thomason had knee replacement surgery and his optimistic plans to be back at the track a week later were a little optimistic. REM decided to cancel the race and reschedule it for later, but that decision wasn’t made until Wednesday—which was too late to stop the ball from rolling. Glen Helen asked MXA if we would hold an “Un-Race” this past weekend. We agreed.
In truth, MXA has very little to do with an “Un-Race” apart from getting Glen Helen to extend the track beyond their normal Saturday practice track and the prep it better than they would for a practice day. MXA and a select group of REM racers agree to water the track over the course of the day. Other than telling people that there will be an “Un-Race, the MXA guys just show up on Saturday morning like everyone else.
“Un-Races” don’t happen every time REM doesn’t have a race scheduled—it depends on timing, both REMs and MXA’s timing. If there is going to be a two or three week break in REM’s race schedule, then it is likely that there will be an “Un-Race” on one of the empty weekends. Conversely, if MXA needs to test bikes there will be a “Un-Race” so they can fill the holes in their regular test schedule on a relatively private prepped track.
This weekend’s “Un-Race” was a special circumstance (after all there was an “Un-Race” last weekend when it was 113-degrees). But, because the REM race was canceled late in the week and under medical circumstances, it was decided that there would be a another one this weekend also.
Jack Phinn hasn’t been at REM in years, but when he heard that there was going to be an “Un-Race” he decided to come back out and try it. He vows he’ll be back for next Saturday’s Summer Series race. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
How often are “Un-Races” held? Not very often, because REM holds its regular races on almost every weekend out of the year (and on weekends when they don’t hold a race, Glen Helen typically has some other race organization using the REM track). This week was only the fourth “Un-Race” of the year—why so few? Because between the regular REM schedule, plus Glen Helen’s off-road races, 12 hours of Glen Helen, World Vet race, World Two-Stroke race, 24 Hours of Glen Helen, Day in the Dirt, Last Man Standing, mud runs and SRA GPs, there are very few times when the REM track isn’t being used.
REM’s cancellation left a hole in the schedule and MXA agreed to fill it. Normally “Un-Races” are kept low-key. If you aren’t in the loop then you wouldn’t find out that there was one until it was already over. But, because of Frank’s knee surgery, racers coming over from Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Washington, and the scheduling, It was decided to tell the REM regulars that there would be an “Un-Race ” on July 14 in lieu of the REM race that got canceled. This enabled more REM racers a chance to ride on what would have been a surprise weekend off.
Thus, what you see is a sampling of the photos that Debbi Tamietti and Jon Ortner shot at “Un-Race IV.” This is not by any means all the racers who showed up at Glen Helen for the “Un-Race,” just the ones that we could easily identify.
Mark Hall works at WPS in Boise, Idaho, he flew down to race REM, while his wife visited with friends from when Mark worked at White Brothers, VP Fuels, MTA, 6D and Pro Circuit. The “Un-Race” saved him from a couple tea parties. Photo: Debbi Tamietti
REM will be racing next weekend, July 21 and the following weekend July 28. For more info about REM Motocross go to www.remsatmx.com.