REM RACE REPORT: THE GLEN HELEN “UN-RACE 2.0”
Click on images to enlarge
Photos by Rommel Andrade, Jon Ortner & Jody Weisel
Dennis Stapleton (184) was out practicing for the Hangtown 125 two-stroke race on a KTM 150SX. The former Fast by Ferraci Husqvarna team rider has considerable two-stroke experience. Photo: Rommel Andrade
There is a traditional at Glen Helen’s REM events to race at all costs. When the promoter cancels a race, be it for rain, snow, wind or yellow airport alerts, the racers show up anyway. What happens is an odd thing—the hardiest and most hardcore of the racers know there is no race, no where to sign up, no organization and no rhyme or reason, but they know that the track is sitting there unused—and they decide to use it. They form a water brigade to water the track, an emissary to talk the Cat operator into fixing a few things and organize an “Un-Race.”
What is an “Un-Race.” It is a free-form practice session, where guys who race against each other week in and week out, go out on the track (afterall, it is sitting there in all its glory), and race against each other for fun. What about the wind, rain, or threat of terrorist attack? They brush those things off as inconveniences. How often do you get an empty AMA National track, fully prepped and unencumbered by a horde of factory riders jumping over your head?
Jody Weisel (24) leads Marc Croby (54), Luc Deley (44) and Jim Latendresse (564) past Glen Helen’s White Towel area. Photo: Jon Ortner
This weekend at Glen Helen the threat of rain was real—the weatherman’s prediction of 40% chance at 8:00 a.m. changing to 60% by 10:00 a.m to 80% by the end of the day was dire indeed. Given Glen Helen’s position at the end of a canyon, that is towered over by 8000 foot mountains, it’s not good to be at Glen Helen in a rainstorms. The one road in can be cut off by a flash flood in an instant and with the many long, steep and fast downhills, coming down very quick in the rain often can be done with the brakes applied. Thus, with rain spitting down at 7:30 a.m., REM canceled the race.
Doug Dubach showed up to be a mini-dad for son Carter, but when the REM race was canceled and the Un-race announced, he decided that he wanted to ride—so he came begging to borrow a bike. And, he made a buck in the process. Photo: Jody Weisel
And, the Un-Race ensued on a perfectly prepped, unused and empty AMA National track. Lo and behold, the morning drizzle abated and all was well for the un-racers. Here are the photos shot by Rommel Andrade, Jon Ortner and Jody Weisel of the days activities…or were they unactivities?
Poor Bob Rutten. The former Baja Champion drove down from Utah to race REM, only to find out that it was canceled. He feels cursed because this was third time over SoCal’s super rainy winter that he has made the trip only to ride an Un-race. He might be the problem. Photo: Jody Weisel
If you had any doubts that former Saddleback Pro Luc Deley was coming back from a 30-year layoff all you need to do is see that he is wearing a Sinisalo chest protector, Gold Belt kidney belt, faded Scott goggles and all-leather Gaerne boots (held on by Velcro). He does have new gear on underneath though. Photo: Jody Weisel
After he retired from the AMA circuit Doug Dubach became Yamaha’s official test rider, so Jon Ortner asked Doug to evaluate the set-up on his 2017 Simi Valley Cycle’s YZ450F. Since it had a DR.D pipe on it, Doug was more than happy to hammer laps on someone else’s bike. You can learn more about DR.D at www.dubachracing.com. Photo: Jon Ortner
The next REM race is scheduled for May 20, which is seven days before the Glen Helen AMA 250/450 National.For more info on REM Motocross go to www.remsatmx.com