Photos by Dan and Chris Alamangos
Lyle Sweeter (55) leads the Over-60 Expert class through REM's roller coaster section. Sweeter would finish second while Patrick Flynn (23) would get a third overall.
They say that there are only two seasons at Glen Helen— hot or windy. This weekend Glen Helen was windy. How windy was it? The Pro-Am race on the AMA National track was canceled. Did REM cancel? Nope. Because the REM track is located above the Glen Helen National track and tucked into a canyon that protects it from the gusts—it isn’t affected as bad as the lower track. That doesn’t mean that the wind wasn’t blowing, but mostly the wind was more irritating in the pits than on the track.
Randel Fout was one of four MXA test riders to race MXA's Derek Howerton Replica KTM 250SX. Each test rider switched back and forth between motos on a stock KTM and Howerton's Fox Factory-suspended and FMF-powered KTM deuce-and-a-half. Fout went 2-2 in the Over-40 Pro class.
REM is starting a long string of 11 straight races that extend into February—and they are instituting 20-minute motos for all riders. So, when the riders showed up the wind was not an issue. They raced.
Swedish rider Andreas Ovgaard never shuts off, as his roost proves, as he calmly takes a moment to check to see if his rear tire was going flat. It wasn't! Ovgaard won the 450 Pro class.
THE WINNERS: Andreas Ovgaard won the 450 Pro class. Robbie Wageman, son of former AMA National rider Russ Wageman, won the 250 Intermediate class. Kevin Barda, son of Art Barda, won the Over-40 Pro class. Will Harper, of Indian Dunes fame, won the Over-50 Intermediates. Val Tamietti, the Maico rider who owned Saddleback Park for years, won the Over-50 Expert class. Pasha Afshar won the Over-40 Novice class. Paul Doebereiner won the Over-50 Novice class. George Kohler won the Over-60 Expert class.
Val Tamietti took the Over-50 Expert win with a 2-1 victory on his Yamaha YZ250 two-stroke over Greg Nelson's 1-3, Dave Eropkin's 4-2 and Mike Monaghan's 3-4.
FIFTH PLACE GUYS: Bob Marino finished fifth in the Over-50 Intermediate class. Nicole Dorsey was fifth in the 450 Novice class. Robin Hall used a 10-3 to get fifth in the Over-40 Novice class. Mitch Evans was fifth in the Over-50 Novice class. Lars Larsson was fifth in the Over-50 Expert class.
AMA Hall of Famer, 1971 Trans-AMA Support Class Champion and THOR founder Lars Larsson chases Jody Weisel in the Over-60 Expert class. Lars is on Howerton's KTM 250SX two-stroke and went 5-5 to Jody's 4-4. Lars and Jody have been racing each other for decades, which probably explains why they both wear old-school Alpinestars Super Victory boots.
THE BIGGEST CLASS: The Over-50 Intermediates and Over-40 Novices dueled for “Biggest Class of the Day,” with the Over-40 Novices winning by four more riders. Pasha Afshar blew his bike up in practice, but was able to share Greg Nelson’s RM-Z450. It was a lucky move for Pasha as he went 2-1 to take the Over-40 Novice win and said that he was headed to a dealership to buy an RM-Z450. Terry Varner split 2-1 and 1-2 days with Pasha, but got the short end of the stick. Cory Clark was third overall with a 4-4. Kendall Stanley was fourth with a 3-6
In the Over-50 Intermediates Will Harper swept both motos in front of a top five of Jeff Fahy, Joe Sutter, Randy Skinner and Bob Marino.
Kevin Barda swept both motos of the Over-40 Pro class.
250 NOVICES: Japanese rider Ryusei Otsuka, under the guidance of Gentleman Jim Holley, took the 250 Novice victory with Noah Hickerson, Steven De Rose, Tyler Nichols and Nicole Dorsey filling out the top five.
Swedish Woman's Champion Sara Pettersson tried to double-class it at REM. Given the super-long motos and the fact that she had to race her motos back-to-back you would have thought Sara would have gotten tired, but instead her aftermarket rear hub broke ending her day after three motos. She still got third in the 250 Intermediate class behind Robbie Wageman and Kordel Caro.
Australian Chris Alamangos won the Vet Novice class on a Yamaha YZ125 decked out in UFO yellow plastic.
Jeff Fahy (31) gets a little ahead of his right leg. Jeff went 2-4 behind Will Harper's 1-1 in the Over-50 Intermediate class.
Some of the drop-offs at Glen Helen are very steep, but Over-60 Expert winner George Kohler has a very unique approach to sucking up the free fall.
Kent Reed (491) gives a visual definition of "cross-rutted." Kent survived this faux pas to go 2-3 for second in the Over-50 Novice class behind Paul Doebereiner, but ahead of Syd Woods.
Mike Phillips pauses to reflect on living the good life — and just in case he forgets where he's at, there is a giant reminder on the hill.
REM races three more time sin 2013—then races on January 4, 11, 18 and 250—followed by races on February 1, 8,15 and 22. The first week off will be March 1, 2014. For more info about racing at REM go to www.remsatmx.com
Honda Motorcycle tests