America’s largest off-road motorcycle and ATV racing series returns to Chenango County, September 19 and 20, for the 10th annual Unadilla GNCC, to be held at Unadilla Raceway in New Berlin, New York. The event serves as round ten of the 2015 AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC), presented by Maxxis, an AMA National Championship.
Picking back up from a three-month summer break, the Unadilla venue is a favorite stop for fans and racers alike, due in part to the challenging terrain, massive tree roots and more. The rest of the eight-mile racecourse consists of portions of the famous Unadilla motocross track, which means wide, sweeping corners and steep elevation changes. This circuit is especially unique in that the Unadilla venue boasts two motocross tracks, meaning racers will experience the challenges of both tracks each lap.
Over 2,000 racers are expected to compete at the Unadilla GNCC, and the event will draw several thousand spectators from the surrounding states, as well as all over the U.S., ultimately bringing an estimated $3 million in revenue to Chenango County and surrounding areas. Riders will compete on highly tuned dirt bikes and four-wheeled ATVs, and racers will include top international talent, such as U.S. National Champions and World Champions from Europe, Japan, and Australia.
New York native Hunter Hart, age 15, will ultimately be a rider to keep an eye on throughout the weekend, making an appearance on both Saturday and Sunday. Hart hails from nearby Newfield, N.Y., a mere two hours east of Unadilla. After competing Saturday in the Schoolboy Sr. (14-17) ATV class, he will turn around to race once again on Sunday in the Super Mini (14-15) class aboard his KTM dirt bike.
Also competing Saturday in the ATV semi-pro division will be Martin Christofferson of Richford, N.Y. Christofferson currently holds third place in the championship chase, and is no stranger to the podium. Brad Aman, from Interlaken, hopes to bring the competition to Christofferson. Although Aman suffered a series of set-backs earlier this season, he hopes to capitalize on his mistakes and training over the summer to make a strong run at Unadilla.
Racing Sunday in the premier motorcycle Pro Race will be current overall points leader and 2014 GNCC National Champion, Kailub Russell. The Factory FMF/KTM racer Russell is representing the United States in Slovakia this week for the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), where he is currently leading after the first day of competition, the first time in ISDE history for an American. Russell, a two-time Unadilla overall winner, hopes to add another win to his resume September 20.
Sunday’s motorcycle race will also showcase the talents of local racers. In particular, the battle in the 250cc Expert division between fellow New Yorkers, Kevin Kilmer and JoJo Bowden, promises to be exciting. This is 16-year-old Bowden’s first full year competing in the Expert division, where he currently ranks 16th. Bowden, from Lockport, N.Y., will be competing with a bulls-eye on his back aboard his KTM machine as Dryden’s Kevin Kilmer comes into the competition fresh off his season best finish of fourth place at the previous round in West Virginia.
Other local racers expected to compete Saturday on ATVs will be: Mikey Nickels (Super Mini 12-13 and Schoolboy Jr. 13-15), Katelyn Osburn (WXC), Kara Frederick (WXC), brothers Dylan Feehan (Schoolboy Sr. 14-17) and Devon Feehan (College A 16-21), Shawn Labruna (40+ C), Boedy Lamoreaux (College A 16-21), Greg Covert (College A 16-21), Steven Covert (Junior A 22+), Simon Bissell (Junior A 22+), Scott Pierson (College B 16-21) and Cameron Horton (College B 16-21).
Also expected to compete this weekend on motorcycles will be local racers Timothy Steiner (Super Mini 14-15) and his dad James Steiner (Vet A 30+), Kevin Johnson (Super Mini 14-15), Garrett Frear (Super Mini 14-15), Colby Davis (85cc 12-13), brothers Toby Cleveland (65cc 10-11) and Hunter Cleveland (85cc 7-11), Cristian Donahue (65cc 10-11), Cheyenne Sisenstein (Girls 8-15), Timothy Murphy (Open A), Spencer Hoyt (Open A), Brandon Hayes (Open A), Alexander Dzikiewicz (250 A), Brian Klementowski (250 B), Matthew Donahue (250 B) and Christopher Larkin (Vet B 30+).
Four-wheeled ATVs will compete throughout the day on Saturday, September 19, and dirt bikes will race on Sunday, September 20. Local riders are invited to race the event, as GNCC Racing offers classes for riders of all skill and experience levels. The amateur race entry fee is $40 and riders can sign up at the event.
Spectator passes run $20 for adults and $10 for kids (6-11) for the full weekend (Saturday through Sunday), with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge. On both Saturday and Sunday, youth riders race at 8 a.m., amateur riders race at 10 a.m., and the top amateurs and pros race a 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon will also host Round Five of 50cc Micro racing at 4:30 p.m. featuring local racer Tavin Cook who is looking to continue his four race win streak in the ATV division, and Paul Best from nearby Richford, N.Y. in the bike division.
The 1 p.m. pro races will be televised live on the internet on Racer TV at www.Racertv.com both days. A highlight show featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, November 29 at 1:30 p.m.
In conjunction with the event, GNCC organizers, along with top professional bike and ATV athletes, will also present an anti-bullying program titled “Keeping Students on the Right Track.” The program will take place Friday, September 18, at Edmeston Central School in Edmeston, and again at Mount Markham Central School in West Winfield. Racers will discuss bullying prevention awareness, team building and how to properly use safety equipment while riding a motorcycle or ATV.
To get to the track from Albany and I-90, take exit 25A which will put you onto I-88. Then take exit 13 and make a right at the top of the exit ramp. Continue following Route 23 west toward Morris, go straight through the light in Morris onto County Route 13. County Route 13 will end at Route 8 in New Berlin, bear right onto Route 8 and proceed directly to the track.
To get to Unadilla Raceway from Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse take exit 32 from NYS Thruway (I-90) and proceed through the toll booths where you will turn left at the light following them. Go approximately three miles to Judd Road and turn right. Judd Road will turn into Route 840, which turns into Route 8 South. Continue on Route 8 South until you reach the track entrance.
For more information on the series, visit the official website at www.gnccracing.com or call (304) 284-0084. Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for exclusive content and to catch the latest news.
About GNCC Racing:
The AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis is America’s premier off-road racing series. Founded in 1975, the 13-round championship is produced exclusively by Racer Productions. Cross-country racing is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. The grueling three-hour GNCC races lead as many as 2,000 riders through tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles. With varied terrain, including hills, woods, mud, dirt, rocks and motocross sections, GNCC events are tests of both survival and speed. The series draws talent from all over the U.S., Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. GNCC Racing is televised weekly on NBC Sports and RacerTV.com. For more information, please visit www.gnccracing.com.