AMA West Hare Scramble Round 4 – Round 1 Get-Xtr-Eme Motorcycle Endurance Series
March 15/16 2014 – The Ranch, Anza CA
Hosted by Get-Xtr-Eme/VCMC
Photos by Grumpy
The 2014 AMA West Hare Scramble Championship has seen its fair share of shake ups so far this season and Round 4 would be no exception! Close to 12 miles of tight, technical single track through the Cahuilla Tribal Lands of Anza, Ca staged out of the famous Ranch awaited the racers. Overall points leader Jacob Argubright aboard his factory Husqvarna had been hoping for much more technical riding while the scores of Northern California racers who made the track south were more then happy to return to the tight trails.
Off the start Argubright would take quick control of the pack into the first corner. Pro 2 Stroke racers BRP’s Nic Garvin and ISDE Silver Medalist Nick Hamill would be right on his tail straight into the first set of trees. At the tail end of the Pro wave the 3 Bro’s KTM of Ryan Kudla and the KLIM/FMF KTM of Justin Bonita were battling through the hanging dust in the trees. Bonita would make a quick pass on Kudla and show the speed he brought south with him. “In the straights I could pull away but as soon as he got by and we got back into the tight stuff he was gone!” exclaimed Kudla.
By the time the course got onto the Carlsbad Replica track Bonita had already made his way into 2nd overall. Argubright had what seemed to be a comfortable buffer between him and the advancing Bonita with over 30 seconds of space through the scoring chicane after lap 1. Almost nearly a minute later Garvin and Kudla would come flying down the finish ski jump built diagonal down the Ranch’s Loretta Lynn’s Qualifying course. While Garvin would check up Kudla would take the opportunity to sky over his head and into 3rd overall and 1st Pro 2-Stroke just before the chicane.
The top two riders would be posting under 30 minute lap times after hooking up together. Bonita would continue to push Argubright hoping to force a mistake as Argubright was obviously not as comfortable racing through barely bar width manzanita. “I was really hoping for gnarlier as in rocks!” said Argubright “The GXE in Reno was right up my alley, but chasing the Hare Scramble series I really have to get a hang of these trees.”
As the leaders would come in on their 3rd lap, they would enter the pits only 3 seconds apart and leave the same way into the tree section designed and laid out by Ryan Huges nearly 10 years ago. Now they would start to get deep into the lappers and Argubright would run into the back of one falling over. He would get up quickly but the front end would wash out again. “I saw Jake [Argubright] on the ground and thought this was my chance!” exclaimed Bonita. “So i got around him and just ‘goosed’ it!”
Now that Bonita was in the lead he would be able to set the pace and stretch out a little bit of a lead so he would be safer in the rock sections. Coming in for the white flag lap he would already have a minute gap posting the fastest lap time of the day at 28:13 to Argubright’s 29:28. While Kudla would hold onto a solid 3rd overall he wouldn’t be alone. His 3 Bro’s KTM team mate Nick Stover would catch to the rear wheel of Kudla from the A 250 line and on adjusted he would overtake him coming through on lap 3 in 3rd overall. With the added pressure Kudla would start to bump up his lap times and get a gap again regaining the position.
At the finish it was Bonita taking the overall victory, his second on the weekend after taking the win at his local D36 Hollister Hare scramble. Argubright would retain 2nd overall and extend his points lead in the overall championship to 56 points over Morgan Crawford who would finish 5th overall on the day. Kudla would post one of his fastest times of the day and secure 3rd and the GXE Pro 2 Stroke victory followed by Stover in 4th and 1st A 250.
The next round of the AMA Western Hare Scramble Series heads back North to Shasta Lake, Ca for more trees and tight single track racing!