GNCC Racing

Yamaha Raptor 250 Being Given Away At Ironman

Thursday, October 25, 2007 | 5:00 AM

Yamaha Press Release



Yamaha Celebrates Championships; Unveils Special Edition ATVs at GNCC Finale

Yamaha Racers Cecco and Sommers Clinch Titles Early;

Ballance to Battle at Final Event for Record Eighth Championship

CYPRESS, Calif. ”“ Oct. 22, 2007 ”“ Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. will host a championship celebration at the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Racing Series Finale in Crawfordsville, Indiana, October 26 ”“ 28.  In addition to the celebrations and racing, Yamaha will introduce all new 2008 Special Edition ATVs to the public on Saturday, October 27.

The Yamaha themed events will start Friday evening at 5 p.m. at Yamaha’s display near the GNCC Ironman track.  During the Friday night event, Yamaha staff and fans will honor team riders Traci Cecco, who recently secured her unprecedented sixth GNCC Women’s ATV Championship, and Brandon Sommers, who became the first ever  GNCCC XC2 Pro Am Champion in this new class on his YFZ450.  Both Cecco and Sommers secured their 2007 season titles on their Yamaha YFZ450s at the GNCC race in Yadkinville, N.C., on Saturday, September 29.

“It was a long season, but I can finally breathe now,” Cecco said.  “I love the YFZ450.  My Yamaha is always the first off the starting line and always pulls the hole shots.”Â

“I was super excited about how well everything went this season,” Sommers commented.  “The Yamaha YFZ450 worked really well and everything just came together.”Â

“We’re extremely proud of all of our Yamaha team riders, and what Traci has accomplished ”“ winning six titles ”“ is really something special,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV/SxS marketing manager.  “We congratulate Traci and Brandon on their championships, and we’ll be cheering for Bill to go all the way again on Saturday!”Â

The Friday night event will also be the stage for a Yamaha pep rally for Bill Ballance, who will be racing on Saturday to break the ATV racing record with an eight consecutive championship.  Ballance, who has been riding a 2008 YFZ450 during the last few rounds, is a favorite for the series going into this last race with a 22 point lead.

On Saturday morning Yamaha will unveil for the first time publicly new Special Editions of its 2008 YFZ450, Raptor and Grizzly ATVs, which will hit dealerships later this year.

Throughout the weekend, Yamaha will also be holding a raffle of a new 2008 Raptor 250 and will donate the proceeds to the Rider Down Foundation.  Attendees can register for the raffle at the Yamaha display and the winner will be announced at the GNCC ATV Awards banquet in November.  More details about the Rider Down Foundation are available at

About Yamaha:

Yamaha ATVs and SxS vehicles are designed, engineered and built tough!  Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. headquarters are located in Cypress, California.  For more information on Yamaha, visit

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*ATVs with engines 90cc or greater are recommended for use only by riders age 16 years and older.


Rider Down Press Release

The Passion Tour continues as RiderDown Foundation and Yamaha Motor Corporation Team up at the Klotz Ironman GNCC!        

The Yamaha Motor Corporation is very generously donating a brand new 2008 Raptor 250 to support the RacerX/RiderDown Passion Tour at the Ironman Grand National Championship Series (GNCC) season finale being held this weekend in Crawfordsville, Indiana!

RiderDown will be offering tickets for the Raptor raffle under the Yamaha tent at the Ironman GNCC as well as at several other events over the next month. The tickets are $10 each and a maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold. If you’re there, come by and get a raffle ticket and help an injured rider up at the same time! The winner of the Raptor will be announced at the GNCC ATV Awards Banquet in November.

“We were caught by surprise when Yamaha called and made us this amazing offer,” says RiderDown President, Bruce Vermeulen. “We would like to not only thank Yamaha for this great gift, but also RacerX, Racer Productions and the GNCC series for their support of the Passion Tour and it’s goal of helping riders up. Without all of them, this would not have been possible for us.”  

RiderDown has been very busy this year helping several injured riders including Chris Blais, Doug Henry, Vince Karnow, Chase Borders and many more across the country.  Through the efforts and generosity of the off road riding community, RiderDown has been able to bring significant financial and emotional benefits to those riders and families in need. 

Check out for more information on the Foundation’s diligent efforts to help our fellow riders as well as to get details about the raffle and to find out who the lucky winner is.

About RiderDown Foundation:

With a nationwide network of volunteers ready to lend support and assistance to injured riders, RiderDown is actively giving back to the off road community. As a non-profit, 501©3 charitable organization, RiderDown has been delivering on its mission of “Helping Riders Up” since 2005. Dedicated to helping responsible off-road motorcyclists and ATV racers who have been injured while riding, proceeds are used to provide assistance to riders and their families when faced with medical expenses and related issues. The medical bill review team they work with has saved injured riders thousands of dollars on excessive and/or unnecessary medical charges and their “Angels” visit injured riders in the hospital and at home, offering a friendly voice during difficult times. To find out more about RiderDown and ways you can help, go to or contact them at [email protected].