Trail Jesters KTM Racing – High Voltage GNCC Race Report
Round 9 of the 2019 GNCC season brought us to Dunkard, PA for the inaugural High Voltage GNCC. With a decent top 5 start Ben Kelley was off and in the chase for the XC2 class lead, which he would grab fairly early into the first lap. Between figuring out a brand new track and brutal heat and humidity the race demanded both mental smarts and incredible fitness. With his competition in close tow for the first half of the race, Kelley put down some solid laps gaining a gap between him and 2nd place and eventually cross the finish line in 1st taking the XC2 class win and 6th overall. Kelley stated, “I feel good going into summer break with another class win and a healthy lead in the championship standings. I’m going to be busy racing other series all summer so I will stay fit and sharp come the last four GNCC racing rounds.”
Ready to give Round 9 all he has before heading into summer break, Jesse Ansley dropped the hammer when the green flag waved and grabbed another XC3 holeshot award. Taking the momentum of his killer start, and his conditioning to hot and humid weather, being from Florida, Jesse consistently put down clean laps and ran away with the win. “The track shaped up incredibly and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions,” he stated. Ansley would not only take home the XC3 win in dominating fashion with a 13-minute lead, but also 14th overall for the day. When reflecting on the season up until summer break Ansley said “I haven’t been as consistent as I’d like to be but moving forward I try to think positive and get into the proper mindset to be successful when we come back to conquer the last 4 races. I know I have the best support, so it’s up to me to hold up my end of the deal.”
Simon Johnson grabbed some throttle and another great start heading into the woods about 5th in class at the start for the 250A racers. Making some early race passes, Johnson, settled into 3rd place for the first half of the race as he got the gist of this new track and battled the wicked summer conditions. “The heat was the real battle Sunday. Right off the start I tried to conserve as much energy as possible. It definitely helped me push hard toward the end of the race,” Simon said. By lap 5 Johnson used his conserved energy to take over the lead and hang onto it for the remainder of the race finishing the day 1st in 250A, 1st Amateur Overall, and 23rd Overall. Excited for this 2019 racing season so far, Johnson said “I’m very glad to start the summer break on a high note. This year is going great for me; it feels good to have some consistent rides. I’m excited to mix it up during the summer break and race the NE 24 Hour Challenge along with other local New England events!”
At the start of the Youth race Brayden Nolette pushed to the lead pack round corner one and headed into the woods sitting in 4th place. With a long race with unfamiliar trails in front of him Nolette spent the first half of the race in a three-way battle between 1st-3rd places. After trading off positions between him in 2nd and this 3rd place competitor, Brayden settled into 2nd place and started pulling a lead from 3rd place putting down consistent and solid laps. When the checked flag waved Nolette finished off his day 2nd YXC1 and 2nd Youth overall. Eager to head into summer break to prepare for the remainder of the season Nolette stated, “I feel this year is definitely a learning curve for me compared to racing other series, it’s more intense and the competition is demanding. But we are going to try and work some bugs out over the break, maybe make some changes and come back swinging for the second half.”
Thank you to our team sponsors: KTM, FMF Racing, Troy Lee Designs, Dunlop Tires, Motorex, Super B Batteries, Bullet Proof Designs, P3 Carbon, Motool, Squid Decals and Edelmann Sales for their continued support.
About Trail Jesters:
Trail Jesters Racing is a KTM support team established in January 2014. We race off-road motorcycles at the professional, amateur and youth level of national and regional series.