GNCC Racing

Quick Fill #6: This Week in GNCC

Quick Fill #6: This Week in GNCC

Thursday, February 17, 2022 | 12:00 PM
Thursday, February 17, 2022 | 12:00 PM

Welcome to Quick Fill. 

This is it. It’s time to go GNCC Racing! Yes, the 2022 GNCC Racing season kicks off this weekend at the Big Buck Farm in Union, South Carolina. The GNCC track crew has been on site all week getting things ready to roll and the place is looking great. The first wave of the crew rolled in Sunday evening and we all had the same thought; it’s much drier than it has been when we’ve arrived the last couple of years. There’s still a bit of a chance of rain throughout Thursday, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that any rain that does fall is just the right amount. A little bit would be just fine because there is a bit of dust floating around in certain places. 

So, a few housekeeping items before we kick off the new year at Big Buck. First, Big Buck is co-sanctioned with the AMA East Hare Scramble Series. If you’re unfamiliar with the AMA East Hare Scramble, they run a full schedule throughout the year co-sanctioning events with premier off-road series. They’ve got a seven-round series for 2022 with Big Buck being their first event of the year. So, if you do well and are interesting in contesting more of their events, make it happen! You can get more info on the series HERE

Second, gates will open at 6pm on Thursday evening at Big Buck. Now, there is an upcharge if you want to come in early. The weekend admission for Thursday arrival will be $35 per adult (12+), but the kids (6-11) rate remains the same at $10. So, if you’re planning to come early be prepared. Next, on Friday Registration will open early for pre-registered riders only. So, if you pre-registered you can actually finish your registration starting at 2pm. Full registration will open at 4pm, as usual, and the plan is to continue doing this throughout the year. 

Now let’s talk about what to expect out on the track at Big Buck. The start, finish and pro pit areas will be in the same locations they have been the last few years. When you take off from the start, you’ll be starting just a little over a half mile into the full course. The course will work its way through the woods behind the starting line and pass the one-mile mark. You’ll work through some tighter woods for a second before popping into a short field crossing and back into the woods, where you’ll remain basically until the end of the lap. Heading towards the two-mile mark there’s a mix of some faster trail that will tighten up in spots, along with a few split lane sections to allow for some passing opportunities. At the two-mile mark, the trail tightens up for a while before working its way beside the banks of one of the creeks that run through the property.

This brings you all the way to the three-mile mark where an uphill brings you out into the big open woods through the white quartz rocks. This is another opportunity for passing before the trail tightens back up quickly. You’ll eventually work back around below the starting line and head over to the four-mile mark, and just past the four the PM races will split off and head down to the Big Buck Hillclimb. The fast line will be straight up the hill, or you can choose the left line out and around the hill the easy way. The two options merge together at the top of the hill before dropping down a long downhill section, then head right back uphill again and over to the five-mile mark. 

When you get to the five, the course tightens up once again but this will be that long pine section that has a number of different lines to pick your way through it. It opens up just a bit before tightening up again as you head over to the six-mile mark. The trail from the six down to the seven has a few technical, rolling up and downhill patches before dropping off the side of the hill just above the area we call “The Green Bottom”. There you pick up a long up hill that works you over to the eight-mile mark where the course gets a little technical once again with some more up and downhill sections, plus the big gorge we’ve ran in the past, as you head over to the nine-mile mark.

At the nine, you start to work your way back to the front of the property again which has another mix of trail with some open and some tighter spots. The ten-mile mark brings you around the old practice loop, which adds milage to the regular racecourse. That loop is a little tighter but has a few opportunities to make passes as well, then opens back up for a second just prior to the 11-mile mark. You’ll pop out into the field for just a second after the 11, then back into the woods again, and into another field section over to the 12-mile mark before dropping into the woods one final time. 

When you pop out of the woods section at the 12, you’re heading into the finish line, then it’s just another half mile of woods trail to bring you back to the start, coming through the bike pro pits along the way, which will make a full loop of 12.5 miles to kick off the season! Like I said earlier, fingers crossed that the rain stays away or we only get a little bit because the moisture in the ground is shaping up to make this one of the best Big Buck events of all-time! 

That’s actually going to do it for this week’s edition of Quick Fill as there’s still work to be done! So, safe travels, we hope you enjoy the weekend and we’ll see you at Big Buck!

Random Photo of the Week

Bob "The Builder" Pierson and myself had a really cool opportunity this week to take a quick flight over the Big Buck property and the surrounding area. Chad LaFollette is a racer from South Carolina and his dad, who everyone knows as Lollipop, helps us out on the GNCC Track Crew. Chad got his pilot's license a couple years ago and has been building up flight hours to pursue a career in aviation. Chad's plane sits a short 15-minute flight from the Union County Airport, so he picked Bob and I up Tuesday afternoon and took us for a quick ride.

This was really cool for me as until this flight, I had only ever been on commercial flights. General Aviation like this is a totally different animal and really gives a unique and cool view from the sky; much closer than what you get on a commercial flight. The craziest part of the whole experience? As we were coming back for landing at the Union County Airport, there were four deer on the left side of the runway, and three more on the right side. The four to the left took off towards the woods, but the three on the right continued to stand there, obviously pondering if they should dart across the runway in front of the plane. Thankfully, Chad doesn't need much runway to stop so he just flew a few feet further than planned and touched down just past the deer. That's talent!

So, for this week's Random Photo of the Week, here's Big Buck from 3,000 feet!

Bird's eye view of Big Buck on Tuesday afternoon...
Bird's eye view of Big Buck on Tuesday afternoon... Jared Bolton