by: Jared Bolton
Thursday, February 16, 2023 | 12:00 PM
Welcome to Quick Fill.
Well, this is it; we’re going racing! The off-season is finally coming to a close and it’s time to get back into the swing of GNCC Racing and we’re kicking it all off this weekend with the Big Buck GNCC in South Carolina. Big Buck always produces some great racing on a really fun racecourse with a huge crowd of racers and spectators alike. It’s really come into it’s own in the last few years and similar to the massive season finale Ironman GNCC, it kicks off the season in a big way.
This year is looking to produce even more of the same great times at Big Buck and the place is coming together really, really well. Obviously we’ll have the latest info on what to expect out in the woods coming up shortly, but before we give you a heads up there we’ll go through a few quick housekeeping items. First off, you can save a few bucks and a little extra time at the front gate as we now have online ticketing available and it’s open for the first four rounds. This is something new to GNCC, but we’ve had some experience with this on the motocross side for a number of years, so we’re excited to see how it goes. Check out the PR HERE for more details.
Next up, we have something that actually doesn’t involve the Big Buck event directly but we do want to invite GNCC racers out to the West Virginia capitol NEXT Friday, February 24th, for the West Virginia Motorsports Day. Obviously this is an easy thing for West Virginia-based racers to come out to, but you’re also welcome to travel from out of state as well because you still take part in a West Virginia based race series with three West Virginia events. For more details on times, location and what to expect, check out the PR on that HERE.
Alright, so now let’s talk Big Buck. First off, don’t forget that we ARE running the adjusted schedule like we’ve utilized at Ironman the last couple of years. This means that Youth ATVs will race at 8am on Saturday, Micro Bikes at 8:30am, Micro ATVs at 9:15am, Morning ATV ATVs at 10am, PM ATVs at 1pm and the Youth Bikes will race Saturday afternoon at 4pm. Obviously this means the Micro races will use a different racecourse with a different start and finish line.
On Sunday the Morning Bike race will be split in two events with the first one at 8am, second one at 10am and the PM bike race will run it’s normal time slot at 1pm. If you are a Morning bike racer, be sure to check out the Big Buck Start Rows HERE page to know exactly when your class will be racing (8am or 10am) and be sure to arrive long enough in advance to get yourself signed up and ready!
As for the racecourse, it’s a good one! The start and finish lines are in the same spots they have been for several years but the course layout feels a good bit different than the past. You’ll be starting at the end of the lap, so when you make your way into the woods you’ll have about a half mile of trail before the finish line area. Off the start you will bypass the finish line and head out on the full lap. You’re bouncing back and forth between woods sections and trackside pitting sections for about a mile, with more of that being in the woods. At the one, you drop into the woods and stay in them for a long time!
From the one to the two-mile mark is a mix of some tighter trail that opens up in a few spots to allow for passing, but there’s also A LOT of turning going on here! Things open up again and get a little flowy for a bit around the two-mile mark, but then get twisty once again as you start getting back into a lot of zigzagging turns to the three-mile mark. After the three, you’ll find some flowing trail once again but it gets into a section that is going uphill, downhill, and off-camber for quite a bit. This continues around to the four-mile mark with some tighter trail before opening up again after the four.
As you get closer to the five-mile mark, you’ll find another section full of up and downhills that are a little more open. After the five, things tighten back up again and get twisty as you head into a new section we’re calling ‘The Carousel’. Once you final stop making so many turns in The Carousel, you’ll find some more flowy trail to the six mile mark where you’ll cross into the pine tree section that was clear cut about 16 years ago. These trees have grown back over the years to the point that if you didn’t know it was cut before, you’d probably never know. This section has a lot of different lines and options, so make your choices wisely!
This brings you back into the regular woods and some open trail over to the seven-mile mark where you find some smaller up and downhills for a bit. Just before the seven and half area you’ll come to the Big Buck Hillclimb. Obviously the fast line is straight up the hill, but you can also go to the left to go out and around, but it’s a lot slower! Once you’re up the hill you’ll come back down and head over through some faster trail to the eight-mile mark, then head over to the FMF Powerpoint about a quarter mile later. This will be another hillclimb that has a lot of different options with one of them being the straightest and fastest shot, albeit it a little bit on the off-camber side while going uphill at the same time!
From there things tighten up a bit and get twisty as you head to the nine-mile mark. Then about the nine and a half, there’s a new section that while it’s not very long it’s a bit off-camber and pretty fun. You’ll then pick back up with another mix of slower and faster trail past the ten-mile mark and towards the 11. You’ll find the 11-mile mark in the woods between the two sections Pro Pits, then some faster trail to tie back in where you started.
Overall, the full loop is 12-miles on the dot with a real mix of fast, tight, and turning trail to make a great start to the 2023 season. Obviously there’s still a lot of work to be done so we’ll wrap up this week’s edition of Quick Fill and simply say, enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you in South Carolina!