Louisiana Cross-Country 2017 Series Opener

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laccr117_LACC_UTILITY_QUADSHow does the idea of riding an off-road motorcycle, ATV or UTV through a wooded trail sound? For many people in the South, that sounds like a good time. What if the ride were a race at high speeds? For some, that makes it even better. How about if the whole family can take part and spend a weekend together? For off-road racing families, that is a plan derived in heaven. On January 28, 2017, the Louisiana Cross-Country series provided just that type of environment during the first round of their statewide off-road endurance racing series.

laccr117_LACC_ROY_SMITHHosted on the rolling land of the Lazy B. Ranch in Kentwood, La., LACC provided two days of racing action that drew off-road racers from across the South. Hundreds of enthusiasts descended on the venue from all across Louisiana, as well as parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. Some even came from as far as Houston to take part in the event filled weekend.

The weekend event provided dedicated racing for both motorcycles and four-wheelers, with ATVs and UTVs racing on Saturday and the motorcycles taking center stage on Sunday. There were nearly 30 different classes raced over the weekend, ranging from the mini class to senior riders.

laccr117_LACC_JUSTIN_BRANUMThe variety of racing machines parked within the camping area and ridden around the pits was as varied as the license plates on the vehicles and trailers. There were pit-bikes, mini-bikes, four-stroke engines and two-stroke engines, and that was just the little bikes and mini-quads. There were motorcycles and ATVs from every current manufacturer and in every color. Some of the machines gleamed with exotic components and high-end modifications, while others were more modest entries.

According to LACC promoter Ryan Breaux, there were over 300 entries for the weekend. “Around 330 people showed up this weekend, between bikes, ATVs and UTVs,” Breaux said. “By far, a great weekend. The ground conditions were amazing, and the courses were great.”

laccr117_LACC_JAKOB_PECKAs stated, LACC is an endurance racing series. Rather than running a set amount of laps, the races are run over a set amount of time. Depending on age and class, the races range from 20 minutes for the mini races to an hour and a half for the premier classes. Also, multiple classes are raced simultaneously, and positions are tracked via transponders that are scanned at a set checkpoint. In this manner, the fastest rider at the start may not necessarily prevail.

The courses played a factor, as racers faced high-speed sections over open fields, heavily rutted blind turns and miles of tree-lined singletrack. Unlike a wide-open motocross track that receives periodic grooming between races, the LACC course became more challenging as each race ran. By the conclusion of the UTV final on Saturday evening, wooded sections of the primary course were littered with exposed tree roots and lined with deep ruts and berms for the motorcycles to contend with during Sunday’s race.

laccr117_LACC_ADEN_ALFORDThe weather for this year’s season opener was optimal, with rain in scarce supply. Despite the dry conditions, dust was not a major factor for a majority of the weekend, and the trails stayed moist, but not muddy. While Saturday began with overcast skies, Sunday greeted all in attendance with perfect blue skies and ample sunshine.

As LACC is family friendly, the younger racers set out first on each day. The pee-wee races were a chance for moms, dads, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and grandparents to cheer the youngest racers on as they wove in-and-out of the trees on the mini course.

While the mini classes provided fun for the whole family, the adult ATV and UTV races provided energy and excitement for the Saturday spectators. The high-powered sports and utility class machines tore through the course, slinging dirt high in the air as they powered out of turns and tore up the Earth in the wooded sections.

As with any motorsport, endurance racing comes with accepted risks. The decision to ride on or within any high-performance machine presents a certain amount of danger. Thankfully, while there were some spills and a bit of drama at the start of the UTV final, round one saw no major injuries occur.

The layout at Lazy B. Provided great racing action but also gave spectators prime viewing positions along the course. “We appreciate everybody coming out to these races,” said Breaux. “All the spectators, that’s what makes these races happen. So, it’s always great to encourage the spectators to spectate and support the series. It helps out our landowners who allow us to put the series on and that’s a big part of it, and we really appreciate it.”

Round one of the LACC series may be in the books, but the season has only just begun. The ten round series will be crisscrossing back and forth across Louisiana and Mississippi over the next nine months, with another round held in Kentwood at Spring Creek MX on the weekend of May 6th and 7th. The next round will be heading to Castor, Louisiana on March 4th and 5th.

Although the locations and courses will be different at each round, the people who participate will remain the same. They will still be the families and friends who all share a common love: the love of off-road racing.

Matthew Roy is the Assistant Editor at Amite Tangi Digest

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