Toughest Race North of The Border: The 12 Hours of La Tuque

After a mishap with the timing plug in the night session, we changed the oil to make sure the YFZR was ready for the final day of racing.

After a mishap with the timing plug in the night session, we changed the oil to make sure the YFZR was ready for the final day of racing.

After a good nights sleep we woke up totally refreshed and ready to work our way further up the standings.There were significantly fewer competitors in the pits than there were at the start on Saturday. Most of this because the course got the best of either riders or machine and ended their weekend early. Our team sore and tired from the beating given by the track, but we were still confident that the Yamaha would finish the race because of our cautiousness and strategy. As the start horn sounded and riders rushed over to their ATVs to see who could get the engines fired up and in gear fastest, Lenny Duncan got a great jump and put us in the middle of the pack. We watched fly by our pits and then roughly 4 or 5 laps into the session he was nowhere to be seen. As we looked down pit row, we could see the amber light from our light bar that made us stand out from the others as he rolled into our pits. The temp light came back on, so we blew the radiator out once more and checked the oil before sending him out once again. We went through the same scenario until lap 7 when he didn’t come across as expected. It was over 10 minutes until we got word from a course official that our ATV was being towed back into the pits.

It was the second year that my team would suffer from a DNF in what I can call the toughest race i’ve ever been a part of. The motor would still turn over but Lenny’s description of it gave us a good idea that the crank let go when he was in one of the faster parts of the course. Was the oil issue the kiss of death? It’s hard to say because the motor gave no advance warning but rest assured that if given the chance to come back for the 12 Hours of La Tuque, I will put just as much blood, sweat and tears into building a race worthy machine that is capable of finishing if not placing in the top 5.

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Running an almost stock Polaris RZR XP 1000, we were able to pull off a 3rd place finish in the stock 851-1000cc class but still beat many other modified machines.

SxS Racing
With the increasing number of SxS races going on around the world, it was the obvious choice for the promoters of the 12 Hours of La Tuque to get in on the action. With three different classes for machines of all different sizes to enter in, there were 22 drivers entered for this exciting event. The start was a staggered style Formula 1 start where we drivers launched at the sound of the horn and into the first turn. It wasn’t long till spectators saw a machine get launched into the air and go tumbling. Fortunately I started far enough back that I avoided the carnage and quickly made my way through the pack. The SxS race for this event is only 2 one-hour sessions, so you needed to make your time on the track count. As deep ruts developed in the course I always looked for new possible lines and created them when I could. Aside from a slight issue presented itself in the middle of the race that led to two pit stops, I ran a solid race and finished my first stage in 3rd place.

_DSC5944Being the first race of the day on Sunday, I rushed to get any last minute issues squared away with both the RZR and my riders meeting for the ATV race that started after. Again I got a good start and started picking my way thorough the pack in my Polaris RZR XP 1000. After a good dousing of rain from the night before, there was some mud still out on the track and because I had to stay so close to the competition in preparation for a pass, there was an issue of my radiator clogging up with sand and mud causing the temps to rise and send the engine into limp mode. Again an unplanned pit stop set me back but once it was cleaned out with the pressure washer, I was back out on the track and worked my way up to a 3rd place finish overall for the weekend. That’s not bad considering I was in a machine that had no add-on’s other than an aftermarket cage from Houser Racing and an OMF/ITP wheel tire combo. Thank you to those companies for supporting us at this great event.

We’d like to say thank you to the promoters of the 12 Hours of La Tuque for not only organizing the biggest ATV event in Canada, but for truly showing their appreciation to the riders that come from all over the world to compete in the prestigious event. We would also like to thank the crowds at the event who come from all over Canada by car, ATV or SxS to give their support. These are some of the best fans I’ve seen in our sport and would love to have them come to an ATV MX National, GNCC or WORCS event to show everyone how It’s done. Finally thank you to all of the sponsors that helped us get to La Tuque. Without the support from Duncan Racing, Elka Suspension, Roll Design, Vortex CDI, STI Tires, DWT Wheels, FCI, Fasst Co, Works Connection and Quad Tech we would have a competitive ATV and look forward to working with all of you in 2015.