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Malcolm Smith Motorsports and K&N Co-Sponsor Glen Helen Sportsman Class Motorcycle Champions
Racing motocross requires tremendous levels of physical fitness, mental fortitude, and the right equipment. It is difficult to imagine performing any task for 24 hours straight, let alone racing a motorcycle for that amount of time.
Travis Ginter aboard one of two RM-Z450 motorcycles ridden by Team Malcolm Smith/Norco Tires. Photo courtesy of Sean Renshaw.
Team Malcolm Smith/Norco Tires kicking up roost. Photo courtesy of Sean Renshaw.
On October 17-18, 2009 the K&N supported five-person team of Brett Dimanno, Nick Hogan, Patrick Bleckert, Ronnie Anderson and Travis Ginter did not just race their dirt bikes for 24 hours, they dominated the 251cc-open sportsman class.
A pit crew member from Team Malcolm Smith/Norco Tires works on one of the motorcycles.
Team Malcolm Smith/Norco Tires racing through the obstacles at night. Photo courtesy of Sean Renshaw.
Travis Ginter, a senior service advisor for Malcolm Smith Motorsports in Riverside, California, said the 24-hour Glen Helen endurance event in Devore, California was almost unreal. According to Travis “There were no major crashes, injuries, or flat tires on the team,” said Ginter “Racing takes good preparation and it was one of those races where all the pieces seemed to come together.”
The 24-hours of Glen Helen race began at 10 am Saturday morning and ended 10 am Sunday. During the day temperatures hovered in the mid-nineties. Track conditions were rough, but race staff did a good job watering the track, keeping the dust down. The evening brought much welcomed cooler temperatures and the moisture in the air kept the dust to a minimum. “The course was tight with many turns and sections only wide enough for one motorcycle,” said Ginter.
An oversized gas tank on the RM-Z450 allowed the team to ride four laps before refueling. During the day Team Malcolm Smith/Norco Tires members rode 22-23 minute lap times. Each rider took turns riding one lap at a time. Lap times slowed down to about 25 minutes after sunset with each rider racing two laps before switching. This gave team members more time to sleep at night.
Teams were allowed up to six riders and two motorcycles. “Since we had 5 riders we shorted ourselves some sleep,” said Ginter. The K&N supported Team Malcolm Smith/Norco Tires rode identical 2008 Suzuki RM-Z450 cc motorcycles equipped with K&N products. Four hours into the race a minor crash put their first motorcycle out of commission. This forced the team to ride their second bike for 20 hours without changing the oil. Team Malcolm Smith/Norco Tires used K&N oil filter part number
during the race. “When I changed the oil after the race it was clean and clear” said Ginter “Our K&N oil filter gave us outstanding filtration.”
When the race was over Team Malcolm Smith/Norco Tires finished 44 minutes ahead of the second place 251-open cc sportsman class team. “The 251-open sportsman class was one of the largest and most competitive classes at the event,” said Ginter. Finishing two laps ahead of second place is astonishing with 16 to 22 other sportsman teams at Glen Helen. Team Malcolm Smith/Norco Tires was able to clinch the endurance series championship, which consisted of a 6, 12 and 24-hour race, with their win in the 24-hour Glen Helen race.
Of course no championship winning team would be able to succeed with out the support of their pit crew. “I want to thank Sean Hodgdon and Justin Jones. Mike Bevan, and K&N’s Anthony Basso who both stayed awake the whole 24 hours. I also want to thank Malcolm Smith Motorsports technicians Javier and Freddy for helping out with the night shifts,” said Ginter. Legendary racer, Malcolm Smith, came out to personally support the team. Travis said “I offered Malcolm my fifth-wheel trailer, but he slept outside on a cot the whole night.”
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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.knfilters.com.
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