Ethan Jaudas has been racing the GNCC series for the past several years. His first full run at the series was back in 2008, when he competed in the Supermini 12-13 and then again in 2009. However, it wasn’t until last year when the KTM rider stepped up to a full size bike in the Schoolboy division that his ability on a bike became obvious. This year Ethan committed himself to a rigorous off-season training program which ultimately led to his success in the 250 B division. His championship chase did not go without challenge, as the winner was decided at the thirteenth and final round of racing in Tennessee. We caught up with the sixteen year old 250B champion to get the low down on his season and plans for the future.
Hey Ethan, what are you up to today?
Not too much. Actually cleaning up some gear now and getting ready for my first A race at the ECEA this coming weekend.
For those who haven’t seen you at the races, give us a run-down of who Ethan Jaudas is.
I’m a pretty mellow kid, I like to have a good time and make people laugh. I like hanging out with friends and getting into some crazy stuff. Racing is pretty much everything to me I don’t really know much else. That’s pretty much a run down of Ethan Jaudas.
So, tell me a little bit about your season. You started off with a win in both Florida and Georgia, then didn’t find the top step of the podium again until Powerline Park.
After the first 2 rounds I was pretty sure it was going to be my year but in both Carolina races I had DNFs and that really set me back in points. After the Rock Run race I went home with the Baylor family and worked on a lot of things while I was down there and pulled out a win at the Powerline race, I guess everything started going well for me after that.
Wow, so you went from winning the opening rounds to never even seeing the checkers in just one race. That can definitely wear down your confidence. Mentally, the results you were getting in the middle of the season must have left you scratching your head. At any point did you think the championship may be out of reach?
I never really thought that it was out of reach. TJ Erny, who was leading my class at the time, is a very good technical rider and he got those four wins on the rougher races. I performed a lot better on the faster tracks so I was pretty confident about the faster rounds towards the end of the season.
I agree, your riding style seems more moto-like and the faster tracks definitely played in your favor. The 250B championship chase came down to the double header at Loretta’s. You won the race on Friday, which tied you and competitor Thomas Erny, for first. What was going through your mind on the starting line Sunday?
I was pretty confident after my ride Friday, it was probably my best ride of this season. I was leading the first lap Sunday and I wadded up real bad on the moto track and stretched my throttle cable so I had to race with my bike half-wide open all day, which was super sketchy, but I managed to win by like 20 seconds so it worked out alright. (Laughs)
As a racer myself, it’s definitely frustrating to damage the bike early during a three hour race and then have to adjust and deal with the issue for the next three hours. Obviously, you were able to adapt and that twenty second gap earned you a championship! I know you spent a lot of time this season riding with Pro’s such as Baylor and Russell. Do you think spending weeks at a time training with those guys helped you to earn the 250B class title?
Yeah, riding with them for sure helped me out a lot. I was at the Baylor’s place a few times this year and they have a really good place to ride down there and work on things. I went home with Russell after the Ironman race until the double header. We rode and trained just about every day for two weeks and he got me where I needed to be going into the last race, so I for sure need to give him a big thanks for helping me out.
If you’re not on the road, what do you do at home to stay in shape and keep your skills sharp on the bike?
Well I don’t ride at all when I’m at home because we don’t have anywhere to ride near me. I’m in the gym 4-5 days a week to stay in shape though.
In order to get to the next level, hard work in the gym is definitely necessary. Your conditioning was better than it had ever been and despite not having the luxury of a track out your back door, made things happen. As far as next season goes, what are your plans for transitioning to the A class and how do you plan on preparing during the off season?
After Christmas I’ll be heading down to Florida to live with my Uncle for the winter, he has something like 10,000 acres out of his garage that we ride so I’ll be set on riding this winter. Ill be in the gym just as much as I am now but I plan on doing a lot more cardio for next year.
Cool deal. Florida and its gnarly sand whoops are without question the off-road hot spot for GNCC racers during the off season. What are your goals both inside and outside racing in the future?
I would really like to become a factory rider one day just like everyone else. I know it will be a lot of hard work but I am determined to do it. Outside of racing I’d like to do something to progress the sport one day, maybe open up a training facility or open my own business for something along the lines of racing.
Sounds like you’ve got good self-expectations for yourself in racing and the drive to succeed. Before I let you go, tell me something interesting you can do that people wouldn’t expect.
I can shred on a snowboard and bicycle quite well.
Thanks for your time, Ethan, and congrats on the 250B championship. Anyone you’d like to thank?
My Dad and Mom couldn’t do any of this without him, Clockwork Ktm, Evan Yarnell from Solid Performance, Scott, Cycra, Bart Hayes from WP, FMF, Renthal, Dunlop, and Twin Air.