Riders from 21 states converged on the sands of Gaston, S.C. for the opening round of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series. It was FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell taking a come-from-behind overall win after two days of special test racing.
The event featured a 3.5-mile enduro special test and a 3-mile cross test laid out in a fashion similar to what would be seen at a World Enduro Championship or ISDE, with riders competing on each special test six times over the weekend for a total of twelve special tests.
FMF/N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Daniel Milner jumped out to an early lead on day one winning the first special test by 8-seconds over Kailub Russell and continuing to win the next two tests to pull out to a 14-second lead over FMF/KTM’s Russell. The two-time GNCC Champ and 3rd-place overall finisher at the 2014 ISDE would rally to take the win in test 4 but Milner responded with wins in the final two tests of the day and headed into the final day of racing with a 14-second lead.
Behind the duo of Milner and Russell, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Josh Strang and AirGroup/Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna’s Ryan Sipes had a heated battle for 3rd and 4th-place with only 5-seconds separating the two after 6 special tests on day one.
FMF/N-Fab/AmPro Yamaha’s Jordan Ashburn, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Andrew DeLong, MPS Honda’s Layne Michael, Tegan Temple, Grant Baylor and FMF/KTM’s Russell Bobbitt rounded out the top-ten after day one.
A light rain in the morning made for perfect conditions on day two and it was FMF/KTM’s Kailub Russell who came out swinging taking the win in the first four tests of the day moving himself into first-place overall ahead of day one winner, Milner. The Australian rebounded in the 5th-test of day two taking the win to close within 3-seconds of Russell with one final test remaining in the event.
Russell was the first rider to tackle the final test and put down a blistering 6:47 test time, his fastest time on that test of the day, and most importantly 3-seconds faster than Milner which gave him the overall win by just 6-seconds after two days of racing.
“The Full Gas Sprint Enduro style of racing makes riding with skill and patience a necessity,” said Russell, whose patience ultimately paid off for the win. “Daniel (Milner) put up a fight but I was pumped to come away with the win. I’m looking
forward to a good battle in this series.”
Josh Strang rode a consistent second day to secure the final podium position in only his second race on his new Rockstar Energy Husqvarna.
Jordan Ashburn who was 5th on day one moved up one spot on day two and ended up finishing 4th-overall for the weekend. Ryan Sipes, who was 4th on day one, was forced to leave the event early and head home to Kentucky where his wife and family were without electric or heat due to a bad ice storm.
Tegan Temple, the young privateer from West Chester, PA, was 5th-fastest on the day and ended up 6th-overall behind MPS Honda’s Layne Michael. Grant Baylor, Russell Bobbitt, Andrew DeLong, and Ricky Russell would round out the top-ten.
The next round of the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series will take place July 18-19 in Nashville, IN.
- Kailub Russell 1:14:27.543
- Daniel Milner 1:14:33.428
- Josh Strang 1:16:02.738
- Jordan Ashburn 1:17:13.532
- Layne Michael 1:17:30.462
- Tegan Temple 1:17:31.585
- Grant Baylor 1:17:45.219
- Russell Bobbitt 1:18:11.326
- Andrew Delong 1:18:23.345
- Ricky Russell 1:19:11.993