To say that the Gage Team has become the dominant team in the 2017 PURE UTV OFF-ROAD DESERT SERIES is quite an understatement. The Team of Jesse and Dylan Gage – father and son – (Raceline Wheels, Arisun Tires, Liqui Moly, PDA Jerky, Rear Chase Led Bars, Sikk Rides, YAMAHA YXZ 1000), picked up their third Overall and Pro 1000 Class win out of the first four races in the Series, with a solid performance in the PURE 100 “TWILITE” DESERT RACE #4.
They dominated from the get-go as they slowly (well actually not so slow as they posted lap times of 30:27, 30:26, 29:29 [fastest of the day], and 29:36 – super consistency) to take the whole enchilada with a time of 1:59:58 hrs. for four laps and 100 miles, and beat second Overall by 03:21 min/sec. The second Overall spot went to Canadian (Okotos, Alberta. Canada), Bryce Lamont and Chris Furceski, who put their Can-Am Magnum Off-Road, Eveo Powersports, Ki Speed Gear, Baja Designs, Magik Kustom Graphic, Method, Tenso-sponsored) solidly into second place and marked the first time this year that they have completed the entire race. They won the Pro Turbo Class as well. Third Overall and second Pro Turbo went to Christian Weber and Keith Coleman, who finished with a time of 2:08:14 hrs. to round out the top three Overall.
The original time to start the twilight race was 6 p.m. but California City, like most places in the desert has been exposed to higher than usual temperatures, most days hovering in the 111 to 115 range. Race promoter, Lou Peralta, wanted none of that and broke race day activities into two parts: From 8 a.m. until Noon on Saturday, he and the AVE crew opened registration, check-in and tech in the morning to beat the extreme heat. They closed down at Noon and opened again at 6 p.m., hoping to beat the highest temperatures of the day. They almost succeeded as by 6 p.m. temperatures were down to a cool 105 degrees. No matter, most of the participants were able to hang out inside their cool motorhomes, go back to the Best Western in town only three miles away to their air-conditioned rooms and maybe take a dip in their pool or some even took advantage of the public pool at Cal City’s Central park that opened during the afternoon.
By 6 p.m., however (actually 5:30 p.m. when the staff first arrived), they were ready to finish up registration, tech and such. This delayed the start of the Driver’s Meeting by about ten minutes. Nonetheless, Peralta covered the essential parts of the race, gave out the awards from the previous PURE 200, and racers were ready to pick up their trackers band stage for the 7 p.m. start time. First car left the line at exactly 7 p.m. in 30-second intervals and from the get-go you knew it was going to be a very fast race. First vehicle reached the checkpoint at RM 8+ in less than eight minutes. Just after the check the course dropped into deep sand wash for about two miles. You had to maintain the rpms and stay on top of the sand if you wanted to get through it without getting stuck. Some did exactly that and got through without problems. Others were bogged down trying to get out the wash and heating up belts and engines in the meantime.
For the most part of the course consisted of flat roads and trails but every once in a while you had to be alert to the famous “desert gotchas” and react quickly. This is where either a nasty whoop or ditch or rain-rut would surprise you at high speeds and ruin your day. Fortunately, there was only one roll, actually went on its side but it was a minor incident. For the most part it was a safe race with only eleven cars not completing all four laps and only six finishing with less than three laps. Medics and course monitors where on site but had little to do as the course proved to be for most “a lot of fun” and “neat.”
Other Class winners were Mike Pascarella and George Lashiey, in the Sportsman 1000 Class (Polaris XP1000 – Rugged Radios, SXS Addicts, Autotude USA, FU2, Double E Racing, MBRP Perf, Bold Racing, Desert Vets Racing), with a time of 2:25:11 hrs., good enough also for 7 th Overall. Gilbert Ramos (Yamaha YXZ 1000) drove solo to take the Bone Stock Spt. Class once again.
Later on in the evening, after everyone was accounted for, RUGGED RADIOS sponsored the MIDNIGHT BASH, where soft drinks, not so soft drinks and great finger-food were served for all racers and crew. Many took advantage to wind-down from the excitement of the race. Many came over to thank the staff for a great race, a fun race and they are looking forward to the next event.
Speaking of which, the next event is the PURE 100 THE NIGHT TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME, July 29, 2017. This time the race will start at Midnight! Yes, Midnight! Race Director, Alan Bell and staff decided that rather than break the race in two parts as they had done at the Twilight race—making for it a very long day, Registration, Tech and Check-in will be from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 29. Then from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. is for the “Late comers,” who will pay a “Late Fee.” At 11 p.m. the Mandatory Driver’s meeting will take place, followed by the awards for this past race, and then the issuing of the “trackers” and then all vehicles will start “staging” at 11:40 p.m. At exactly Midnight or 12:00 a.m. the first vehicle will leave the line in 30-second intervals.
This event will feature a brand new 100-mile course broken into four 25-mile laps.
See you then.