2017 AZOP Payson GP

Posted 2 years ago by Eric Harrison

Last years Payson GP was one of our favorite races and Wormhole Racing was excited to go again. Last years was a mud fest which made navigating the course hard. The track was essentially the same layout but with little different obstacles and no mud pit. The table top gave massive air just in front of some spectator stands. There were a bunch of sharp whoops throughout and rocks that made for a technical challenge. The 170s skipped those bits, though without a site lap, Riley in the #132 missed a shortcut and got stuck in a mud bog. He did great once we ran over and got him unstuck, hitting the table top and getting a bit of air, turning some of the bigger whoops into jumps.

The big UTV’s where the last race of the day as usual. There was a rather large group for a short narrow track, we all knew it was going to get interesting. We couldn’t make the practice the day before so we had no idea what to expect of the track or how to hit the big air table top so both Eric and Hal decided to take the first lap easy. When the 900’s left the line Eric let them get in front so as to learn the course from those that had went around it once already. By the end of the first turn the GoPro lens was completely covered with mud as was both Riley and Eric.

The 800s of Hal was able to really show it’s nimbleness holding it’s own against much powerful machines. The #139 was consistent each lap until the pack was spread out and Hal started having to let the Pro’s and Turbos by. Still he pushed his car as hard as he could eventually having to retire after being taken out by an over zealous competitor.

The #130 was in a heated battle with a couple other racers, constantly switching spots where one was faster than the others. The field of 900’s start to thin as one tipped and another broke an axle. Eric kept focused on running his race and started picking of some 1000’s and turbos. As he got faster, the air he got on the table top got bigger. Hitting the jump a bit to fast, the #130 just about nosed over. A hard hit, lesson learned but the RT Pro and Fox suspension combo meant his car could take anything he threw at it. With about 10minutes to go, Eric was leading and could see a fellow 900 pushing really hard, bouncing all over the track. Figuring that they wouldn’t be able to keep the car together he left them by and kept running his race. Sure enough, 1/4 of a lap later they were out of control and into the side of a gully. The #130 was able to squeak by on the inside before the single car accident ended up blocking the whole course. A full course caution came out about a minute later and the race was red flagged at the start/finish line. Eventually the race was called as they were unable to restart in a timely fashion as extracting the broken 900 was not easy.