Women's Pro WORCS National Champion
September 09, 2012
A young talented Donna Espensen, who is a member of Zen Pro Racing, (one of the most prolific women’s off-road racing teams), has been turning heads out west. With a record breaking 2011 season and several championship titles, Donna is a force to be reckoned with and has forged her way into the world of off-road ATV racing.
Espensen has already clinched several titles for this 2012 season which includes the WORCS National Championship, the Dirt Series Championship and the Arizona Grand Prix Series Title. Her sure-fire tenacity has earned her other titles and podium positions in several other different high-profile series throughout her career.
With seven years of racing experience through articulate honing of her skills, things are finally falling into place for the 29 year old as she surpasses her peers, to include defeating men in several of the series she actively participates in.
Other notable awards include the title of "First-ever Female" to win the Whiplash Series Open Expert class and the "Best in the West" Title at SandFest last season. Her numerous wins are reflected in the hearts of off road racing fans in the western division and has definitely notched her way up through the ranks over the years.
Throughout her tenure, she has fractured both arms twice each, fractured her tail bone and has had several concussions, but continues to press on. "Its fuel for the fire", acclaims Donna. “And it makes me push the envelope harder and harder each year."
She recently has joined a coalition with other ATV riders who are currently lobbying for ATVs to be included in the year-round international sports event - the world renowned X Games. "Additionally my main goals that I have established for myself, is to race internationally, which includes racing the SCORE Baja Series, Dakar in Argentina and several of the European series”, says Donna.
She accredits most of her winnings through sponsorship support such as HMF, Maxxis, MotoCity, Barnett, FLY, Supertrapp, IMS, King Shocks, EVS Sports and RZ Mask to just name a few. "Without them, and the support of my fiancé, I would have never been able to accomplish and reach the pinnacle of where I am today, and of course special thanks to my Eliminator racing crew and Zen Pro Racing, for being there for me."
With several appearances in national publications, as well as network airings, Espensen truly is a dominating contender for and during the upcoming 2013 season. Donna is truly a recognized candidate towards induction into the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Congrats to Donna Espensen on your stellar performance!
When and why did you start to ride ATVs?
My first time ever was in 2004 at Dumont Dunes, Valentine's Day Weekend. I fell in love and had to get my own quad. I later decided to give racing a try in 2006. My first race was the Adelanto Grand Prix. I competed in two more races that year at the WORCS. From there I was hooked.
Why you continue to ride?
It's a passion and challenging. I love the adrenaline rush, the speed and also the friends I have made.
Who has inspired you?
Several people have given me inspiration. My fiancé Rick Ellsworth has been a huge factor in my racing. We challenge each other, which pushes us to go harder and get better.
What has been the most difficult thing you have had to overcome?
Injuries are part of this sport and I've had my fair share. I've broken my wrists/arms three times, broke my tailbone and cracked my sternum among other road rash and concussions but I think one of the most difficult things was when I seemed to hit a wall (skill level wise) and I really had to dig deep mentally and stick with it for a couple years until I was able to be competitive in the Women's Pro class. In 2009 I was bumped up to the Women's A class way too early and it was never corrected so I spent the next few years trying to play catch up.