Durhamtown Plantation ECORS
The Best ECORS Race Yet
April 19, 2013
By Brit Mansell
If you are an avid UTV, ATV, or dirt bike aficionado anywhere near the Southeast United States, you are more than likely familiar with Durhamtown Plantation in Union Point, GA. If you aren’t, climb out from under your rock and get out there. I guarantee you’ll be impressed! With over 75 miles of trails and 7 motocross tracks ranging from a peewee track all the way up to a hard core supercross track, there is surely something for everyone at DTP. Aside from the various riding they also have quite a few cabins and RV hookup spots, as well as a stocked pro shop, full cafeteria, and a fleet of rental bikes, quads, and now side by sides.
Being very familiar with DTP, I was very excited to see this venue on the schedule for the 2012 ECORS season. I counted the days until the July 7th race.
Race time rolled around, bringing with it 100+ degree temperatures. Combine that with a near 200 degree engine and a full fire suite and it made for some grueling laps around the Georgia red clay. Even though the Southeast had seen a few weeks of low rainfall, we were fortunate enough to get some rain in the evenings preceding Saturday’s race. The little bit of rain combined with the dedicated staff at DTP produced a near perfect race course. There were a few dusty sections of the course, but that only added to the flavor of a very unique race course.
Speaking of the course, this was probably the most fun UTV course I have raced on anywhere near the East Coast. Within the 6 mile loop was an immaculately prepped short course section featuring several long sweeping corners, a couple of table tops and three very nice double jumps. All jumps were perfectly doable on a UTV. Some other features of the lap were some fresh cut tight woods sections, several high speed sections and some intermediate width, old trails that are a complete blast to hit at race speed.
I left the line on the front row and started to run into my race pace. Due to an unfortunate incident with a tree the day before, I didn’t get to spend as much pre-running time as I had hoped, so my first few laps were still learning laps. Probably all of the other competitors were in the same situation, so no one was at an advantage. By lap 6 or 7, I had a good grasp on the course. Unfortunately, so did my competition. I felt I had settled into a safe pace and I kept telling myself that I was racing for the series championship. That wasn’t much comfort as Everett Bootle caught up to me from the second row. He was running about three or four seconds a lap faster than me. I wasn’t comfortable with that pace keeping me safe for the championship. At this stage in the series, second place points were good enough to put me in command of the championship hunt. After a bad pit stop, Bootle pulled about a minute lead on me. Being the hard headed racer that I am, I decided second wasn’t good enough. The next lap after my pit stop, I knocked off 10 seconds, then 15 seconds, but I assume Bootle backed off a little as well to play it safe. That’s when things took a turn for the worse. No doubt due to my incident with the tree on Friday, my steering box broke about ¼ of the way into the next lap. I limped back to the pit for diagnosis. It didn’t take long to realize that my steering box casing had broken and it was loosely held to the frame with the two bolts. That caused about four inches of play in the steering. My choices were to stay in the pits and settle for a 8th or 9th or head back out and salvage what points I could. No choice really, back out I went. I drove the remaining laps puckered up in the seat, and many, many close calls later, the last two laps ended with me in second place. I’ll take that considering what the outcome could have been.
In the infamous words of Ricky Carmichael, “You win your championships on your bad days.” If second place is my bad day, I’ll take it!
My Polaris RZR-XP was once again awesome. I can’t speak highly enough of how well this machine works. The entire sponsor team deserves a piece of the success thus far this season. Again, I would like to thank Octane Media, Polaris, Blue Torch Fab, ATVScene.com, GBC Tires, HiPer Wheels, Dragon Fire Racing, Dirty Dawg Performance, King Shocks, and K4 Switches.
To learn more about the ECORS series, please visit http://www.ecors.com.
All photos were provided by the photogs at http://www.nc4x4.com. NC4x4.com also hosts the official discussion board for the ECORS series – http://www.nc4x4.com/forum/index.php?forums/ecors.77/.
The next ECORS race is at Devil’s Playground in Silver Valley, NC on August 25.
The next race for Octane Race Team is on August 25 at round 6 of the UTV Rally Raid Series in Cullman, AL.