If you go to Wikipedia and look up the history of the GNCC, you will learn that in the mid-1970s, small-time
race promoter Dave Coombs was contacted by a preacher from a church in a small West Virginia town. The
preacher wanted to help the economy of his struggling
town by hosting a motorcycle race. Dave Coombs saw
major potential in the land and believed that a Grand
Prix-style race through the town and surrounding countryside would be special enough to attract both participants and spectators.
He named this race the Blackwater 100. Eventually, the
Blackwater 100 became known as “America’s toughest
race” and was the catalyst for the Grand National
Championship series, otherwise known as the GNCC
(Grand National Cross-Country). The series had the ability
to draw top talent from around the world, including riders
from other disciplines. Elite off-road riders aren’t the only
ones who have taken home championships. Pro
motocross talent, World Enduro superstars and ISDE
heroes have also dominated. Currently, the pendulum has
swung back in favor of off-road pilots, with Australian off-roader Josh Strang winning in 2010, GNCC-bred Charlie
Mullins winning in 2011, and New Zealander Paul Whibley
taking championships in 2009 and 2012.
The series has kicked off in Florida for the past few
years, which is unusual since tight trees, mud, rocks and
roots are the norm in the GNCC world, and Florida is all
about sand, whoops and threading trees at speed. Rocky
Mountain Kawasaki rider Josh Strang is back after a year
off due to injury. KTM’s Charlie Mullins is finally healthy
after a year of fighting both bike and body gremlins, and
his teammate Kailub Russell, a racer who many consider
the fastest of the pack, is back as well. Thad Duvall is
Honda-mounted and always a threat, as he’s considered
the fittest racer in the series. Paul Whibley is also returning after his incredible year in 2012.
As always, the first race provided plenty of fireworks.
Congratulations goes to Charlie Mullins; although Kailub
Russell was chewing on his shorts, making it clear to
everyone, including Mr. Mullins, that he is a force to be
reckoned with in America’s premier off-road
THE GNCC LAUNCH
Team KTM rockets out of the hole
Charlie Mullins is back in peak form and leads the series.