Like many hare scrambles enthusiasts, SRT Husqvarna rider Trystan Hart likes his races tough and technical, and he got his wish at the Donner Hare Scrambles, hosted by Garrahan Off-road Training, round nine of the Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles Regional Championship Series.
The course at the Donner Ski Ranch up the hill from Truckee, California, offered good variety over its nine-plus miles. It had boulder fields, first-gear woods, wide-open fire roads and lots of silty ruts to challenge even the best Pros vying for the $6000 purse. Oh, and they did all this at nearly 8000 feet. But that suited Hart just fine as he took his time, carefully let the race come to him and then rode steadily away for a comfortable margin of victory after about three hours on the mountain.
“I actually chose [to come down to] this round because I thought it was not like the normal desert ones, which I didn’t do well at,” Hart said. “There was good money, so that helps, too! I finally got into my groove and I picked them off one at a time in the less dusty sections. I finally got Max [Gerston] on the third lap on a sneaky line⏤it was pretty sick; I liked it!
“Honestly, there were four more laps after that and it was racing other people still because there were so many lappers and the dust,” Hart added. “It was a full-on race still; I didn’t get to let off or nothing.”
After ending up in the hospital for almost two days following a crash while practicing at a local motocross track a few weeks ago, Max Gerston was far from his best, but with a six-point lead in the championship standings, he knew he had to at least try to salvage something.
“I came into this thinking, ‘I’m going to do the best I can,” Gerston said. “I’m just going to tell myself I’m a bad dude and I’m going to go as fast as I can and you know what? If all I’ve got’s a fifth, that sucks, but I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.’ I’m too deep [into the series] now, so I gave it everything I had and rode just like I normally would, and came out with a pretty decent result, so I’m definitely happy with it.”
Purvines DA8 Racing Yamaha rider Nick Burson, the defending series champ who’s second in points to Gerston, did not have a banner day at Donner.
“I ate crap up here on the ridge the very first lap in the dust, just silt ruts everywhere,” Burson said. “I battled with some guys and caught back up to [Justin] Bonita and those guys, then that rock hill section they had, a lapper took me out and his bike was on top of mine, and I was stuck there for five minutes.”
Six Five O Racing Gas Gas rider Joey Fiasconaro is one of the D-36 regulars who typically thrives in more technical going, and it showed in his third-place finish.
In the FMF Pro 250 class, SRT Husqvarna rider J.T. Baker picked up his fifth win of the season, though Clayton Gerstner was actually first to physically get the checkered flag. However, officials docked Gerstner five minutes for reportedly speeding in the scoring chute, forcing him to accept second place with EMT Racing KTM’s Cole Conatser third. All three shared stories of their bikes running poorly due to both the altitude and silt-caked air filters, Conatser having to walk his bike up some hills later in the race.
The 10th and final round takes place in November at another Northern California venue noted for its tough trails.
2017 Kenda/SRT AMA West Hare Scrambles Regional Championship Series
Donner Ski Ranch
For complete results, CLICK HERE