The Bunke Racing team headed to Grand Forks, ND, this past January 15, 2011, to compete in the USCC Simonson Station Stores Grand Cities 100, the second race on the eight-race USCC schedule and the first race that counts for points. The USCC marked out a challenging course that featured ditch, field, treeline and power line runs.
Race day dawned clear and cold and temperatures held in the single digits below zero Fahrenheit all day. The cold didn’t slow Bunke Racing though, and Bobby Menne IV started the day off with a win in the Semi-Pro Improved class, posting a time of 23:45.205 over the 12-mile course, besting the second place rider by over a second.
“The Polaris 600 RUSH Pro-R was really working well,” said Menne. “The bumps and angled drifts you see at the beginning of these races can be tough, but the sled stays straight and has a lot of speed, which is what you need.”
Gabe Bunke posted the ninth best time in the Pro Open class, posting a two-lap time of 22:54.933, which was roughly a minute off of first place.
The Pro 600 and Semi-Pro 600 races are typically run at the end of the day when the course is at its roughest and the Grand Cities 100 was no exception.
In Semi-Pro 600, Menne once again was at the front of the pack, posting a four-lap time of 49:58.969, good for fourth place out of 32 riders.
Bunke lined up for the Pro 600 race alongside 25 other riders, one of the largest Pro fields ever. Bunke posted a four-lap time of 47:32.308, good enough for seventh place overall.
“It was a tough race and the course was really whooped-out by the end of the day,” Bunke said. “The rough course suited our sleds and the Polaris 600 RUSH Pro-R handled it really well. The sled is fast in all conditions and I think it’s only a matter of time before I get a Pro 600 class win on it.”
The biggest race on the USCC schedule, the three-day Red Lake I-500, is up next for the team. It is what they have been concentrating on since the season began.
“You hate to say you’re using a race for testing, but that’s what Grand Forks essentially was,” said Team Coordinator Bob Menne. “We race to win, but with a race the magnitude of the Red Lake I-500 it sometimes requires a strategy that stretches out and encompasses other events. Bottom line is, the I-500 is the biggest race of the season and we’ll be ready for it.”
Next up for Bunke Racing is the USCC Red Lake I-500 scheduled to take place January 20-23, 2011, in Thief River Falls, Minn.
For more information on Bunke Racing please visit www.bunkeracing.com