Continuing its strategic alliance with off-road series in Asia and Europe, the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) Series will send two top American racers to compete in the final round of the Japan National Cross Country (JNCC) Series, the AAGP, at the Sugo Circuit on November 22, 2009. FMF Makita Suzuki's Josh Strang from New Zealand, who finished second overall in the 2009 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series in the XC1 class, and Shock Doctor KTM's Kailub Russell, who is fresh off his GNCC XC2 Championship win will travel to Sugo, Japan to compete.
It is a tradition for JNCC President Masami Hoshino to invite GNCC riders to the event, in exchange for Japanese riders that will compete in the opening rounds of the GNCC series. In March of 2009, Hoshino accompanied nearly a dozen Japanese riders and crew members who competed in the opening round of the GNCC Series at the Westgate River Ranch Resort in Florida.
"It is an honor to have riders like Josh Strang and Kailub Russell race in the JNCC Series," Hoshino said. "The racers from the American Series help teach our riders to go faster and improve their skills, and the fans are very excited to meet them."
Strang and Russell follow GNCC racers Paul Whibley, Nate Kanney, Thad DuVall, Charlie Mullins, Rodney Smith and Jason Raines, who competed in the AAGP from 2006 through 2008. Whibley won the 2006 edition, Mullins came out on top in 2007, and Kanney won in 2008.
"I think it will be fun," Strang said. "I went to Japan when I was a kid back in 1999 and I'm definitely looking forward to going back."
"I'm anticipating the race," Russell said. "I think the competition will be good and it should be a good time."
The three-hour AAGP follows the same format as an American GNCC round, and the race winner receives 100,000 YEN. Look for updates all weekend long from the event on GNCCRacing.com.
The 2010 Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series kicks off on February 27-March 2 as part of Bike Week at the Westgate River Ranch Resort in Florida.
For more information, check out the official series website at www.GNCCRacing.com or call 304-284-0084