A line of motorhomes and toy haulers jammed US Highway 395 in the Southern California high desert as racers and spectators packed the small town of Adelanto for the 30th running of the Adelanto Grand Prix. Once again, the Adelanto GP was a huge success, perhaps too huge. Growing concerns from the city might make this the final running of this popular off-road race, which might have grown too big for the city to handle.
Kurt Caselli estimated 30,000 people flooded the streets to watch the event from every possible angle. Free admission makes for a family friendly event. Two days of racing and the always popular mud hole provided for the perfect photo opportunity at this one-time-a-year desert classic..
The stories from just about every spectator were the same - they had been coming out to this race for years and none are ready to give it up. Rumors from the city that this would be the final year were further confirmed by members of the Desert Vipers MC who have hosted this race since its origin.
"This is just a really popular event. People do not need to pay admission, and there is no need for a special license to race the event. Basically, just show up, unload and get on the line! It's going to be sad to see this thing go," said Tommy Russell of the 100's MC who has many times helped the Vipers run the event.
The highlight of the weekend, outside of the numerous crashes and fall-overs in the mudpit, had to be the Pro event on Saturday afternoon. A $4,000 Pro purse brought out some of the biggest names in Grand Prix racing, and the streets were lined with spectators along the entire course. With safety being the primary concern for the racers, the Desert Vipers MC placed flaggers and radio operators at nearly every twist and turn.
The carnival-like atmosphere provided on Vender Row allowed for the race fans to get up close and personal with the race teams, such as Zip-Ty Husqvarna and factory FMF KTM.
A win in the morning event by KTM privateer Colton Sanders got the weekend started, which saw the likes of Ty Davis and Kurt Caselli gracing the podium. The Pro-class win went to FMF/KTM Off-Road ace Caselli who lapped nearly every rider in the afternoon race. Kyle Summers finished second overall on his 2010 Valli Motorsports YZ450F Yamaha.
Zip-Ty Husky's Bobby Garrison took the win in the 250 class, looking equally dominant as Caselli throughout the one-hour race. Both Mike Childress and Brendan Ritzman, who were some of the favorites to win the 250 race, suffered bike troubles and did not finish.
The weekend was capped off by the team which was won by the KTM duo of Caselli and Ritzman.
"This is an awesome event," Ritzman said. "I can't believe that it isn't going to be back next year. The crowds here are by far larger than any other race I have ever attended. Hopefully something can be worked out for next year, because I already want to come back!"