After a long pause, off-road racing has finally returned! The anticipated inaugural season of Championship Off-Road kicked off with rounds 1 & 2 at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, MN. The John Holtger Racing Team made the trek across Wisconsin to gear up and get John ready to debut in the his first full season in the Pro Lite and Pro Stock SXS classes!
The weekend events started off with qualifying for the Pro classes on Friday morning. Facing a stacked field of 24 skilled drivers in the Pro Stock SXS class, John qualified in the top 10 – securing a starting position of 7th, just behind the 2019 Points Champion, CJ Greaves!
The Pro Lite class had 8 drivers registered. John was able to get a good feel for the track, and how the track handled. John qualified 5th, and with the inversion was starting on the pole! Friday night’s opening ceremonies kicked off just before 5:00 pm, with the Pro Stock SXS class being the first race of the evening! Starting 7th John quickly made his way into 6th after lap 1. Maintaining this spot, John went into the mandatory caution ready to make some moves. John was able to move into 5th just as a crash caused a restart. On turn 2 John got tangled together with another UTV, causing him to fall back to 20th. With only a few laps left John raced hard, but only had enough time to make his way back up to a 10th place finish.
Friday night’s much anticipated Pro Lite race did not start off as intended. There was an issue at tech, which caused John to start the race late. While he looked fast on the track, he was not able to secure a finishing spot in the top 5 due to the late start.
After making some improvements, John was ready for Saturday’s races! Qualifying went great! John qualified 4th in both the Pro Stock SXS class and the Pro Lite class! The Pro Stock SXS race was off to an exciting start – John held his own in the top 4, and after a caution John moved up to 3rd, leaving quite a bit of distance between him and the famed CJ Greaves in the #4 spot. Unfortunately, the brand new transmission put into this car failed going into the mandatory caution. John was still able to finish the race, but not in the spot we hoped for.
Starting 4th in the Pro Lite race John had a great battle going with the other drivers! As he stacked up for the mandatory caution we were plagued with another mechanical issue. The transmission failed, causing John not to be able to finish this race.
This was definitely a rough weekend all around, and not the outcome anyone hoped for. John and crew have been working hard, and have made many improvements to both vehicles. John is ready to get back on the track at Dirt City Motorplex in Lena, WI for rounds 3 & 4!