Four-wheel off-road racing returns to Valley
Eddie Zeller won the Class 15 at Saturday's SoCal 250 in the SNORE off-road series at Plaster City. (Courtesy of Tim Townsley (tntracephotos.net))
“We were very pleased with the turnout, the number of entries,” SNORE race director Robert Gross said. “The spectators behaved themselves very well and we enjoyed the cooperation with the BLM.”
Off-road vehicles filled the Imperial Valley Mall parking lot May 13 for the contingency and driver’s meeting.
Racing was held Saturday at Plaster City, after a windy night that forced race officials to re-mark part of the course in the early hours Saturday.
“That was the only real challenge,” Gross said.
The race had 185 vehicles racing with 96 finishing the course. More importantly, there were no major incidents.
It also featured a handful of local racers both getting strong wins and disappointing results.
Among the fortunate was Imperial resident Steve Hall, who with his son Mark, won the Class 5 race to bump them up from sixth to second in the class points standings. It was a needed finish for the local family.
“I wanted to win this one,” Steve Hall said. “They know this is where I’m from.”
The Hall Racing Team is battling in the class points standings in SNORE this season.
“We’re very excited, great, now we’re going back to Nevada,” Steve Hall said. “We’re back on their home turf.”
Among the unfortunate was El Centro Police Chief Jim McGinley, who debuted the Baja Volkswagen Beetle he built as a promotional vehicle for public events.
He wanted to show it could hang with the boys and Saturday’s race was the perfect opportunity.
“It was going OK until I got to mile 138 and the transmission broke,” McGinley said. “I was disappointed. We had a pretty good pace going and that was disappointing.”
An off-road racing enthusiast for years, it was McGinley’s first off-road race in six years. He also assured it wasn’t his competitive return, only a chance to debut his Beetle.
“I was glad to be a part of it,” McGinley said. “I just hope we have an opportunity to have more events here. I was grateful SNORE came here and did this.”
SNORE’s trip to the Valley was its first time since it was founded in 1969. It was made with collaboration with Doug Wasser of the Imperial Valley and his associates.
“It went well,” Wasser said. “It was a lot of work, planning for six months with SNORE.”
Having started the DRIVE Off-Road Racing Series, which was forced to close up for this season because of rising BLM fees and a decline in registration, Wasser, with help from associate Larry Cox, was the perfect man to help SNORE.