Yamaha Racing GNCC University Empowers Next Generation of Champs

Yamaha bLU cRU Showcases Dominance in Yamaha ATV and SxS Racing

MARIETTA, Ga., July 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, recently organized the annual Yamaha Racing GNCC University in partnership with the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) racing series at the Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Snowshoe, West Virginia, where aspiring students honed their ATV and motorcycle skills by training alongside current and past Yamaha champions and racers. Immediately following the University’s closing ceremonies on Friday, Yamaha bLU cRU racers geared up for the ninth round of GNCC over the weekend.

What has become a must-attend event for learning best-practices from Yamaha’s elite bLU cRU cross-country racers, this year’s Yamaha Racing GNCC University hosted nearly 100 students in the wet and muddy conditions at Snowshoe Mountain. This exclusive masterclass, led by Yamaha’s existing and previous racers and champions – including Walker Fowler, Mark Notman, Johnny Gallagher, Hunter Hart, Jessica Elioff, Josh Merritt, Randy Hawkins, Zach Osborne, Rachel Archer, Ricky Russell, Jason Raines, and others – highlighted technical riding instruction in a variety of different scenarios, proper nutrition, race preparation, and more. All students graduated with high honors, walking across the stage to receive their official Yamaha Racing GNCC University diploma, in addition to the praise and admiration of their racing mentors and attending friends and family.

After the Yamaha Racing GNCC University, the festivities continued at Snowshoe with the ninth round of the 2023 GNCC season. Defending XC1 Pro – ATV champion, Brycen Neal, took the overall win on his Phoenix Racing / Moose YFZ450R at the tough, muddy race, with fellow YFZ450R racer, Cole Richardson, finishing second. Neal now leads the class with five wins and 227 points. Hunter Hart and Richardson sit second and third in the series with 180 and 176 points, respectively, all vying for the $15,000 Yamaha bLU cRU championship bonus. After another impressive overall win in the morning race, Jessica Elioff now leads the WXC – ATV field with five class wins so far.

With only three rounds remaining, Yamaha bLU cRU racers are dominating several GNCC ATV classes to date. Steve Harrell holds a comfortable lead in the XC2 Pro-Am ATV class after earning his eighth win of the season at Snowshoe aboard his Yamaha YFZ450R, Alex Elioff leads the Junior A class, Andrew Davidovich tops Junior B, Alex Thieman leads the College A, and Nicholas Dearing is first in College B – all on Yamaha YFZ450Rs.

In the American Motorcycle Association’s (AMA) ATV Motocross (ATV MX) series, three-time champion, Joel Hetrick, commands the field and AMA Pro class with six first-place finishes and 345 points overall as he pursues his first back-to-back championship wins and the $15,000 Yamaha bLU cRU bonus aboard his Phoenix Racing / Yamaha YFZ450R. Fellow bLU cRU racers, Bryce Ford of Ford Brothers Racing / Baldwin, and eight-time champion, Chad Wienen of Wienen Motorsports, follow in the standings with 304 and 283 points, respectively. In the Pro-Am class, YFZ-racers Mason Jackson, Jayden Londerville, Joseph Chambers, Blair Miller, and Kevin Saar hold the top five positions, as they chase the title and bLU cRU bonuses.

Yamaha Side-by-Side racing is starting off strong with an impressive showing at this year’s King of the Hammers (KOH), Kyle Anderson captured the Pro Stock N/A (naturally aspirated) UTV championship in his Weller Racing Yamaha Wolverine RMAX2 1000 Sport SxS, winning the $5,000 bLU cRU bonus for driving the top-placing Yamaha.

The Championship Off-Road Tour, held its second round in Crandon, Wisconsin at the Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run where bLU cRU racer, Owen Van Eperen won Sunday’s Pro Stock SxS race and currently sits second overall in his Powersports 1 / Beyond Redline / Yamalube / Hoosier / Yamaha YXZ1000R. Both Owen and his father, Rodney Van Eperen, are also competing in the Pro Turbo SxS class where they’re fighting to climb to a podium position.

After five of nine rounds at the Great American Short Course Series, bLU cRU racer, Chad Williams, currently holds the third-overall position in the Production 1000 class with his Yamaha YXZ1000R. Bonuses for racers who finish the series on the podium in a YXZ1000R or YXZ1000R SS are $5,000 for first-, $1,500 for second-, and $1,000 for third-overall.

For more information on the Yamaha bLU cRU program and Yamaha’s commitment to ATV and SxS racing and racers, including all guidelines and requirements, visit YamahabLUcRU.com. To view the entire Proven Off-Road ATV and SxS lineup and learn more, visit YamahaMotorsports.com.

Every Yamaha SxS and full-size ATV is proudly Assembled in the USA at Yamaha’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Newnan, Georgia, for worldwide distribution.

Connect with Yamaha on social media via @YamahaOutdoors, @bLUcRUofficial, or search any of the following hashtags on all platforms: #Yamaha #REALizeYourPodium #REALizeYourAdventure #ProvenOffRoad #bLUcRU #AssembledInUSA #YXZ1000R #YFZ450R

About Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA
Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (YMUS), is a recognized leader in the outdoor recreation industry. The company's ever-expanding product offerings include Motorcycles and Scooters, ATV and Side-by-Side vehicles, Snowmobiles, WaveRunner Personal Watercraft, Boats, Outboard Motors, Outdoor Power Equipment, Power Assist Bicycles, Golf Cars, Power Assist Wheelchair Systems, Surface Mount Technology (SMT) and Robotic Machines, Unmanned Helicopters, Accessories, Apparel, Yamalube products, and much more. YMUS products are sold through a nationwide network of distributors and dealers in the United States.

YMUS has a corporate office in California, two corporate offices in Georgia, facilities in Wisconsin and Alabama, and factory operations in Tennessee and Georgia. Additional U.S.-based subsidiaries include Yamaha Marine Systems Company (YMSC) with divisions Bennett Marine (Florida), Kracor Systems (Wisconsin) and Siren Marine, Inc. (Rhode Island), Skeeter Boats (Texas), with division G3 Boats (Missouri), and Yamaha Precision Propeller (Indiana).

2017 bLU_cRU

The Raptor 90 and Grizzly 90 is recommended for use by riders 10 years and older and always with adult supervision.

ATVs over 90cc are recommended for use only by riders 16 years and older.

SxS Vehicles are recommended for use only by licensed drivers 16 years and older.

Scott Newby – ATV & SxS Sr. Communications Specialist
Yamaha Motor Corp., USA

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

Kyle Anderson - King of the Hammers Brycen Neal - GNCC Joel Hetrick - ATV MX