The Thumb Pump 300 ATV Festival is one of the biggest races for ATV's and UTV's Australia has ever seen and the sponsors involved in this event are just amazing. It's a 4 day event including all of the most interesting and fun riding you can handle. Night racing, UTV racing, 300km enduro racing, junior racing, drag racing and much much more. This event would see Jake Van Vliet and Adam Siemensma team up to tackle the Teams class.
A huge shout out needs to be sent to Mick and Tiff from 47 Industries who created, promoted and ran the whole event from top to bottom. Such an event would take a great amount of effort.
Day one (Friday) was a great overcast day, perfect for riding. With half of the junior racing taking place this day the track was already starting to get rough. Jake and Adam didn't arrive until late afternoon as they had to stay at Quad Squad and get customers bikes ready for the weekend. They arrived just in time for the Senior sign-in, scrutineering and sighting lap.
Jake went out on the sighting lap and it's a track that you would never imagine. Full of 5th gear straights, windy bumpy terrain full of tight bends and roots sticking out of the ground a foot high. The main track is 25km and every 5km's there's a different type of riding. Now thats a track! Adam didnt make the sighting lap due to not having his bike ready in time(too busy working on everyone else's bike during the week) so he had to take part in the sighting lap on Saturday morning.
After the sighting lap it was time to wind down and finish off the last minute adjustments on the bikes then just relax, sit by the fire, go to the Strawberries and Cream Outlet and getting a massage certainly filled the days and it truly was a festival with all the things you could do there. Early the next morning it was all about getting prepared with the pits buzzing with excitement in anticipation for what the day would bring.
Running in the teams class allowed Jake and Adam to have a break in between laps so they could pretty much try and sprint the whole race and refresh themselves in between laps.
Saturday ran fairly smooth, with the guys deciding that Jake would do the Le Mans start, even though he claimed that he couldn't run to save his life even if he was being chased by a tiger haha. Jake started in about 4th place and slowly crept to the front of the field, finally getting into the 1st place position. It was really good to come in from a lap and have a quick break before having to get out there and do the same thing again straight after. Instead they could grab a drink and prepare for the next lap.
Every lap Adam and Jake tried their hardest to keep as consistent as possible. The guys found a good rhythm until on Jakes 2nd last lap he came into trouble with his rear shock blew out from his chain hitting the reservoir line and dropping all of the oil. It was pretty much like riding a pogo stick for half a lap, but Jake managed to get it swapped over in time for his next due lap. By the end of the first day they managed to hold a 4 minute lead.
The next morning the guys were pretty sore and after a quick air filter change on their DS450's they were ready to go again. Only having 4 laps left between them definitely was a confidence booster. With Adam discovering that he had to do the Le Mans start on sunday his hopes of a clear first lap were dashed with him being the polar opposite of what you would call a "runner" Somehow he managed a midpack start and with excellent top speed offered by the DS450 on the straight sections he worked his way into the lead mid way through the first lap after a good battle with fellow Xteam rider, Bullet, on his Can-Am Outlander. With a clear track ahead of him he worked on pulling a comfortable lead so the guys could relax in the later laps.
While Adam relaxed on his last lap, Jake had secretly been making bets with people in the pits that he could pass Luke Beechey on his last lap. With pride on the line both riders went at it with Lukes "age and treachery" outgunning Jakes "youth and exuberance" after Jake ran off the track and hit a tree. Luckily Jake remounted and was able to finish the race giving the guys their first Thumb Pump victory.
After the race, the guys discussed how it was really interesting to see how many people started and how many finished as it is one of the greatest races nation wide. Alot of preparation went into this race and it came out to be an amazing weekend. The DS 450's didn't miss a beat one single bit and they look forward very much to come back to this race next year to defend the title.
Jake and Adam would like to give a huge thanks to:
Can am X-team
Flexx handle bars