Arenacross championship a hit

Arenacross fans salivated as they had over 200 arenacross riders to enjoy.

After the successful first arenacross event in March of last year

After the successful first arenacross event in March of last year

Arenacross fans salivated as they had over 200 arenacross riders to enjoy.

It was a strong contingent that pleased promoter Robin Gibbs, who put together the Parker’s Dodge Ram Canadian Arenacross Canadian Championship with the help of Global Spectrum on the weekend.

The only downfall to a good weekend was losing Summerland rider Zack Ruff.

“Unfortunately our local guy Zack got injured the first night, twisted his ankle and wasn’t able to compete on the second day,” said Gibbs. “That was a bit of a letdown. I know he was beating himself up over it because it’s his home crowd.”

Winning the Pro/Am Lites and open was Kyle Keast. Gibbs was pleasantly surprised by the winner on Saturday. “The pro open class had a first-time winner, which is really cool, Kevin Lepp,” said Gibbs. “For his very first win he was really happy with it.”

A purse of $8,000 was up for grabs on the weekend for the pro riders, with money going to the top 11. Gibbs added that some pros receive start money.

The track proved challenging for racers and had a middle obstacle that allowed a few guys to really shine.

“It wasn’t too easy where everyone can do it,” said Gibbs, who felt comfortable giving a pat on the back. “I think we hit the mark there for a safe and challenging track.”

He noted that the crowds were a bit smaller than the first year, averaging 1,500 this year, but he was still pleased. He said if they return, he will make the decision early next year.  Gibbs said they need the sponsorship but added that Penticton really got behind this event, especially the sponsors.

“I know that anybody that attended it raved about it, loved it,” said Gibbs, adding that the after party at the Barking Parrot was a hit. “The show wasn’t lacking at all.”

Ernie Blumke, director of marketing for the SOEC, felt the Canadian Arenacross Championship went great.

“More riders came out this year than they had last year,” said Blumke. “We certainly would have welcomed more people in the building but it was still good for the people that were there. I think it was a pretty exciting event.”

Blumke said the atmosphere was great and the riders and pros created excitement, as they loved the track. As for next year, Blumke is certain details will be looked for a return.

“It’s one of those things where you have to keep it growing,” said Blumke, who appreciated the fans supporting the event. “As word gets around at how good the facility is and how much fans appreciate the action, it’s going to grow.”