GBC Heartland Challenge 4 Hour UTV Race Report
Mouse & Marcus Pratt Take 2nd Straight UTV Overall Win

Carlisle, IA (8/28/2015) – Mouse and Marcus Pratt made the 1000-mile drive to Iowa pay off by winning the eighth annual GBC Heartland Challenge Four-Hour UTV endurance race. Using a conservative strategy the Pratt brothers drove their Team Jack’s Excavating Can-Am Maverick X Xc to their second consecutive victory in the GBC Heartland Challenge. Team Bikeman Performance’s Andy Ives finished second in the 2016Polaris RZR 1000 S, ahead of the Can-Am’s Cody Miller in a Can-Am Maverick Turbo.

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
GBC Heartland Challenge Open UTV Class Podium (left to right)
rOtation Motorsports (2nd), Jack’s CanAm (1st), Miller CanAm (3rd)

The GBC Heartland Challenge is a unique endurance race held just outside Des Moines, Iowa. With wet weather leading up the event, the track became rough quickly, giving racers ruts and difficult terrain to contend with for much of the race. The unique course also included The RacerTech Challenge Section, which comprised a mixture of tires, logs, concrete, and a huge hump. The section acted as a short-cut on the course, which saved a bunch of time for those that made it through without issues. With the race not starting till after 7PM, the majority of the four hour long race was run in the dark, so lights were a necessity.

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
GBC Heartland Challenge UTV race continues to grow each year with a 10% growth in attendance for 2015 with 62 total UTV teams

GBC Heartland Challenge is also one of the highest paying SXS / UTV Racing events in the country with GBC putting up $3,000 for the winner of the UTV 1000 class, and Racer Tech added a $1,000 overall winner bonus. Can-Am also had a $2,000 win contingency, and the Pratt Brothers qualified for them all, so they duo took home $6,000 for the win

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
Mouse & Marcus Pratt took home a combined $6,000 in contingency money from GBC Motorsports, Racer Tech, and Can-Am alone

With the largest field in the event’s eight-year history, the regular single row start was modified for the 1000 Class, allowing them to start in two rows. Even with 32 1000 Class UTVs taking the start, the first lap was run without incident.

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
Bikeman Peformance’s Ryan Springer grabbed the holeshot on the front row of the UTV 1000 class followed by the two Team Miller / Can-Am Racers Hunter & Cody Miller

Racer Tech’s Marcus Pratt started the race and got off to a mid-pack start, but he utilized a conservative strategy and just focused on staying the top ten for the first half of the race while others were racing at a sprint, which ended their day before the checkered flag. Marcus kept a steady speed, and handed the Can-Am Maverick over to his brother, Mouse, after an hour and half, and Mouse quickly began moving his way up the line, and he took over the lead in lap 15, which he held to the checkered flag for the win.

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
Can-Am / Jack’s Team Marcus Pratt ran in the top ten before handing the wheel over to his brother Mouse for the final stretch of the race

“I just had to play it smart at the start and try not to get hit,” said Marcus Pratt. “We came out mid pack and plugged along. We saved the car. A lot of guys tried playing this like it was a one-hour sprint. We knew this was an endurance race. It’s like racing a China doll. They’re easy to break. But we had not issues at all during the race.”

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
Racer Tech’s Mouse Pratt charged into the lead late in the race, but he quickly built a large lead to secure their 2nd straight UTV win

Mouse Pratt said the event is always fun, but he definitely enjoyed it more on the top step of the podium. “It’s Iowa. What can I say? This is a great event they put on here,” said Mouse Pratt. “This track was rough and brutal. There were some deep ruts out there. It wasn’t for these RacerTech A-arms were wouldn’t have made it. I couldn’t ask for anything else. It took us 15 hours to get out here. Winning in the end makes it all worthwhile.”

The Bikeman Performance / rOtation Motorsports Team of Andy Ives raced a brand new 2016 Polaris RZR S 1000 for this event. The narrower 60” wide UTV was pretty much bone stock, making the victory that much sweeter for the Minnesota-based team. The team took second when the Team Cody Miller car got stuck on the final lap. Driver Andy Ives said the rough conditions made for a challenging race.

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
Andy Ives raced a near stock 2016 Polaris RZR 1000 S at the GBC Heartland Challenge

“Traction was really the key today,” said Ives. “The ruts were getting really bad late in the race. This is probably the roughest this track has been. My co-driver Dan was telling me to slow down a little bit. We both got a little bit worn out toward the end.”

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
GBC Motorsport’s Andy Ives charged his way to a 2nd place finish at the 2015 GBC Heartland Challenge in the UTV 1000 class

Ives said a lot of credit goes to his new Polaris. “The ruts were really getting gnarly at the end; they were so deep tree roots were showing,” said Ives,” but this RZR is super durable. We only came into the pits to get fuel. We had no other problems. So that’s really a testament to how great the RZR is. A lot of people were crashing and getting stuck. We didn’t have those problems today.”

Can-Am’s Cody Miller came into the race with a conservative strategy. A crash on the first lap forced him to change that plan after his pit crew had to change an A-arm, putting him a lap down to the leaders.

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
Can-Am’s Cody Miller rebounded from a broken A-Arm in the first lap to claim the final spot on the UTV 1000 class Podium

“We were trying to cruise easy on the first lap, but we got hit on the front end and that took out an A-arm,” said Miller. “I came out here with a plan to drive really conservatively. I ended up having to go “full wood” the entire race and the Can-Am held up.”

Miller credited the Can-Am Maverick’s Elka Suspension combined with DWT Tires for getting him through the rough course here. “Elka really has the suspension dialed in,” said Miller. “We were just floating over the rough stuff today. My back doesn’t even hurt. We’re running a pretty small DWT tire compared to everyone else. Those combined with the suspension really make this thing handle great.”

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
Team RJ Performance’s Matt Burton took home $2,000 from GBC for the UTV 900 Class Win

Team RJ Performance’s Matt Burton won the 900 UTV Class: “We definitely had a blast. We were third at the start. There was a bottleneck and then I hit a tree. Then my four-wheel-drive went out and we spent a lap sorting that out. I want to thank the spectators that pushed me off the tree.”

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV 900 Class Podium
Team UXC (2nd), RJ Performance (1st) Brockway Racing (3rd)

Cross Kirchmeier along with his wife, Jess, who was his co-pilot finished first in the 800 Class: “This race was awesome. The track got so gnarly so fast. It went from smooth on the first lap to so rough on lap three you are almost getting stuck in the ruts. That made for a great challenge and the competition here made it really enjoyable.”

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
Team Torn secured the UTV 800 class win & $1,500 from GBC

Interestingly, a Kawaski T-Rex finished second in the 800 Class field. Piloted by Kawasaki engineers Brian Butler, Tyler Furman and Chad Enger, the team very nearly took the class win.

GBC Heartland Challenge UTV Racing
The Kawasaki Teryx Team gave it a run for the UTV 800 class win finishing with a close 2nd place

The eighth annual GBC Heartland Challenge proved to be another success year, and everyone is already looking forward to next year’s event, which will surely be bigger and better than ever.

GBC Heartland Challange