Camp Coker, a hunting preserve and campground located in Society Hill, South Carolina, was the site of the 5th round of the GNCC series. Unlike the last round in Steele Creek, the morning race turnout was much more manageable (less than 400 bikes), meaning that the lappers did not cause nearly as much trouble and there were no bottlenecks to speak of. Despite the inclusion of a mile-long single track section, the course was not very technical. Some soft spots got a little chewed out, but nothing really difficult or impassible. However, the race was no walk in the park – the dust was probably the worst it’s been all season, and when coupled with the occasional mist, visibility was a constant struggle.

sand and loam
Sand and loam were the two primary soil conditions here at the Camp Coker bullet, though dust was the race's most defining factorRachel Gutish

This time, it was Shelby Rolen (Kawasaki Team Green/Gateway Cycles/Fox/FMF) and Tayla Jones (Rocky Mountain/KR4/Husquvarna Performance) were the first into the corner, with Rachel Gutish (FMF/RPM/KTM), and newcomer Morgan Tanke (Factory Beta USA) right behind. By the time the riders crossed the holeshot line, Jones was in the lead and really putting the hammer down. Mackenzie Tricker (Bonanza Plumbing KTM), Gutish and Becca Sheets (Fly/Maxxis/Seat Concepts/KTM) all worked their way around Rolen before the entrance to the woods. However Brooke Cosner (The Motorcycle Shop/Bell Powersports/Kenda/V3 Off-Road/Full Gas Fitness) was not so lucky – the two of them tangled up and went down hard right at the entrance into that first woods section.

start of race
Tayla Jones (712) takes the holeshot, with Shelby Rolen (445), Rachel Gutish (317) and Morgan Tanke (31) not far behind.Beth Latham

Jones continued to extend her lead as Gutish pressured Tricker in the single-track section, with Sheets right behind her. Right after the tight stuff came the motocross track, and the three riders were neck and neck as they railed around the course. At least, they were until Gutish landed badly off a jump and washed the front end out. Sheets and Tricker continued their battle, with Sheets finally passing Tricker after she made a mistake on some roots right before the barrels.

Camp Coker Bullet GNCC
This was California native Morgan Tanke's first-ever GNCC. Though Morgan is a talented EnduroCross and Extreme Enduro racer, the unfamiliar terrain and format proved to be a steep learning curve. She hopes to come back for a few more rounds this season and improve on her 7th place finish.Beth Latham

From there, the top three held their positions for the remainder of the race, and finished in the same order they came through the barrels on the first lap. Although the top three were pretty much locked into position, there was an epic battle for 4th place between Cosner and Gutish on the last lap. Both of them recovered enough from their first-lap get-offs to ride hard, but not enough to make a dent in the gap between them and the podium contenders. However, that did not stop them from making of them a final heroic push in the last 3 miles, with Cosner managing to hold off Gutish by a mere .75 seconds as they came screaming through the barrels.

Camp Coker Bullet GNCC
Though they were only fighting for a 4th place finish, not a win or even a podium, one of the most exciting battles of the day came from Rachel Gutish and Brooke Cosner. The two of them were locked in a duel to the death for the last 3 miles of the race. Cosner managed to come out ahead by a fraction of a second.Beth Latham

Throughout the race, Sheets was able to consistently extend her lead over Tricker, who was not especially pleased with how she was riding. “My first lap is always my slowest, and I usually improve as the track gets better and the quad ruts level out, but that didn’t happen so much here. I also struggled with goggle issues – I had to take them off and stop to grab new ones a couple times… I’m not really excited with getting 3rd, as any of us are – I want to win!”

tricker charging down a straightaway
Tricker charged hard throughout most of the day, but never really seemed to find her groove. Despite this, she still rounded out the podium with a 3rd place finish.Beth Latham

Sheets on the other hand, felt okay about her ride and second place finish. “I was able to put a gap on Mackenzie [Tricker] throughout the race, and for awhile, I was starting to catch back up to Tayla [Jones], until I wasn’t… I came together with a lapper on the last lap. So couldn’t make up that time I hoping to before the finish. But it was a good day, I felt like I rode well and I’m looking forward to Indiana.”

Becca Sheets
Becca Sheets was pretty much a blur most of the day, but that still wasn't enough to catch up to Tayla Jones or to overcome difficulties with a slower rider on the final lap.Beth Latham

Given Sheet’s last-lap struggles, Jones pretty much had a clear and clean path to victory, finishing with a 2 minute lead over her next-closest competitor.“I took the holeshot and ran away with it. Luckily I got a good start, because the course was pretty dusty, as I realized pretty quick when I came around into the lappers. The bog-holes got me a couple of times – nothing major, just a little unexpected in some places. Just stayed smooth, consistent, and had no worries. I’m happy to keep the ball rolling and get another one under my belt.”

tayla jones in corner
Aussie Tayla Jones kept it smooth, consistant and worry-free all day to bring home her 5th win out of 5 races.Beth Latham

Camp Coker Bullet WXC Results

  1. Tayla Jones
  2. Becca Sheets
  3. Mackenzie Tricker
  4. Brooke Cosner
  5. Rachel Gutish

WXC Points (unadjusted for drops)

  1. Tayla Jones (100)
  2. Becca Sheets (93)
  3. Mackenzie Tricker (90)
  4. Rachel Gutish (82)
  5. Shelby Rolen (57)

Catch up with the WXC riders again next race: The X-Factor GNCC in Peru, Indiana.

podium
The WXC podium at Round 5 of the GNCC series. From left to right: Becca Sheets (2nd), Tayla Jones (1st) and Mackenzie Tricker (3rd)Beth Latham