It was opening weekend on the east coast for FMF KTM Factory Racing teammates Kailub Russell and Josh Toth, who lined up on Saturday and Sunday for Round 1 of the 2019 Full Gas Sprint Enduro Series at GTR Complex in Gaston, South Carolina. Russell put forth a dominant performance to come away with the overall victory, while Toth finished just off the podium in fourth.
The Full Gas Sprint Enduro format takes place over the course of two days, incorporating both Enduro and Cross Tests to give a diverse set of challenges for the riders. On Saturday, Russell powered his KTM 350 XC-F to a near-perfect day winning the first five tests before securing a runner-up finish in the final Enduro Test of the day. On Sunday, he came out swinging once again as he captured the opening Cross Test and Enduro Test wins. Russell struggled on test three, finishing sixth, before charging back to finish strong with top-three finishes to round out the day. With combined scores, Russell was able to best his competition and earn the first victory of the season.
Russell: “I had a really fun time getting back to racing the Sprint Enduros. I was able to put in a mistake-free day one and pull a sizable lead in the overall. On day two, I started off well but with the tests getting tougher it became a challenge to go fast and keep it off the ground.”
Meanwhile, Toth had a great start on Saturday as he finished second behind Russell in three of the six tests. He maintained consistency by putting his KTM 350 XC-F into third, fourth and sixth-place finishes for the remainder of the tests to round the day in second-place. On Sunday, Toth captured solid top-five finishes to ultimately race his way to fifth for the day and fourth overall for the weekend.
Trail Jesters Racing/KTM rider Ben Kelley captured a top-five finish at the opening round. Kelley finished seventh on day one and came back strong on day two with a third-place performance to ultimately finish fifth overall for the weekend.
Next Race: March 2-3 – Round 2 – Blackshear, Georgia
1. Kailub Russell, KTM, 01:20:45.099
2. Josh Strang, Kawasaki, 01:21:20.540
3. Thad DuVall, Husqvarna, 01:21:42.038
4. Josh Toth, KTM, 01:21:43.521
5. Ben Kelley, KTM, 01:22:23.800