Gueco Wins Soo I-500 Enduro With Yamaha Apex RTX
Story by Snowmobile.com Staff, Dec. 09, 2006Email a friend Print Friendly RSS
The winning team of Chad Gueco and co-driver Bill Wilkes dominated throughout the entire event on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007. Last year’s winner Corey Davidson, riding with Travis Hjelle and Troy Hanson, put another Apex on the podium in third.
Qualifying only 11th, Gueco set his Apex’s suspension for the rough conditions expected during the scheduled 500 miles, figuring the powerful Yamaha would still handle well when conditions deteriorated.
“I have always loved endurance racing because it’s a challenge, a strategy game, trying to outsmart the other racers,” says Gueco. “Yamaha builds a great sled and the Apex four-stroke engine never missed a beat the whole race. This thing has so much steam down the straight-aways! It pulled the same rpm every lap and we never had to worry about the engine at all.”
Although the competition was fierce—mostly coming from other Yamaha teams—the Gueco Racing Apex ran in the top three for most of the first 200 laps. The only mechanical issue occurred at the 200-mile point when the team pitted to replace an idler wheel. The team reclaimed the lead and built up nearly a lap advantage before the event was red-flagged on lap 367 due to the emergence of a fast-moving snowstorm. Gueco and Wilkes were declared the winners while Davidson, Hjelle and Hanson, charging hard in third, simply ran out of time. Moving through the field after receiving a stop-and-go penalty, they had un-lapped themselves and were chasing down the leaders when the race was stopped.