Back on Track: Echeconnee
By: Ryan Webb
Macon has one of the best liked and best built tracks on the series. Everyone that we talk to loves to race here in Georgia. When we came here, we werenít expecting to see much of a change from the rough sand track that we saw last year. And, as we expected, there werenít many changes. After all, why mess with a good thing. The only things that we really did notice were that the jumps were a bit more rounded to better suit the ATV crowd, and there was an extra mound in the track just before the finish. All in all, that is everything that we saw that was different. Well, letís take a look at the appeal of such a rough and ready track.
You begin as always on the starting gate. This track has a nice concrete start line, but donít try to be in the area when the pros are going to start because they will run you off quick. Only the rider and one mechanic are allowed at the start gates, which makes it a little difficult to get that beauty of a start shot. After a short straight you go into almost a 180 degree left turn that takes you out onto the main part of the track. Then you make a hard right to head up the hill where there lies an uphill double. Then there is a bottleneck on the backside that you canít really see from anywhere except right by it. This brings you around to the left and then right up the hill even farther. You finally make another left that brings you into a rhythm section with a double and a sharp left 180 back down the hill. Then you hit another double and hang a right to a downhill straight. Now if this sounds easy so far donít get too much ahead, because this isnít smooth packed dirt. This whole track is laid out on a bed of sand, and it likes to get bumpy and rough.
Now we catch almost a 180 bermed curve back to the right. This will take you to a small section that you can double and then go on to another double that will set you up for the uphill double ahead. This doesnít look that big, but very few people other than the pros were actually clearing it. Then you make a slight left to a smaller uphill double. Following this is a left 90 that will bring you to a short drop followed by a downhill straight. Once you reach the bottom you will notice a rather large bermed right 180. Now this thing is the coolest thing Iíve seen yet in turns. There is a double berm that is so tall that you can take the inside or outside around it, but the neat thing is that you canít see the quads as they go around, all you see is the rider.
You come out of this turn to another uphill with a small single thrown in. After the single you will come to an uphill left. Just after the left, there is a down and then back up 180 degree right turn, and then a downhill followed by a left that leads to a tabletop and then a double. New for 2005 they added a small inside mound on the last turn before the tabletop finish. After this you make a small left and go over the tabletop finish, but wait thereís more. Coming off of the tabletop there you make a left and begin up the hill a bit and make a long sweeping 180 right that leads you to a small drop double and then another double. You then hang a 90 left and go over a single into a double-double. After you come off of that you go into a large very rough left 90. Not to mention that there were more than a couple of wrecks here on race day. After the 90 you catch a short straight that brings you back to the spot where you came in off of the start.
This whole track is rough and likes to make you hang on for dear life. If you arenít ready to wear yourself out making sure that you maintain the line that you want for the run, then you might want to skip out on Echeconnee, if you are planning on racing the nationals next year.