UTV racing in the West and a check-in with Al McBeth

The scene is spreading and this Abbotsford, B.C., racer slash daredevil has got his foot to the floor


Close racing action with two UTVs.

Things get interesting when you put UTVs on a motocross track. — Scott Kreiser photo

Momentum is building in Western Canada’s UTV race scene. With help from the MCQMX promotion company, British Columbia is back in action with its own CMRC-sanctioned UTV series in 2017. The Alberta ATV Triple Crown has also expanded, adding another doubleheader weekend to its already popular series.

Nobody could be happier than Al McBeth. The Abbotsford racer and owner of Concept Distributing has been pushing hard to grow the sport since 2011—and he’s done some crazy stuff along the way.

Take, for example, his most recent world record: a 148-foot snow jump. If you were in Revelstoke for the Canadian Snow Bike MX Nationals last February, then you probably saw it first-hand. Then, there’s his ramp to dirt distance jump, which McBeth plans to re-break this summer. 

Al McBeth world record snow jump.

In February 2017, McBeth hit 148 feet on his paddled up Polaris RZR. Next year's snow jump, he'll be looking to hit the 200-foot mark. — Stacked Films photo

Baja or bust

On the racing side of things, McBeth is a top competitor in the Alberta series. He has also turned his attention to desert racing, and more specifically the Baja 1000. As one of three drivers on the Hellenbach Racing team out of Northern B.C., McBeth helped pilot a Polaris RZR across the finish line in November 2016. The team finished sixth in their class, but things didn’t exactly go as planned.

Electrical problems that occurred during McBeth’s 300-mile leg of the race resulted in a crash, which set the team back.

“We ended up ratchet strapping the front differential back in the vehicle so it didn’t move and then we drove 40 miles out,” said McBeth. “Luckily, we were able to intersect one of our pits, put a new differential back in and keep going.”

Desert racing UTV in the Baja 1000.

The Baja 1000 is one of the toughest races on the planet. — photo courtesy Al McBeth

For McBeth, who isn’t happy unless he’s on the podium, it was a disappointing finish. But according to him, it’s the nature of this beast.

“To think you are going to race the Baja without having one mechanical issue is a little wishful thinking,” he said.

Team support is everything and Hellenbach Racing is backed by some of the best in the business. This year, however, McBeth has decided to launch his own Concept Distributing race team. To shake things up, he’ll be tackling the Baja 1000 solo.

“I’m going to drive the whole thing,” he said. “And this year is the 50th anniversary so it’s a 1,400-mile race.”

The race is November 14 to 18, 2017, but preparations have already begun.

“Nutrition and physical condition are going to be huge,” he said. “I’m expecting to be in that car for 40 hours.”

Gettin’ sendy in the sand

McBeth looks forward to an extremely busy summer. In addition to racing the Baja, he’ll also be heading to Coos Bay, Oregon, in June for the UTV Takeover. For McBeth, it will be a huckfest in the dunes as he plans on setting a new world record for longest sand jump. To get it done, he’ll have to break 150 feet.

The Alberta ATV Triple Crown also starts in June and there are three dates on B.C.’s new UTV Mayhem circuit. Even if you’re not into racing, McBeth said these events are highly entertaining.

“I think we put on a good show,” he said. “All the spectator and racer numbers are coming up. I’m pumped about that and getting the B.C. guys back in business.”

Al McBeth and the Concept Distributing team on the podium.

McBeth was the leader for points last year in the Unlimited class of the Alberta series. — photo courtesy Al McBeth

As for McBeth and all the guys over at Concept Distributing: “We’re here doing our thing, seeing how many limits we can push.”

Keep an eye on their website and Facebook Page for updates. 

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