Tayla Jones taking on the USA | By Russell Colvin
What were you doing at eighteen years old? Well when someone asks Tayla Jones what she was doing at eighteen years old, she can say that she was hightailing it around the USA racing alongside some of the best in business.
While the Australian Off-Road Series (AORC) has come to a close for another year, Tayla Jones, from Good Hope in New South Wales, has now packed her bags to gain some experience in the USA.
Jones finished third in this year’s Women’s AORC championship, just one point behind Emelie Karlsson, and is heading Stateside to have a crack in the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC), the Kenda Full Gas Sprint Enduro and one round of the Women’s Motocross championship.
While Jones will not be racing for a team, she has got a KTM 250 sx-f bike sorted through a motorcycle shop and will just turn up at the races in a rental van.
“I’m super excited to get this opportunity to race in the states,” Jones told MCNews.com.au. “I have been wanting to go over for a long time but we were just waiting for the time to be right.”
Her first crack of the whip will be this weekend at the second last round of the GNCC at Powerline Park in Ohio, which will also see our very own Daniel Milner take part in his first race with the Randy Hawkins-run AmPro Yamaha Team.
From there, Jones will travel almost 850km to the famous Big Buck Farm in Enoree for the first-ever Big Buck Sprint Enduro that will take place the following weekend. Jones and other racers will compete on one grass track test and one enduro test each day, making multiple attempts on each of the tests.
The show doesn’t stop there, as the following weekend Jones will be on the tar again and head three hours up the road to Blountville, Tennessee for the second last round of the American WMX (Women’s Motocross) which will be staged at Top Gun Showdown.
Jones will have one week off before she embarks on her final tour across the States where she will race in the grand finale of the GNCC at the Amsoil Ironman, which is one of the most popular races on the tour.
Jones explained that she is using these rounds to gain experience. “There’s no pressure on winning really,” said Jones. “I’m just getting experience and doing the best I can, and hopefully I’ll be able to come back again next year and do some more rounds.”
After her stint in the U.S, Jones’s focus will turn towards the 2014 ISDE in San Juan, Argentina, staged across the first week in November.
Jones will once again team up with this year’s AORC champion Jess Gardiner, and fellow top flight female Jemma Wilson. They will go into this year’s ISDE as the reigning Women’s champions, after taking the gold in Sardinia last year.