Although I’ve never followed the Dakar Rally (formerly known as Paris-Dakar) intently, I’ve nevertheless been fascinated by the machines and men competing in this seemingly impossible-to-finish race. As far as I’m concerned it’s less a race and more a brutal test of human endurance. The race traverses an incredible variety of terrain over 9000 km […]
Helen Kurt Caselli Send-Off Attracts Thousands
In a touching tribute to Kurt Caselli, one of America’s brightest off-road racing stars, who tragically lost his life in a crash while competing in the Baja 1000, a gathering of over 2000 people descended upon Glen Helen Raceway to pay their final respects in a rolling tribute.
The line of cars stretching back to the nearby freeway was a fitting reminder of just how many lives Caselli touched and how important a figure he was to many. Caselli’s KTM crew and teammates were just some of the many who came to pay their respects and take a ride-out in Kurt’s honor with his mom Nancy and fiancée Sarah at the head of the vast pack of motorcyclists. Motocrossers like Dean Wilson, Blake Baggett, Cole Seely and then other luminaries like AMA Superbike racer Chris Fillmore and off-roaders like Destry Abbott were part of the group. Even the legendary Malcolm Smith made an appearance to show his support and give his condolences.
On display was a photo-wall dedicated to the fun, memories and important moments of Kurt’s life as well as his race-bikes. The KTM 450 Rally, that he was set to steer in the 2014 Dakar that will take place in just a few weeks, stood as an indication of the level and status Caselli reached in his short time on two wheels.
Most of those at Glen Helen will remember the tenacity that brought Caselli multiple Hare and Hound titles and elevated the Californian into the upper sphere of the sport on U.S. soil but also internationally in the one discipline –Enduro/Rally – where America are playing catch-up to other nations. Caselli was a badge of honor for the United States.
KTM North America announced full support for the establishment of the Kurt Caselli Foundation at Glen Helen that saw proceeds – almost $60,000 – from the day and further donations heading to efforts to support technology for increased rider safety in off-road riding as well as setting up a high school scholarship fund. People interested in donating to the foundation can send money to: KTM North America, Inc., c/o: Caselli Foundation, 38429 Innovation Court, Murrieta, CA 92563.