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GROM Racing 2015 News

The 2014 Gravity Racing Season has wound down, and it’s time to begin preparing for 2015.  With that in mind, GROM Racing is pleased to announce some initial details of its 2015 program.


Rider Lineup

Many folks in motorsports call it the “silly season”, that time of year when teams and racers are all negotiating with one another behind the scenes while publicly denying everything.  Let’s put an end to all that “silliness” and jump right in with the 2015 rider lineup.   Big changes are in store for GROM with five riders departing the program, and two new riders coming on board.  GROM is excited to welcome Ian Bongard of Roanoke, Virginia and Zach Gareis of Mars, Pennsylvania to the team.   Let’s meet the two new GROM riders.



Ian Bongard – 2014 Racing Age 15                                                      Photo: Mandy Loorham

 Ian’s 2014 Season Highlights:

  • 3rd Place, Snowshoe Gravity Series Race #1
  • 2nd Place, Snowshoe Gravity Series Race #2
  • 1st Place, Snowshoe Gravity Series Race #3
  • 2nd Place, Snowshoe Gravity Series final standings, 18u Intro Class (Cat 3)
  • 6th Place, Snowshoe Chomolungma Challenge, Men's Solo age 12-25

Ian started racing motorcycles with his family when he was 4 years old in 2003. After 5 full seasons of racing, riding evolved more into fun rides than competitions.  A trip to Snowshoe with his brother in 2013 sparked his interest in downhill mountain biking.   On old equipment, he quickly proved that he was fast and wanted to return to racing, this time in the Gravity Series.   With a new downhill bike in hand, 2014 was his first full season of racing and he has continued to learn and improve rapidly.   He really likes the people he meets riding and the friendships that have developed.   In middle school Ian ran Cross Country and Track and became involved in the technical side of the Theatre Arts as a Lighting Technician.  Through hard work and commitment, he quickly became a respected, and paid, lighting professional at Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke Va.  Ian looks forward to learning more, getting faster, and building even more lasting friendships with GROM racing this year.




Zach Gareis – 2014 Racing age 13                                                         Photo:  Mandy Loorham

 Zach’s 2014 Season Highlights:

  • 1st Place, ESC Atlantic Cup DH #1
  • 2nd Place, Gravity East Series #2, Mountain Creek Bike Park, 2nd overall in series
  • 1st Place, Snowshoe Gravity Series #1 and #2
  • 1st Place, Snowshoe Gravity Series final standings, 18u Intro Class (Cat 3)
  • 1st Place, ProGRT #4 Snowshoe Mountain

While 2014 was his first full year competing in downhill mountain biking, Zach is definitely not new to riding things with two wheels as he has been riding bikes and dirt bikes most of his life.  He has raced bmx and motocross and still competes in motorcycle hare scramble races (such as the GNCC Series).  When he is not on two wheels, Zach plays hockey and lacrosse for his school and can also be found hitting the slopes on his snowboard.  Zach is looking forward to a great year with GROM in 2015. 

Joining Ian and Zach will be returning riders Michael Kane, Scout Clark, and Phillip Steele.  These three are looking forward to racing with their new teammates at venues up and down the East Coast in 2015!

As mentioned, five GROM riders are departing the program.  Long-standing riders Jimmy Leslie and Eric Vest entered college this fall, while Joshua Rogers and Owen Witcher are pursuing opportunities with other teams.   Another long-standing rider, David Dressler, is going to focus more on high school football.  Preparing young riders to move on to bigger and better things is one of the goals of GROM Racing and it is rewarding to see the team’s and the riders’ efforts come to fruition.  These five young men may not be in GROM jerseys any longer but they’ll always be a part of the GROM family.  Everyone on the team wishes them the very best of luck in their future endeavors. 


Sponsor Update

GROM Racing is excited to confirm a continued relationship with title sponsor Snowshoe Bike Park, the premier bike park on the east coast.  If you have yet to sample their steep terrain, you owe it to yourself to grab your friends, load up your DH sleds and point your vehicle towards West Va. this summer!   Visit Snowshoe’s Mountain Adventure Center for the best in bikes and gear from Specialized, Troy Lee Designs, and Dakine.  Additional confirmed sponsors on board at this point include Industry Nine Componentry, Gamut USA, Hawley, and Hawley Service Center.


Contact:   Calhoun Clark, 864-346-5146



Posted on: November 14th, 2014


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