To say Chris Birch is known as the “off-road guy” is an understatement. At a young age, “Birchy” was sentenced to a life behind ‘bars. He started his career as an accomplished moto trials champion (a discipline that definitely set him on the path to greatness), and eventually became the man to beat in the international off-road scene. His racing career – that still hasn’t ended, either – has seen him winning at the Roof of Africa, standing on the podium at Red Bull Romaniacs, as well as at the ISDE and World Enduro Championship. To mix things up, he raced and finished the Dakar Rally, and also competed at X Games.
The Chris Birch Project: Episode 1
It’s the X Games adventure that is the focus of The Chris Birch Project. The six-episode series that was produced by Red Bull New Zealand follows Birchy on his journey to X Games. While X Games 2013 was the third year the event had included Moto X Enduro (with an emphasis on the X), it was a first for Birchy, who had to learn how to race the closed-circuit discipline.
Given his skills on a motorcycle (not to mention, on the gnarliest of trails), most people with just a passing knowledge of Birchy and his accomplishments would think he had the endurocross discipline wrapped up. But that wasn’t the case. It’s what makes this series so interesting, too.
The first episode focuses on the beginning of that campaign to race Moto X Enduro in Los Angeles. It’s safe to say there would have been all kinds of planning, logistics and, of course, qualifying, to be sorted, but the first episode is all about building an “AMA Endurocross-style track” to get his skills even more dialled. At the time, Aotearoa didn’t have anything of the sort. But that was just the first step in this six-month campaign to race in Los Angeles.
Main Photo: Graeme Murray | Red Bull