Doug Osterkamp had not been out of the country before 2013. But after two seasons as the lead mechanic for some of the best Endurocross riders in the world, the 28-year-old Swansboro resident’s passport has gotten some major ink.
Osterkamp had worked in motorcycle shops since graduating in 2005 from the El Dorado Trade School, a vocational secondary school based near Placerville. He started working for a small Endurocross team named McPfluger Racing in 2012 as the team prepared for the X Games, and he started meeting riders and team managers from the major factories in the sport, which combines elements of motocross and trials racing.
In 2013, he got the lead mechanic spot for Bryan Roper and started to travel the world with wrench in hand.
He started working for California rider Cody Webb for the 2014-15 FIM Superenduro World Championships season in December and, after a second-place finish, the working relationship has carried over to the Geico Endurocross Series, where Webb is the defending champion and points co-leader after two events.
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“Last month was the busiest for travel,” Osterkamp said. “We went from Daytona (Beach, Fla.) for the opening round of Endurocross back to France for the finals of the (FIM) Superenduro World Championships. But I’ve been to Brazil, Spain … all over Europe. It’s a lot of fun.”
Webb, from Royal Oaks, a small town near Watsonville, and Osterkamp have a lot in common other than just the KTM motorcycles owned by RPM Racing.
Both are studying to be mechanical engineers – Webb at UC Santa Cruz and Osterkamp at Folsom Lake College. Osterkamp said Webb is a year from graduating and will be able to devote more time to racing, something the competition is not looking forward too, he said.
“We have a good relationship,” Osterkamp said of the ease with which he and Webb communicate on racing matters. “And once he concentrates on racing – look out.”
Placerville Speedway gets busy – The King of the West Sprint Car Series kicks off the 2015 season at Placerville Speedway on Saturday, and four days later hosts the World of Outlaws for the inaugural Brad Sweet Presents World of Outlaws Short Track Outlaw Showdown.
Sweet is a Grass Valley native who earned Rookie of the Year honors from the World of Outlaws. He won five times last season, his first full season on the Outlaws circuit. Sweet said he’s always wanted to bring the Outlaws back to his home track. The Outlaws last raced on the Placerville quarter-mile clay oval in 1992.
Former Sacramento resident Kyle Hirst, now living in Chico, is the King of the West Sprint Car Series defending champion and is expected to compete against the Outlaws next Wednesday.
April fooling – A click on the home page of the Placerville Speedway website April 1 took viewers to a fake news release from a group of racers complaining that the dirt track at the speedway was too muddy. Calling themselves Racers Against Mud, the group complained to track promoter Alan Handy via a note delivered by carrier pigeon that they were tired of having to clean their race cars every week.
Mark Billingsley covers local motor sports for The Bee. Reach him at email@example.com or @editorwriter001.