Viewfinders return to IWV

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Viewfinders return to IWVMore than 1,000 riders, and countless more fans, are expected to descend on the Indian Wells Valley Oct. 4-6 with the return of the Viewfinders Grand Prix.

The off-road motorcycle club, a sanctioned member of American Motocross Association District 37, features multiple classes of competition on Saturday and Sunday at Ridgecrest Motorcycle Park.

Signups will be held Friday, starting at 5 p.m. Gates open at noon on Friday and at 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday for races. Gate fees for camping, parking and admission apply.

Additional information about racing entry fees is available at

Chip Holloway, CEO of the Desert Empire Fairgrounds and Events Center, noted that his organization just signed a lease with the city of Ridgecrest to take over the park — which has been rebuilt and rehabilitated by volunteers.

The Viewfinders event is just one of many local and out-of-town races he hopes to attract, he said.

“We also hope to work with the Bureau of Land Management and Ridgecrest Sports Commission to establish a corridor through our facility into the open desert to try and capitalize on the more than 100,000 riders who camp out in our local desert to ride off-road vehicles.”

Hordes of riders can be seen in and around popular trails — particularly during the long weekends. Holloway said that he will be looking at the successful model California City has implemented to offer fun and amenities to participants in this popular sport.

“We believe this is an underutilized facility, and the entire community of race enthusiasts through Southern California are starving for more places, areas and events to ride in.”

Increasing amenities would help the fairgrounds and the community at large, he said. Visitors who come into town spend money on local hotels, restaurants and other vendors during their time here. Holloway said he hopes to increase the number of people who bring their business to Ridgecrest.

Pictured: Last year’s Grand Prix. — Photo by Laura Austin

“The facility will continue to host the Viewfinders Grand Prix every October,” he said. The China Lake Petty Officers also host a Desert Dash Mud Run in the spring.

“We will consider other events like paint ball and air soft events, a BMX track, RC cars and even a model airplane landing strip.”

Story First Published: 2019-09-27