After a hiatus of more than a decade (other than vintage
events), endurance racing returned to Shannonville Motorsports Park after
constant requests from sprint racers.
Entries were on the light side, really to
be expected when throwing something new at racers after most of a season’s
budget is already gone — but you’d have to say it was an artistic success as
there was lots of good racing and the participants were wildly hyped about it
after all was said and done.
Racing Director Chris Chapelle is already working on plans
to incorporate some endurance events into the 2011 regular schedule.
Part of the fun was running a separate race for the Honda
CBR125 kids; it was decided to make it an hour long and to require the kids to
find a Pro racer to partner them. The Pros piled in with enthusiasm, including
a number of top-ranked National Superbike racers like Andrew Nelson and
Franklin Dominguez, plus a number of the fast usual suspects from RACE like
Steve ‘Doc’ Walker, Jim Proulx, Vickie Schouten, and more.
The race was started with the kids doing a classic Le Mans
start (running across the track to dead-engine bikes), with the bikes in
inverted order of qualifying just to add some fun. The kids were required to do
at least 20 minutes of the hour, but most of the teams split their riding time
up pretty evenly.
The win ended up going to ShayRaffa Racing, with Shay
Gauthier partnering with Pro Louis Raffa to take a 10 second victory over The
Blondies, 17-year-old Nicole Pilkington and Pro Vickie Schouten. Third went to
Chimmichurri, with Stacey Nesbitt partnering Andrew Nelson, who was second
overall in the national superbike series this year.
McMinguez Racing (Ryan McCormick and Pro Franklin Dominguez)
looked good until four laps from the end, when McCormick had a slow-speed crash
at the hairpin just after taking the lead that put them out. He at least had a
new lap record in his pocket to stem the ire of his aunt, Vanessa
Gareau-Dominguez (Franklin’s wife, and a good 600 racer on her own).
The next day the Lightweight Vintage one-hour race went to
Team Short Bus, a beautiful special consisting of a Yamaha TZ racing frame and
a Yamaha 250 four-stroke motocross engine, ridden by teens Jamie Jabouri and
Jon Wong. Third was another GP bike, Hunny You’re Right Racing, with the
husband and wife team of Sandy and Sheena Noce (owners of Pro 6 Cycle) riding a
two-stroke 125 GP racer.
The winner of the four-hour feature race, given reliability,
was a foregone conclusion when Andrew Nelson entered his Parts Canada BMW
S1000RR superbike. Adding Mike Ferreira (from the official BMW Motorrad team)
and his quick brother David as riders put the icing on the cake, and they
indeed did have a strong run to take a two-lap victory over the Shrek & Co.
Racing Honda CBR600 of Dave Buckland, Andrew Westbrook, and Brian Kamp.