Photo: Colin Fraser/CSBK
It’s no secret that Ontario Regional road racing has been fractured in recent years, with the nearly 40-year-old RACE group at Shannonville attracting racers from the eastern side of the Toronto area, while the relative newcomer SOAR operation has been collecting those from the west side, and getting much bigger numbers of entries as well.
No surprise, as RACE’s Shannonville track is located between Kingston and Belleville, while SOAR is based at Grand Bend, on the shores of Lake Huron. Travelling across the GTA is no fun at all, so it’s only natural that riders would be attracted to the easiest track to access. (It’s amusing, except to Ken, that SOAR’s owner and manager Ken McAdam leaves on the east side of the GTA)
This past winter, the two managements started talking, with the result that two races – one round in each series – will to recognize licence holders from the other group and match classes up as best as possible to encourage riders going to both series. Points will be awarded to participants in each group depending on their respective classes; it’s a bit of a time-keeping chore to say the least, but not insurmountable.
Last weekend – June 27-29 – saw the event at Shannonville, which everyone found highly successful and indicative of better things to come. Lots of racers from SOAR came out to the RACE event, and while the feature races went to RACE regulars – Jodi Christie took both Pro Superbike and 600 events, while 17-year-old Stacey Nesbitt continued her upward trajectory by winning both Amateur races in the same classes – several of the other events went to SOAR regulars, making the weekend a success for all.
More importantly, both managements were delighted with the outcome of their tentative combination, and are already negotiating even more co-operation for 2015.