At this weekend’s second round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship he will try to add another line to his remarkable racing resume by becoming the first racer to win the feature event four times at Autodrome St-Eustache in St-Eustache, Que.
The 35-year-old Szoke brings plenty of momentum into this weekend’s event. He rode his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad / Mopar Express Lane BMW S1000RR to an impressive victory in the Mopar season opener at Shannonville Motorsport Park last month, and he enjoys an 11-point lead in his quest for a 10th national number one plate.
But the tight and technical 1.93km (1.2-mile) 10-turn Autodrome St-Eustache is a tricky challenge for any racer. Last year Szoke became only the third rider ever to claim back-to-back victories at the venue, joining Steve Crevier, who won in 1991 and ’92, and Francis Martin, victor in 1999 and 2000. Szoke’s other win came in 2002.
The biggest obstacle between Szoke and St-Eustache history is no doubt Keene, Ont.’s Jodi Christie, who lies second in the Superbike point standings after a runner-up finish at Shannonville. The 21-year-old rider of the Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR scored his first career national Superbike pole at St-Eustache last year and will be looking to build on that as he tries to end Szoke’s Superbike supremacy.
St-Eustache is noted for producing an upset winner, however, and one of the underdogs to watch will be second-year Pro Trevor Daley on the One Speed Chop Shop / Z1 Cycletech Suzuki GSX-R1000. The Mississauga, Ont. racer scored his first career podium finish with a third at Shannonville last month.
Popular veteran Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, Ont. should also be running at the front as the Trombino Racing / Royal Plumbing Aprilia RSV4 continues to show improved form. At last weekend’s RACE regional event at Shannonville Trombino scored an impressive second place after battling Christie for the win.
The Autodrome also has a history of favouring Quebec racers, and there is no more likely candidate than Sebastien Tremblay. The Longueuil, Que. rider placed fifth at Shannonville despite development delays with his new MotoNation / Laval Moto Kawasaki ZX-10R, but he qualified on the front row at St-Eustache last year and has established himself as one of the Mopar series’ rising stars.
This weekend’s racing also includes the second rounds of the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike, Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike, Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike and Honda CBR250R National Race Series.
Belfountain, Ont.’s Kenny Reidmann comes to St-Eustache with the Pro Sport Bike points lead after scoring his first career national win at Shannonville last month on the Reidmann Racing / Castrol Triumph 675.
Christie will be aiming to regain the advantage on his Honda CBR600RR as he bids for a fourth national class crown, while other riders to watch will include Sarnia, Ont.’s Will Hornblower aboard the Hornblower Racing / Blue Streak Yamaha YZF-R6 and Daley, who makes his 2014 class debut with the ProStar Motorsports-entered Honda CBR600RR.
London, Ont.’s Tim Toldnes leads the Amateur Superbike standings after taking his Inglis Cycle / Blue Streak Kawasaki ZX-10R to victory in the Shannonville season opener, while St-Lazare, Que.’s Stacey Nesbitt will attempt to win her second straight in Amateur Sport Bike with the OCM Racing / FTR / Honda Canada Honda CBR600RR.
Jacob Shaw-O’Leary of Falmouth, N.S. comes into the weekend leading the Honda CBR250R class standings after a win and a runner-up finish in the Shannonville doubleheader aboard his Pro Cycle-backed entry.
Action at Autodrome St-Eustache opens Friday with a full day of practice. Qualifying for all five national classes, including the Magneti Marelli SuperPole in the Pro Superbike division, will take place Saturday. Saturday’s action also includes the opening race for the CBR250R series. Feature races in all five national classes will run Sunday.
For ticket information call (450) 472-6222 or (514) 591-4388, or visit www.autodrome.ca.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race coverage of Saturday’s opening round of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series, as well as Sunday’s Hindle Pro Sport Bike and Mopar Pro Superbike feature events.
--From Professional Motorsports Productions