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Legends on Display at VRRA's 50th Anniversary bash at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

The Celebration portion of the Vintage Road Racing Association’s 1967 Canadian Grand Prix 50th Anniversary Celebration was in full swing this morning at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, starting with a five lap demonstration race complete with standing start, showcasing the machines from the era of the Mosport FIM World round half a century ago.

With the race complete, the famous ten turn, 4 kilometer venue, unchanged in layout from the sole Canadian World round fifty years ago, was turned over to a variety of famous racers and important machines.

Team Obsolete from the U.S. had their central racer Dave Roper as well as Michelle Duff aboard classic some of the Team’s classic-era British singles. Canadian Duff, a 1960s works Yamaha G.P. racer, used an Arter Matchless G50.  This bike was very similar to the machine she raced to place third behind Hailwood (Honda) and soon-to-be-crowned World Champ Agostini (MV Agusta) fifty years ago in the Feature 500cc event, while Roper was on an ex-Duff, Surtees-Special AJS.

Multi-time world Champ Phil Read took to the track on a newer race bike, a TZ250 two-stroke Yamaha that currently leads the VRRA Series in the hands of owner Eddie Brunet.  1960s ace Rod Gould, another ex-works Yamaha rider, demonstrated an early 1970s Yamaha two-stroke twin racer.

Among the famous racers on hand but not riding was Yvon Duhamel, a top Canadian at Mosport for the G.P. in 1967 for Yamaha Motor Canada (then Deeley) and a 1970s legend aboard Kawasaki triple equipment.  “Why-von” is also the father of top American Superbike competitor Miguel Duhamel.

Another 1970s Canadian fast guy on hand to visit is Jim Allen, who as a young racer competed in the 125cc Grand Prix class back in 1967 aboard a bored-out 80cc Suzuki!  Allen went on to considerable success on Yamaha equipment, especially the 1970s four-cylinder TZ750 rocket. 

Two of the famous four-cylinder, in-line two-strokes TZ750s took to the track for demonstration, one piloted by former World Champ and 1970s Mosport star Steve Baker.  Baker, from just across the B.C. border in Bellingham, Washington, rode for Yamaha Motor Canada in the 1970s.  His bike is owned by Fran Hall of Detroit who built the bike for competing at the Phillip Island Australia International Challenge Races in January of 2018. CMR Racing Products Inc of Trenton Ontario owned by Denis Curtis built the complete chassis and fuel tank kit. Nick Ienatsch's bike is a Spondon-framed TZ750 owned by Rusty Bigley of Pennsylvania, who is the TZ750 engine builder of both bikes.

The afternoon-s Schedule includes a range of events for the wide variety of VRRA classes, prior to a full day’s competition on Sunday in the HB Cycle-backed Vintage Classic event.

Saturday, 12 August 2017 13:06 Published in News


VRRA 1967 Canadian Grand Prix 50th Anniversary Celebration Gets Underway at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

The Vintage Road Racing Association’s 1967 Canadian Grand Prix 50th Anniversary Celebration kicked of at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Friday with practice and the traditional Two Hour Endurance race.  Using the same 4.03-kilometer-long venue that hosted Canada’s only motorcycle Grand Prix (now MotoGP) event back in our 100th Anniversary year, an impressive entry was on hand in preparation for tomorrow’s big anniversary celebration.

The Two Hour started with 33 bikes taking the waved Canadian Flag, but a red flag soon forced a lengthy delay for track clean-up.  When the race got back underway, a good dice developed between the Joe Bar Racing Yamaha FZR600 of Eddie Brunet and Daniel Rinfret and the similar Team Ludicrous Speed FZR600 of race starter Kirby Crosby and Darrell “Boom Boom” Cooney.

Cooney was almost a lap down after their Pit Stop, but when Brunet took over the Joe Bar entry the two Lightweight Grand Prix stars staged a lengthy battle before Cooney managed to pulled away, Ludicrous Speed eventually completing 53 laps overall to beat the Joe Bar group by just 23 seconds.

Third overall, one lap down, belonged to the HB Cycle backed Yamaha FZR600 of Phil Hodgson, Jason Covello and Doug Andrich.  HB are one of the major supporters of Canadian Vintage competition, and their podium result meant that Middleweight category machinery earned the overall top three in the Two Hour, too.

Yamaha FZR600s were the top Production bikes in Canadian National Pro and Amateur 600cc Sport Bike class events for street-based machines in 1989, and remained successful against the developing Honda competition into the early 1990s.

Tomorrow’s activities centre on demonstration on-track in support of the 50th Anniversary of the sole Canadian Grand Prix, with a celebration event in the evening featuring many of the racers from the event held back on Saturday, September 30, 1967.  Saturday afternoon includes a busy selection of events, with a full VRRA program on Sunday.

The Grand Prix races fifty years ago included classes for the 500cc, 250cc and 125cc World Championships, as well as a 250cc Junior Event for local racers.  Among the stars who raced at "old Mosport" on that cool afternoon were Mike "the bike" Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, Bill Ivy and Phip Read.  Mike Duff annd Yvon Duhamel lead the strong Canadian contingent.

Friday, 11 August 2017 19:23 Published in News


Canada's Biggest Motorcycle Road Racing Event Of The Year Set For CTMP

(BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – Aug. 9, 2017) Canada’s biggest motorcycle road racing event of the year is set for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) August 18-20.

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 16:12 Published in News


BCR Pro Rookie Of The Year Showdown Coming Up At CTMP

Bowmanville, ON (August 8, 2017)- Fans of the Mopar CSBK National Superbike Series can expect a close battle for Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year overall honors during the final two races of the 2017 season with the Double Header weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, August 18-20.

Tuesday, 08 August 2017 16:47 Published in News


Canadian Tire Motorsports Park Set To Host the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship Double Header Season Finale

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – (July 31, 2017) Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) is set to host Canada’s top motorcycle road racers August 18-20 as they compete for the national Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship.

Monday, 31 July 2017 20:26 Published in News


Doug Lawrence On 2017 National Plans

“It hasn’t really been a long off-season, but it feels like it at times,” explains former Canadian national flat track champion Doug Lawrence, who will make the move to the Pro road race ranks this season aboard a Suzuki GSX-R1000. Lawrence announced his new Suzuki Canada program for the 2017 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at the Toronto Motorcycle Show last weekend.

“I’m excited to get a program to ride the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 in 2017,” confirms the man some call ‘Fresh.’ “I’m excited to go road racing, that’s what it comes down to. I’ve had some offers, with different bikes, from great people, and really I’ve just been trying to figure out what could work the best for me. I appreciate all the help from everyone, and I think the Suzuki program is right for me. My aim is to build with that, to get the ball rolling with Suzuki and their return (to Canadian Superbike).

“I’ll get a bike, hopefully, by mid-March, and get it track-ready,” Lawrence continued. “For me, with my level of road racing experience, it’s essential to just get on the track and get riding. I need bodywork and suspension, but that’s really all I will need to get out and start riding. Then I can get going from there, get the feedback for the people who are working with me.

“I think that usually, with Suzuki, things are pretty close to perfect, and this bike has been in development for some time,” says Lawrence about his weapon for 2017. “I’m confident that the new GSX-R1000 will be good.

“People tell me it doesn’t make sense to test on old tires, things like that, and I do understand the advice,” notes Lawrence, whose entry into the Pro SBK ranks is perhaps the most interesting story of the 2017 CSBK preseason. “But I have only ridden a road race bike for seven or eight days in total. I really just need to get some laps in before we really start development, doing race laps, race-distance testing. I just need to get the bike underneath me, really fell it, and go from there. I’d like to ride Grand Bend, Mosport, Shannonville, before those national rounds. I would like to go down south, I have some good connections in Ohio and Michigan. We’ll see what happens.

“I have to manage my plan, not get too overwhelmed with stuff – I have been so excited over the past few months. I need to get one motorcycle ready, and go from there.”

As far as flat track racing goes in 2017, the former No. 1 plateholder is depending on his mechanic and father, Doug Sr, to lead the charge.

“My Dad is excited for me, and wants to see where I’m going. He’s not a huge road racing fan,” Lawrence laughs. “He knows what I have going on, and he wants me to do it. He’s building another flat track bike for me, to ride in the new Twins class in the States.”

However, Lawrence did admit that following the national CSBK tour will curb his Canadian flat track appearances.

“My riding in the Flat Track Canada national series will be restricted. I raced 26 weekends last year, and I got a bit overwhelmed in the last half of the season. My mind was focused on the CSBK round at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) after I started my first national at St-Eustache, and I know my flat track program suffered for that. I’m not committed to too-too much in the States, and fortunately my dad says ‘Hey, we’ve got this bike ready for you whenever you want to go for it and ride.’ 

“Right now, I have a plan for doing the first two American half-miles before the CSBK nationals start, but I have to dedicated my time and mind to the Suzuki program for the CSBK national series. After the final CSBK round at CTMP, there are still four or five American Flat Track races I can get to in the United States. Those eight or so AMA races are at racetracks I want to ride at as well.

“I have some goals in flat track that I want to achieve, and I feel like I can turn up at those races and be right up to speed.”

As far as support is concerned, Lawrence admits that “there is lots of talking going on, and I have been waiting to get the Suzuki deal confirmed. I have supporters and friends who have helped, and I know they are there for me, and now I have to get out there and work on it. I know that we can’t have the big factory deals of 10 or 20 years ago, but I really wanted to do it, to race the CSBK series.”

Lawrence will be visiting several tracks for the first time, including the home of the famed east-coast ‘roller coaster,’ Atlantic Motorsport Park, in Shubenacadie, NS.

“I’m excited to go places like Shubenacadie,” Lawrence states. “During the off-season, I have told people I actually had more fun racing at St-Eustache then I did at Mosport. I’ve been watching videos, and it seems like you have to be really accurate at Atlantic Motorsport Park. You have to minimize mistakes. It’s another track with a lot of character, lots of uphill and downhill. It’s all new to me.

“I think the Shannonville opener will be really tough; lots of the guys in the series grew up riding there. Grand Bend will be more of a level playing field, not too many of the national guys have a lot of laps around there. Mosport is at the end of the year; I like that place. The speed is a little higher than flat track, and it’s really flowing, but the track is in some ways forgiving. By that time, I aim to be up to speed with the faster group, and I’m comfortable with the drafting.

“I don’t have any specific goals in terms of finishing positions,” Lawrence humbly admits. “I’m more concerned with getting comfortable on the bike, be able to adapt to riding in the Pro ranks on a big bike. The Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year is a goal, but that isn’t my only target. I want to do better in every race. I have to wipe the slate clean after every race, good or bad. It’s a rebuilding process and there is a new race track at the next round. I can’t get too high, can’t get too low.

“I’ve been through all of these things in my flat track career,” summarized Canada’s newest Pro Superbike racer. It’s a different discipline, but it’s still racing a motorcycle.”

Saturday, 25 February 2017 08:57 Published in News


Young Wraps Up CSBK Season Third In Championship And As Pro Rookie of the Year

@benyoung_86 •@cdnsuperbike •@CTMPOfficial •BOWMANVILLE, Ont. - August 23, 2016 – Collingwood, Ont.’s Ben Young wrapped up his Pro MOPAR Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK) rookie season this past weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park securing third in the Championship standings and was honoured with the Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year Award.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 21:39 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Stacey Nesbitt - Canadian Superbike Championship Rounds 5 & 6 Report

@StatoniRacing  @cdnsuperbike @CTMPOfficial BOWMANVILLE, ON. – August 19-21 saw the final rounds of the 2016 Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 21:24 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Leon Places Fourth Overall In The Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship

@cdnsuperbike •@CTMPOfficial • Bowmanville, ON (August 23, 2016)- Royal Distributing’s Michael Leon had another strong weekend, with fifth and sixth place finishes in the final two races of the season at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 21:17 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Inside Motorcycles' Dave Minnett takes two top fives in Ninja 300 series at CTMP

Inside Motorcycles vintage race contributor Dave Minnett (Rockwood, ON), a regular competitor with the Vintage Road Racing Association (VRRA), stepped into the world of modern machinery when he competed as a guest media rider in the Kawasaki Ninja 300 Race Series doubleheader during the season-ending Canadian Superbike Championship double round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on the weekend of August 19-21.

After missing the Friday morning practice session, Minnett stepped in for the second session and slowly improved his lap times down to a best 1:47.07, sixth-best in the session. The other media reps in attendance were JP Schroeder, riding for CMG Online, and Jacob Black of Autotrader.ca. These two outlets had quite a good-natured online spitting match building up to the race weekend (thanks to CMG editor Mark Richardson), but after day one, Schroeder was the fastest of the journalists at 1:45.74, almost a second and a half ahead of Minnett. Black, whose pride far outmatches his motorcycle race experience, qualified 11th.

While the guest riders were on track to spread the word about the affordable Ninja 300 spec class to the public, there was a class full of real racers taking priority at the legendary track formerly known as Mosport. On that note, Windsor, NS teenager Brandon Pemberton was the fastest in practice with a 1:43.31.

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Green machines head off after the lights drop in Saturday's race. IM rider Minnett qualified fifth.

Minnett improved to a 1:46.4 in Saturday morning's lone qualifying session, quickest of the journalists and good enough for fifth overall on the grid. Pemberton improved his time to a 1:43.04 but was outpaced by fellow teen Jared Walker (Oakville, ON), who set a new track record at 1:42.30. Eric Quintin (Ile Perot, QC) took third at 1:44.01.

During Saturday's official race (the first of two scheduled for the weekend), Minnett got a mediocre start but managed to remain in the top five for the majority of the race. He and Dartmouth, NS rider Patrick Pelletier lost ground to the top three of Walker, Pemberton and Quintin early on, but used the draft to make time back up on Quintin, and by the closing laps had caught up to the Quebec rider. After a smart pass in turn 8, Minnett held Quintin off by 0.090 seconds to earn third place, having run a best lap of 1:43.92, his best lap of the weekend. Walker reset his own track record to 1:42.16 and took the win four seconds ahead of Pemberton.

He may have crossed the line more than 20 seconds after winner Walker, but third place was as good as a victory for the humble but focused Minnett.

"Coming in, I said I would be happy with a top ten," said Minnett after the race. "Of course that was an outright lie, because even second place is only first loser, and we all want the top spot. The reality is that I had no idea what the competition was and whether or not I could make it to the top 5.  Let's just say it was a very nice surprise to get there."

CMG Online's JP Schroeder finished in sixth, while Black finished tenth. Due to his "guest" status Minnett wasn't given the third place trophy, which went to Quintin.

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Minnett stalks Eric Quintin and Patrick Pelletier exiting turn 3. He would eventually surpass both riders to take third place on Saturday.

On Sunday Minnett backed up his third-place finish the day before with a solid fifth while Walker, Pemberton and Quintin took the three podium spots, respectively. The race was red-flagged on lap seven when Autotrader.ca's Black lost control coming out of turn 10 and blasted into some hay bales at a high rate of speed. Black received a few bruises and cuts from the crash but was seen walking around trackside shortly after. CMG's Schroeder wound up sixth, giving Minnett a sweep of the media portion of the Ninja 300 Race Series doubleheader.

Minnett, a veteran of the track but mostly on vintage machinery, was impressed by the track capabilities of the Kawasaki Ninja 300. "It's quite impressive, really. Once the suspension was set for my weight (thanks John Sharrard), it handled quite well. There was still room for further development though, as I felt it wouldn't turn in as quick as I liked. But the Dunlop tires are surprisingly good and I never felt I was outriding them. After a couple of brisk warm-up laps to get some heat into them, they were always confidence-inspiring. The engine is surprisingly good for it's size and pulls very smoothly all the way to redline. The power shift feature is so convenient, especially when you want to maintain streamlining in the tucked position - no gear shift wrangling required!"

As far as commenting on the series itself, Minnett was even more impressed than he expected at the fun and competitiveness of the Kawasaki-only spec class. "Wow, what an awesome little machine and series to go with it!" said a smiling Minnett post-race. "This is a relatively low cost way to go racing. A set of tires will last two weekends, maybe more... the fuel is cheap, and because it's a spec class, the fun factor is just as high as on something far more expensive to maintain. Because it has modest power, the only way to decrease lap times is to stay off the brakes and stay on the throttle. I'm sure that a weekend on the baby Ninja has improved my cornering skills - just because there is no other way to make it go faster.

"Who knew 38 hp could be this much fun!"

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Minnett was impressed by the track capabilities of the Ninja 300 and the fun competition the spec class offers.

The Kawasaki Ninja 300 Race Series continues in 2017 in conjunction with the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship national tour. For full results and final points standings, visit www.csbk.ca. For more on the Ninja 300 Race Series, visit www.kawasakiracing.ca

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 17:20 Published in Reports, Results & Points


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