@VRRACANADA • Shannonville Motorsport Park, June 8 - The sounds of open exhaust vintage racebikes echoed like thunder and the smell of Castrol racing oil filled the air at Shannonville Motorsport Park as the VRRA (Vintage Road Racing Association) held its first race of the season at the popular Quinte TT.
The weather was perfect and the racing was close, and with record attendance, fans and spectators were treated to some incredible vintage and classic motorcycle race action. Over 170 competitors registered for the weekend, the grids were packed with classes fielding as many as 42 racers at a time vying for the lead going into turn 1.
With a large number of motorcycles now eligible to race, the sport has never seen the popularity it is enjoying today. The VRRA has four eras or “period” classifications for racing, with several ages, models and sizes eligible to compete in each period. Period 1 includes machines built before 1967. Period 2 has a cut-off date at 1976. Period 3 goes up to 1982 while Period 4 goes to 1989 with each one of the period categories separated into different class structures. For complete listings of eligible machinery check the VRRA rules at www.vrra.ca.
The big winner this weekend was Ste-Marthe QC rider Louie Raffa. The Honda Canada/Hamel Honda-sponsored rider took his Scott Miller/Fast Company-prepared 1989 Honda Hawk 650 to three class wins in Period 4, taking the top step of the podium in Formula 3 Formula 2 and Formula 1. Raffa handily won in all three events, with his best challenge coming early on in the Formula 3 event when club vice-president Dominic Aubry chased him all the way to the flag. Jamie Barkley claimed the last step of the podium in a close third.
Aubry also earned a large lead in the Period 3 Middleweight round but sputtered to a stop on the penultimate lap with a fuelling issue, handing the win to Mick Vaclavik from Thornbury, ON. In Period 1 Open competition, Peter Hurst battled race long with Paul Brubaker and Doug Forbes but pulled out to take the win in the latter stages of the race. Local rider Brian Madeley took third in the Period 3 Lightweight class and Colin Duncan from Brighton finished second just ahead of Steve Hoffarth in Period 4 Formula 1.
The next event for the VRRA will be on July 17-19 at Grand Bend Motoplex in Grand Bend, ON. The next motorcycle race at Shannonville Motorsport Park will be on July 3-5 when the RACE SuperSeries resumes with Round 2 of the season.
By Don Empey, for Shannonville Motorsport Park