For the last 4 years we've been making our way to Canadian Tire Motorsports park each August to catch the VRRA Vintage Festival. It was always great to see people racing and wrenching on old bikes and every year we left saying 'next year'. Well Thomas and I finally pulled the trigger on a bike this fall and a couple of weeks ago made our way to the Shannonville Motosports park to see what it was all about. Our friends James & Cody caught the bug as well and joined us so between the 4 of us we had three Honda CB350's.
The VRRA (Vintage Road Racing Association) is a volunteer ran organization that promotes racing on vintage motorcycles. For many, many years they've been giving people who love old bikes an opportunity to race them on great tracks around Ontario. The season consists of four race weekends. This years schedule is as follows:
Quinte TT / June 2-5 Shannonville, ON
Summer Classic / July 8-10 Grand Bend, ON
Vintage Festival / Aug. 12-14 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, ON
VRRA GP / Sept. 9-11 Calabogie, ON
Our weekend was pretty jam packed as we were trying to get as much riding in as possible to learn the track, not to mention just learning how to road race in general. Thursday was our race school which is put on by the VRRA. Heather & Dave run a great school and we learned a ton thanks to the awesome instructors and volunteers. Whether you want to get into racing or simply become a better street rider, their school is the cheapest way to get your race license and improve your skills!
Friday we had signed up for a full day practice and the 2hr endurance race figuring it was a pretty decent way to spend as much time as possible on the track. We were able to keep it upright and running for the whole race and were able to finish near the middle of the pack (around 20 teams entered) due to crashes or bike breakdowns.
Throughout the weekend we blown away by the VRRA family. We were really made to feel welcome and offered a ton of support on everything from track tips, answering all our questions on tech, registration etc. helping us get James bike running properly over two days with parts loaned, donated and time given to help us out. Truly a great group of people doing it because they love it. We really appreciated everyone's kindness and generosity.
Saturday was the start of the actual race weekend. Everyone gets two practices in the morning before the individual heats for different classes of bikes. Sunday follows the same schedule but with the final races instead of heats. Your time from your heat determines your grid position for Sunday's final race. Despite the fact that we all have cb350's Cody & James qualify for P1350 and our bike is kind of on the fence because of it's heavily modified frame. We might see at our next race if we can run it in both P1 & P2 lightweight but stayed in P2 lightweight for this weekend.
It was a great weekend of racing, working on bikes and meeting fellow racers and old bike lovers. We were all able to shave about 10-15 seconds off our lap times from the start of the weekend to end and we left feeling good about the rest of the season.
Thanks again to all the VRRA organizers, volunteers, racers and supporters for a great first weekend. The next race we're able to make will be Mosport in August, if you want to come and watch some great racing, check out some old bikes make sure you save the date, it's only about an hour and change away from Toronto at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park!