Round 3 of the 2017 VRRA race season happened to also be the 50th anniversary of the only Canadian GP race. The Vintage Festival usually brings in big crowds and large race grids, with a lot of US racers making the trek up to race on this famous track. With this event being the 50th anniversary of the Canadian GP in 1967, it made for a super busy and crowded race track at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
We were super excited to rip around Mosport again after blowing up a couple of motors here last year. With better bikes, hopefully better weather and hopefully us being more skilled riders, we were looking to get some decent track time in and not blow up any bikes on this super fast track.
We started the weekend off with a track day which gave us a full day to get a feel for the track and dial the bikes in if need be. The weather was great and we all finished Thursday feeling good about the rest of the races for the weekend.
Friday always has three practice rounds and the endurance race. We were able to get more track time in and had a fairly incident free endurance race. Fast guy Jamie Bosson replaced our James Reidy as he still is off for the season. After a lengthy red flag wait Cody went out for 7 laps or so before breaking a left side foot peg down the front straight but was able to get it around the track and back to the pits, where we made a quick change. We're still definitely not close to the front of our class but with one endurance race left we've been able to put a decent amount of laps in and hope to come mid pack by the end of the season.
Saturday was the start of the '67 Canadian GP celebrations. The day started off with a P1 '67 GP Celebration Race. Racers were required to be on period correct bikes with a mechanic to assist in bump starting the bikes for the sighting lap. It was great to see such a high caliber of vintage machines being raced on such a legendary track. Motorcycle royalty such as Phil Read, Michelle Duff, Steve Baker, Rod Gould, Dave Roper, Nick Ienatsch and more took to the track on an amazing collection of bikes to do a few parade laps.
The P2-Lightweight heat race started right after lunch and went fairly smoothly and everyone. Thomas and Cody posted some great times and we were looking good for the P1-350 heat later that afternoon. By the time we were getting our gear on, a big storm was knocking on Mosport's door and we were hoping the weather would hold for the 5 lap race. The race wasn't meant to be though and after a first lap red flag the sky opened up and with torrential rain and hail and everyone was waved in. We rolled into our pits as our pop-up tent blew away and all the rain from the top of the hill ran straight through our pits and camp site. Not realizing how quickly the race would be restarted after the deluge. We were scrambling to get back into wet leathers to make the grid for the restart of the P1-350 heat race. With close to 40 riders on the grid it was packed going into the first couple of corners. A rider hit Andrew going into Turn 2 causing him to crash. Luckily he was fine and the bike was mostly fine and would be ready to race again on Sunday. Thomas and Cody had great finishes coming in 6 & 7th in a stacked field. We spent the evening drying out our pit, repairing Andrew's bike and catching some of the '67 celebration events. Including an improptu Metal band who thought playing at 2 in the morning would help everyone's race preparation for Sunday.
On Sunday we were lucky to have great weather and a great day of riding. Andrew, Thomas and Cody made all of their practices and races. In P2 Lightweight, Thomas was able to crack the Top 10 on his P1-350 bike. P1-350 was a bit of a mess with a few racers getting out between waves for the P1-350 race, despite this Thomas was able to get a 7th place finish which could have easily been much closer to the podium.
All in all it was a great weekend of racing at this legendary track and it was extra special to be the for the 50th anniversary of the historic '67 GP race. Next up we're at the VRRA Grand Prix at Calabogie Motorsports Park Sept. 8, 9 & 10 for the last race weekend of the season. Can't wait!
The guys would like to thank all the marshalls and volunteers that made the weekend possible. They would also like to thank all the members of the VRRA that lent a hand and advice over the course of the weekend.