100% Race 2, AHRMA Nationals & AHRMA SW Regional Coverage by Kathy & Steve Caro
Cahuilla Creek Rocks
To the Classic Racing Beat
By Steve Caro
Photography by Kathryn Caro
Anza, CA. Sept. 19-20
After enduring the incredulousness of being rained out of their last event at Cahuilla Creek MX Park in July, the combined organizations of CALVMX and their national partner AHRMA crossed their fingers and squeezed their good luck charms in the hope that their scheduled vintage/post-vintage national event weekend in September would not suffer the same fate.
Clear skies and a steady cooling breeze helped abate the predicted triple digit temperatures in the Temecula and Anza regions. In spite of the ongoing draught conditions, Herculean efforts by Cahuilla Creek track personnel produced excellent courses for both the vintage and post vintage competitors.
Announcements at the riders meetings featured the introduction of motocross pioneer and long time vintage racing participant Bill Silverthorn as the new AHRMA Southwest Regional MX Coordinator and CALVMX president Frank Vrettas as the new Southwest Director of AHRMA MX, dirt track and trials competition. The anticipation is that the combined forces of Vrettas and Silverthorn will help revive AHRMA’S presence and influence in Southern California. As Vrettas stated so aptly, “Without AHRMA, there would never have been vintage racing on a national level”.
Attending his first CALVMX/AHRMA event was AHRMA’S National Off-Road Director Fred “900” Guidi. Spectating this year, Guidi hopes to be back next year as a competitor. His spirited banter with Vrettas included the promise of machines being provided for him at next year’s event.
Saturday’s program highlighted the Post Vintage (1975-92) machines. This was the time period when rapid advances in suspension, brakes and the use of liquid cooling occurred, establishing the basis for today’s ultra-high tech equipment.
50 Plus GP Expert has been a hotbed for close racing with today no exception. In moto one, CALVMX series regular Brad Morrison (Maico) faced off against AHRMA National competitor Rick Daniel (Yamaha). Morrison and Daniel made nearly identical starts and the duel was on from the moment they entered the main portion of the Cahuilla course. The two were never more than a few seconds apart throughout the moto. Daniel kept the pressure on Morrison, but was never able to get by the hard charging Morrison. Although they were being scored separately, Morrison took the moto win, with Daniels crossing the line close behind. CALVMX members Mike Tripes (Hon) and Dave Feeney (Hon) rounded out the podium finishers.
Rick Daniel displayed total domination in the second moto as the Yamaha ace blitzed his way to the front and only the intermittent challenges from Morrison kept him from running away with the moto. Scored separately by their different organization affiliations, it was Daniel taking the overall for AHRMA, with Morrison topping the CALVMX portion along with Tripes and Feeney in second and third overall.
One of the best races of the day involved a case of “racers- being-racers”. Scott “The Burner” Burnworth, entered in Open Age GP Pro faced off against professional stuntman and Australian native Mark Tearle who was entered in Open Age GP Expert. Leaving the scoring formalities to scorekeepers Shari and Joshua Maney, Burnworth and Tearle staged a battle royale during both of their motos. Both racers were astride versions of the legendary Honda CR-500. In moto one Burnworth grabbed an early lead with Tearle close behind. The sound of the big bore two-strokes, (now sadly a thing of the past in modern motocross due to the capitulation of sanctioning bodies to profit seeking manufacturers), rang off the nearby hills as Burnworth and Tearle repeatedly passed and repassed each other. Standing close to any corner guaranteed a blast of roost from both bikes peppering you. Tearle kept the pressure on, and at the finish, Burnworth was first to cross the line, followed by Tearle.
Burnworth repeated his tactic of the first moto by nabbing an early lead at the start of moto two. Tearle was directly behind him and it was obvious Tearle was biding his time before going for the lead spot. Near the mid-point of the race, Tearle used lapped traffic to power his way to the front. Burnworth immediately went into hunter mode and hurled his open class machine in hot pursuit. The savvy Tearle kept Burnworth’s attacks at bay and powered his way to the moto finish. Both men emerged winners in their individual classes while providing a great show for the spectators.
Other winners on Saturday included Don Hansing (Mai) in AHRMA 50 PLUS GP Intermediate and Ultima 500 Intermediate, Scott Burnworth (Oss) in Open Age GP Pro and Scott Piddington (Kaw) in GP-1 125 Intermediate. They were joined by Honda mounted Kirk Jackson in GP3-125 Expert and Brian Tracy (Yam & Kaw) a double winner in GP1-250 Expert and GP3-500 Expert and Honda mounted Nicky Trevino (AHRMA) in Ultima 125 Novice and Open Age Intermediate.
Sunday’s event featured the first generation machines of American motocross. A high-quality selection of pre-1975 bikes filled the pit area with historic brand names such as Husqvarna, CZ, and Maico in attendance. Leading off the day were the pre-1970 Premier machines from the days of “rough scrambles” and the dawn of American motocross. Len Anderson put in two strong performances on his custom built BSA C-25 to top the AHRMA Premier Lightweight Intermediate class. In AHRMA’s 70 Plus Vintage Expert class, Charlie Higdon on an immaculate BSA Twin took the overall win over fellow seven-decade man Larry Ubaldi on a rarely seen Matchless. Holding up the banner for early two-strokes was Gary Collman on one of his numerous Greeves topping the CALVMX Premier Intermediate class.
Unquestionably, one of the best match-ups on the day was in the AHRMA 50 Plus Expert class. CZ mounted Clark Jones, the founder of Noleen Racing, and AHRMA series veteran Rick Daniel (Yam) battled virtually bar-to-bar in both motos. The first moto saw Jones with the lead entering the main portion of the course, with Daniel directly behind him. The pair set a torrid pace during the moto, launching huge amounts of dirt exiting the corners and sailing over the numerous jumps. Although Jones led from start to finish, his lead was tenuous as Daniel kept up the pressure to the end. Finishing third in the moto was CALVMX regular Brent Wilkinson (Suz).
Jones and Daniel once again led the pack up the starting straight at the start of moto two. The distinctive sounds of the CZ and Yamaha echoed around the track as neither rider conceded an inch to the other. Daniel continually closed in on Jones’ rear wheel only to see him squirt away exiting the turns. At the finish, it was Jones with the overall win, followed by Daniel.
Newly appointed AHRMA Regional Director Bill Silverthorn showed he can still handle a Husqvarna at age 70 as he dueled with Maico mounted Walt Foster in both motos of the AHRMA 60 Plus Expert class. Silverthorn led for most of the first moto with Foster steadily closing in from the second spot. Midway thru the moto, Foster passed Silverthorn for the lead, with Alex Reid’s Bultaco a few lengths behind. Foster took the moto win followed by Silverthorn and Reid.
With the class overall victory on the line, Silverthorn again powered his Swedish machine to the front trailed by Foster and Reid. Foster powered his way to the front midway thru lap two, with Silverthorn immediately mounting a challenge in second. What could have been another start-to-finish duel ended when Silverthorn’s front wheel washed out in a high speed corner, (“Bill forgot Husky’s don’t turn like Maico’s” remarked one rider who witnessed the crash) putting him on the ground hard. Silverthorn was soon up and on his bike, but it was too late to challenge Foster who clinched the overall, with Reid taking second overall, followed by Silverthorn.
Also taking overall wins on the day were Jeff Snyder (Hon) in Sportsman 125 Intermediate, Larry Ubaldi (Mat) in AHRMA Premier 500 Expert, Tim Vasquez (CZ) in 50 Plus Novice and long time competitor Craig Walker (CZ) in 60 Plus Intermediate. Mike Padilla (Hon) showed near expert level speed to take the overall in Sportsman 250 Intermediate, followed by Maico mounted Norm Himaka and Tim McIntyre (CZ).
CALVMX competitors return to Cahuilla Creek on October 10 for round three of their regional series. An open invitation is extended to any rider with a bike built prior to 1992 as the club has classes for all bikes and rider skill levels.
Further photos and race coverage can be found at: