CALVMX DROPS THE GATE
ON 2016 SEASON
By Steve Caro
Photography by Kathryn Caro
Lake Elsinore, CA. Feb 6, 2016
After being delayed for a week due to a forecast of high winds and rain (which proved to be extremely accurate), the vintage racing fraternity of CALVMX roared back into action with the start of the first of six races comprising series one of their 100% Products backed racing season. Clear skies, comfortable temperatures and just a trace of breeze greeted the racers at the Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park. A very good turnout of both vintage and post-vintage era machines were on hand to take on the modified main course.
The man-made course at Elsinore, carved from an ancient lakebed always provides a unique challenge to the classic racing fraternity. Great communication between club organizers and track personnel led to a challenging yet forgiving course for the machines whose age varied between 24 to 50+ years old (along with their riders!)
On the track, Steve Furman kicked off his season in fine form with a two-moto sweep of the Marty Tripes 100cc Works Revenge Factory Support Intermediate class. Furman screamed his diminutive Yamaha around the sinuous Elsinore course ahead of second and third overall finishers Charlie Hamill (Yam) and Norm Himaka (Yam). Fellow Yamaha racer Scott Piddington used his 3-4 scores to take fourth overall in the class.
Noleen Racing founder Clark Jones is always a threat when he makes an appearance at a vintage race. As he has often done in the past, Jones proved chronological age is a merely a number as he totally dominated the 50+ Vintage Expert class on his CZ. In moto one, Jones timed the gate perfectly and rocketed down the start straight and into a commanding lead that would go virtually unchallenged throughout the moto. Behind him, Steve Ellis’ Can-Am and Tim McIntyre (CZ) vied for second, followed by veteran campaigner Brent Wilkinson (Suz). Jones went on to take the moto win, followed by Ellis and McIntyre.
Jones made quick work of the second moto with yet another holeshot/disappearing ride. Unfazed by a course that had been thoroughly abraded by 14 previous motos, Jones demonstrated that a bike with four inches of rear shock travel and drum brakes can still fill the “need-to-moto” urge. As in the first moto, Ellis pushed his Can-Am hard to clinch second overall, followed by McIntyre’s consistent 3-3 scores to round out the podium.
Moving into the era of long travel machines, Suzuki mounted Kent Musgrave got his season going the right way in the 50+ G.P. Intermediate class by taking the overall win. In the first moto, Musgrave engaged in a full moto duel with Tim Hoole (Suz), Ron Rinden (Hon) and Kevin Rogers (Hon). Musgrave and Hoole pushed each other hard, with Rinden’s booming CR-500 close behind. Near the end of the moto, Hoole was able to move ahead enough to take the top spot, followed by Musgrave and Rinden.
The second moto saw Musgrave exit the starting straight with a slight lead over the Maico of Don Hansing and Rinden. The top three circled the course without change for the first three laps. Things got interesting near the end of lap three, as Hoole had powered his way thru the pack and began to press the lead group. By the white flag lap, Hoole had taken over the second spot and began to close in on Musgrave. Musgrave kept his cool and powered his way to the moto and overall win, followed by second overall Hoole, with Rinden in third.
Although “modern” motocross has essentially turned it’s back on the two-stroke 125cc bike, they still hold a prominent place in both vintage and post-vintage racing. In the GP2-125 Expert class, Mark Sandzimier added to the Suzuki brand win tally with his overall victory in the class. Squaring off against the always-competitive David MacDonald (Yam), the two engaged in a five-lap blitz of the Elsinore course with neither rider seeming to back off the throttle whatsoever. MacDonald prevailed in the first moto to take the win, followed by Sandzimier and Travis McCaw (Hon).
With the classic sound of high-revving two-strokes filling the area, moto two saw Sandzimier and MacDonald resume their battle. With their lightweight machines skimming over the heavily rutted and choppy course (i.e.: traditional motocross), Sandzimier and MacDonald kept up a torrid pace which saw them put several bike lengths between themselves and third place Micah Davis (Hon) on the only four stroke powered machine. Sandzimier would not be topped in this moto as the seasoned racer powered his way to both the moto and overall win, followed by MacDonald and Davis who used 4-3 tallies for third overall.
Round two of the 2016 CALVMX season will be a two-day event in conjunction with AHRMA at the ever popular Cahuilla Creek MX Park in nearby Anza February 20-21. Staged as a combined CALVMX regional and AHRMA vintage/post-vintage event, a large number of entrants are expected for both days of racing. Vintage racing leads off on Saturday, which will include a salute to honored guest Mark Blackwell, whose accomplishments include being the first 500cc National Champion, AMA Hall of Fame recipient, and one of the first Americans to face the challenge of the European motocross masters in the early 1970’s. Sunday will be for the Post-Vintage racers, CALVMX vintage racers, and for the feet-up crowd, an AHRMA sanctioned trials event.
Further photos and race coverage can be found at: