2 Articles from the 2015 CALVMX, 100% Series 1, Round 1
Snapshots from the CALVMX Season Opener
By Tom Corley
Classic Motocross Invades
Elsinore for 2015 Opener
By Steve Caro
Photography by Kathryn Caro
Elsinore, CA. Jan 24
To the uninitiated, the scene at the Lake Elsinore MX Park on the cool and windy morning of January 24 must have created a feeling of having time traveled back some three plus decades. Instead of the now undistinguished cookie-cutter like four-stroke powered race bikes, the pit area was populated with a potpourri of classic race machines in all shapes and sizes from the original golden age of American motocross, the early 1970’s to the late 1980’s. The classic sounds of air-cooled two-strokes with their “fin ringing” being warmed up, along with their later era liquid-cooled brethren soon filled the air, along with the distinctive smell of pre-mix. It was time for the 2015 CALVMX/100% vintage motocross season to begin.
The upturn in the overall economy and lower fuel prices proved to be a bonus for the classic racing world. The packed pit area of bikes resulted in an official entry count of 326. Machinery ranged from diminutive mini-cycles and crowd pleasing three-wheelers to a large number of vintage and post vintage machines with displacements ranging from 100cc up to the infamous 500cc two-stroke horsepower monsters!
Along with the huge variety of machines, it was great to see numerous racers returning to the racing fold after long periods of absence. Included in this group were Brad and Chris Roysdon, the heavy equipment extraordinaires, Charles Hilton and John Grebenstein. Joining these returning racers was Tracy Bray from Australia. Bray was given a large ovation at the riders meeting when he was introduced to the crowd.
A walking tour of the pits led to sightings of rare machines such as John Adamo’s 1965 Bultaco Metisse and Scott Piddington’s freshly restored 1978 Kawasaki KX 125 model A4. With only a short time for testing and jetting, Piddington was pleased to report the bike ran flawlessly all day. He gave a great deal of credit to fellow race Pete Wright who owns the same machine. Being an extremely rare variant, Wright proved to be an invaluable source of advice, parts and general support in Piddington’s quest to return the machine to action. The hard work paid off as Piddington rode his restored jewel to an impressive fourth overall in GP-1-125 Intermediate with Wright following him in fifth.
Another rider with a “new” machine was ultra-fast Brian Tracey on his recently acquired 1979 YZ 250 Yamaha. Purchased off of Craig’s list, Tracey said he’d only ridden the machine around Christmas time. Now residing in the Washington State area, Tracey was able to take time off from work to make the trek to the season opener. His ear-to-ear grin and visible eagerness to get the race day started was obvious. As always, his blazing speed was a sight to behold as he rocketed around the course.
The season opener featured not only a great day of racing, but also included the traditional awards ceremony for 2014 class champions and the highly anticipated raffle with the grand prize being a 1974 Husqvarna WR 250. Miki Rogers was the lucky winner of the classic machine.
One other special occasion was acknowledged on the day, that being former factory racer, 250 Vice outdoor Champion, and ultra-fast vintage racer Scott “The Burner” Burnworth’s birthday. Entered as “Birthday Boy”, Burnworth ran at his usual fast pace and engaged in some great racing. A special birthday cake replete with an image of Burnworth during his factory heyday was on display in the pit area.
Travis McCaw carried his domination of the Vintage Sportsman 250 Intermediate class from the 2014 season into 2015 with yet another clean sweep of the motos. In the first race, McCaw (Hon) mastered the tricky “old school” hand-on-helmet flag start and quickly powered his way to the front of the pack. Trailing McCaw was Jim Barker (Hon) and CZ mounted Brian Larson. By the midway point, it was obvious McCaw had mastered the man made Elsinore course with it’s numerous flat, no berm, corners which put throttle control and body positioning at a premium. At the finish, it was McCaw, Barker and Larson in the top three spots.
When the green flag dropped for moto two, bikes were jammed into gear and the large pack thundered into turn one in a cloud of two-stroke smoke. Emerging from the cloud of smoke and dust with the lead was McCaw, followed by Tim McIntyre (CZ) and Barker. Just as he had done for the majority of his races last season, McCaw put in five flawless laps for a clean sweep of both motos and the class overall victory. McIntyre crossed the finish line in second and his combined 5-2 scores garnered him third overall. Barker kept the two front-runners in sight throughout the moto and his 2-3 scores earned him second overall.
Scott Burnworth celebrated his birthday in grand style with a four moto battle against newcomer Michael Lapaglia, a former pro-ranked motocross and supercross competitor. In Vintage Sportsman 250 Pro, Ossa mounted Burnworth swapped the lead position repeatedly with Lapaglia’s unique day glow orange colored frame CZ throughout the first moto with neither rider gaining more than a few bike lengths on the other. Lapaglia edged Burnworth for the win in the first moto and “Burner” returned the favor in the second moto to take the overall win on the day.
The Burnworth-Lapaglia duel continued in Vintage Open Age Pro. Repeating what they had done previously in the 250 class, the two once again swapped the lead repeatedly, with each rider trying different lines around the course in an attempt to get the advantage over the other. Such was their speed, they were soon slicing their way the field of novice, intermediate and even the expert ranked riders. Burnworth emerged triumphant over Lapaglia in the first moto, while Lapaglia battled to the last corner to win the second moto and overall victory in the class.
Other class winners on the day included Craig Furman (Hon) topping the GP-1-125 Intermediate class with Kevin Connelly (Yam) second overall. Kyle Winton took his newly acquired Suzuki RM-125 to the top of the GP-3-125 Experts, with Ed Tashjian (Suz) and Ron Renzulli (Hon) filling out the podium. Making the long drive from Arizona worked well for Shawn Culp (CZ) as he topped the Vintage Sportsman 500 Expert division with 1-2 moto scores.
GP-3-250 Novice action saw young Nolan Wright (Kaw) taking the overall victory in his first effort in the class. Normally seen in the Junior Class, Wright has been a fixture at CALVMX races for years as he accompanied his father Pete Wright throughout the seasons. It was encouraging to see a younger racer taking to the track on a vintage/post-vintage machine.
Kaley Martin (Yam) took top honors in Women’s Intermediate and Kerri Kress (Yam) used 3-1 scores to take the overall in Women’s Novice, while Tom Decrescente took top honors in the 250 Three Wheeler Expert class and Jerry Nocciolo swept both motos to top the 250 Three Wheeler Intermediates.
With an opening day entry count of over 300 riders, all signs point to the 2015 season being one of the most successful in CALVMX history. It was especially heartening to see a large number of pre-1975 machines returning to the track, as recent seasons had seen a depressingly low number of the machines entered during the season. All competitors are strongly urged to bring their pre-1975 racers with them and to encourage anyone they know who has a pre-75 stashed away in a garage or shed to get it out to the track for some fun filled racing.
Round two will see CALVMX making its first appearance at Cahuilla Creek for a combined CALVMX regional and AHRMA National on the weekend of February 21-22. Post-Vintage and 3-Wheelers will have the track on Saturday and the Vintage classes will take to the course on Sunday.
Further photos and race coverage can be found at: