2022 VIRGINIA CITY GP

The 51st annual Virginia City Grand Prix took place this weekend with a turnout of almost 900 riders. The tiny 18th-century mining town was once again transformed into one of the largest cities in the region as riders filled up the local campgrounds to set up for the two-day event. The 2022 edition marked somewhat of a return to normalcy, with the race taking its traditional springtime place on the calendar after two years of rescheduling and cancellations. All of the key elements were back, including the massive start on historic C street, right outside the Bucket O’ Blood Saloon.

The Virginia City GP goes back over a half century,. The start on C Street is an honored tradition. Photo by Jesse White.

Another tradition that was honored once again was the pre-start auction of numbers “00” and “0” for local charity. Each year, two riders are gifted with a small head start in exchange for their contributions. Usually, that advantage doesn’t play a major role in the results, but this year was a different story. In exchange for a donation of $1500, Vet Pro Willy Heiss started in front with number 00 and he made good, holding on to the lead as long as he could. Last year’s winner JT Baker managed to pass Heiss on the first lap and pull a substantial lead, but his race took a turn for the worse at the end of the first lap. At the rider’s meeting, the participants were warned to stay out of a section that was reserved for emergency vehicles. Baker didn’t get the word and used that lane right in front of the fire marshal. Even though Baker held the physical lead throughout the three-hour race and crossed the line with a massive 17-minute lead, he was penalized afterward. The race officials gave him a 20 minute penalty. That dropped Baker back to fourth overall and third Open Pro. By remaining in front of everyone else, Heiss earned first in the Vet Pro class as well as first overall. First-place Open Pro Trenton Hall finished 27 second behind Heiss in front of Irving Powers, also an Open Pro. Calum Campbell was scored in fifth place behind Baker. Calum finished lap five in 3 hours, 59 minutes and 52 seconds, forcing him to take a sixth lap–he was the last to do so.

Willy Heiss made the head start offered by number 00 pay off. Photo by Jesse White.

Sunday’s race was a mere three hours long and included the Novices, the 60+ class, the Vintage bikes and the Adventure bikes. Once again, the head start paid off, particularly for the old guys. Brian Spiersch was number “00” and Gil Grieve started next with number “0. ” Both of them were in the 60+ class and both did well on the first lap, avoiding bottlenecks and dust. In fact Grieve stayed in front of all the younger riders for almost two laps. Eventually he gave up the top spot and first overall to 40+ Novice Andy Jenny. Spiersch fell back to 27th overall, but was still second in the 60+ class.
The date for the 2023 Virginia City GP has already been announced: April 29-30. For full results, visit http://www.moto-tally.com/vcgp/results.aspx

Andy Jenny (104) started Saturday’s race on row 10 with  Joseph Smith (100) , Zach Lawson (106), Mike Waters (108) , Wyatt Walker (101) and Jerry Schumann (107).  Photo by Jesse White.

 

SATURDAY OVERALL

  1. Willy Heiss Vet Pro
  2. Trenton Hall Open Pro
  3. Irving Powers Open Pro
  4. JT Baker Open Pro
  5. Calum Campbell Open Pro
  6. Josh Cook Vet Pro
  7. Tanner Jacobson Open Pro
  8. Reece Honea Vet Pro
  9. Mason Stone Open Pro
  10. Cole Burdick Open Pro
The town of Virginia City once had the biggest population in Nevada. Now it has permanent residents number around 700. Photo by Jesse White.

SUNDAY OVERALL

  1. Andy Jenny 40+ Nov
  2. Gil Grieve Mas 60-69
  3. Austin Wolfe Open Nov
  4. Erik Arnold 250 Nov
  5. Stewart Cook 50+ Nov
  6. Adam De Vargas Open Nov
  7. Tyler Thompson Bomb Am/Nov
  8. Brian Tanko 30+ Nov
  9. Colten Leavitt 1 25 Nov
  10. Matt Ryan 50+ Nov

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