Round two of the 11-race 2019 SRA Grand Prix series opened under cool and sunny skies at Glen Helen Raceway on Sunday, February 24. There was an excellent rider turnout with well over 20 riders on most lines. Recent rain allowed the SRA crew and Glen Helen staff to utilize the full-length ridge on the east side of the property including
a long pavement section through the Glen Helen Pavilion. This rarely used section combined with the National, and REM tracks and off-road sections of the Glen Helen grounds were all blended together to provide a relatively simple, fast, challenging and entertaining racecourse.
The first race of the day showcased the +30 and +40 riders. Vet Expert riders Mark Tilley and Gordon Ward waged what would turn out to be the best battle of the day. The two raced hard for the entire race, never more than a second or two apart. In the end, Tilley crossed the finish line just 3 seconds in front of Ward. Ty Davis crossed the
line in third overall, first +40 Expert.
A record 26 riders lined up for the start of the 65cc, 85cc, and Super Mini classes as they took their customary start of the second race of the day. Super Mini Experts Garrett Briggs and Lane Forbes lead the way. Forbes kept Briggs in sight, but Garrett was able to inch away for the win. Behind them came a gaggle of 85cc Experts lead by
Max Esquivel, Dustyn Davis, and Cole Timber. 65cc riders Ries Seeba and Patrick Nguon lead a group of eight 65cc riders.
Race Three featured the +50/60/70 and Women’s classes. Once again Gordon Ward lead every lap including the last one. Marc Matson and Craig McCall put in a good effort to keep Gordon in sight and came across the finish line in second and third respectively. Kaitlyn Jones charged to the win in the woman’s class pushing all the way to fourth overall. +60 Expert riders Rick Sanders and Jim Latendresse both battled their way into the top ten overall while topping their class. Bill Maxim lead the first few laps, but gave way to John Huegel in the battle of the +70 riders.
The last race of the day was the 450cc, 250cc, and 125cc race. Track conditions for this race were rough and challenging. This class never disappoints and today was no different. Reigning Big 6 champion Trevor Stewart put on a riding clinic scrubbing jumps and railing berms like the seasoned pro that he is. Ricky Dietrich kept Trevor honest for a few laps before dropping out. Stewart continued to push and pulled away for the win. 250cc Experts Jake Alvarez, J. Y. Leavitt, Ty Cullins, and Carson Moore battled hard for the first two laps before Alvarez and Levitt pulled away. Jake and J. Y. continued their personal battle through most of the race, never more than a few seconds apart until J. Y. had a small fall late in the race. 250cc Expert Carson Moore and 450cc Expert Ty Davis rounded out the top 5.
The Pee Wee race rider count has now grown to the point that two classes are required, each with their own 20-minute plus one lap race. The enthusiasm of the families and riders who participated was no less than usual. Huge sweat streaked grins were on full display as new style trophies were handed out at the end of the long race. SRA will
continue to make adjustments to this race to improve safety and fun. The track is fun, challenging (but not too challenging), and safe. Please help SRA grow support for this race, as this is the true future of our sport.
Round 2 of the 11-race SRA Grand Prix series was a great success. The conditions were pleasant, rider turnout was up from 2018, competition was stout, and fun was had by all involved. Round 3 of the SRA Grand Prix series will be at Glen Helen Raceway on Sunday, March 31, 2019.
Results can be found at http://moto-tally.com/SRAGP/Results.aspx.
Rich Suitor and the staff of SRA always strive to make the SRA experience a great one. Please let them know how they are doing. Reach out via SRAGP.com, Instagram or Facebook.
Story written by Ken Corum