Round five of the Flat Track Canada national series saw the travelling caravan head to Quinte Exhibition Raceway in Belleville. The second ever George Pepper Classic was on the menu and as usual fans had packed the grandstand looking for a good show. After a bit of a sprinkle to help with some moisture in the track, Mother Nature provided a rare double rainbow to help get the festivities started.
First Expert action of the night was in the DTX class. Points leader Brodie Buchan was considered a favourite but practice had shown he was going to face some serious challengers including Dustin Brown and Dave Pouliot. Another rider looking fast was Parker Norris out of Michigan. Norris, who has been taking part in the majority of the AFT Singles series, had just got home from California on Thursday night. Looking to make the drive to Belleville worthwhile, Norris sent a message early on when he took the heat race win over Buchan and Brown. The main event saw Buchan lead every lap except the one that counted as Norris once again grabbed the checkers with KBR rider Buchan holding on for second followed by rookie Expert Brown.
Open Expert heats had a few surprises and had the crowd buzzing wondering what could be in store for them later on. Proving that last weeks third place finish was no fluke, it was the rookie Brown on the Jim Sehl Yamaha taking the first heat ahead of Buchan and Tyler Seguin. Second heat action then had Dave Pouliot on the John Parker Racing Kawasaki taking the victory in front of the Kawasaki twin of Mike Labelle and the ageless Chris Evans. With Pouliot winning the fastest heat, he would have gate choice for the final. Before the final was run the Dash for Cash was on the menu and at the conclusion of that there seemed to be a new player in the game. The top six qualifiers on the night took part in the Dash with money and bragging rights on the line. Proving there could be another rider to watch come main event time, it was Seguin on the Evans Racing Honda grabbing the lion’s share of the cash. Although he ran the same pace as the leader, Buchan couldn’t make up any ground and came home second followed by Brown.
When the lights flashed green on the main event it was fast qualifier Pouliot grabbing the lead after nailing the start. This lead would vanish however as there was a red flag when William Bellerose went down in turn four. On the restart, Pouliot couldn’t duplicate his original start and went into turn one mid-pack. Meanwhile Buchan grabbed the lead early on which was bad news for all the other riders. Biggest concern Buchan had all night was having his steel shoe come off his boot midway through the race and start dragging behind him. Although this caused him to slow a bit, he was still able to cross the line with a healthy gap over second place Brown. Pouliot made it close at the end but was unable to grab third place as Seguin beat him by a few bike lengths at the checkers. Man on the move in the main had been Norris who had chosen to switch bikes and start on row four. Late in the race he was challenging for third but had bad luck when the engine expired.
Intermediate action saw KBR rider Jimmy McCullough take the victory in front of last weeks winner Trent Pickle and Welland native Dustin Lambert. On his way to the checkers, McCullough also managed to pick up an extra $200 by winning the Inside Motorcycles Hard Charger Award as he went from fifth to first during the race. McCullough was unable to duplicate his results in the Intermediate Open race however as it was Matty Ward crossing the finish line first. McCullough managed to cross the line in third, while Pickle had another great run to finish second once again.
Novice action saw New York native Kyle Lonnen put on a clinic at the front of the pack. Lonnen took the victory in both DTX and Open as he held off a determined Hunter Bauer in both races.
Photos courtesy of Don Empy
George Pepper Classic top three.
50cc: Liam Caskie, Emily Biekx
65cc: Adrian St. Amand, Christopher Pittaway, Liam Caskie
85cc: Boyd Deadman, Branden Keys, Adrian St. Amand
Beginner: Teagan Deadman, Taia Little, Martine Kehoe
Vintage Mod: Ricky Jones, Taia Little, Mark Fairfull
Vintage Dino: Mark Fairfull, Marc Baille, Guy Morden
Novice DTX: Kyle Lonnen, Hunter Bauer, Rod Scott
Novice Open: Kyle Lonnen, Hunter Bauer, Roderick Scott
ATV Open: Kirk Handley, Peter Grison, Tyler Villeneuve-Ray
Production ATV: Pierre Mayer, Rodney Beaudrie, Shawn Waite
VET: John Kehoe, Rick Gunby, Buddy Ford
250 Novice: Dylan Biekx, Branden Keys, Boyd Deadman
For the current point standings click HERE.
The next round takes place at the London Western Fair District on August 26th. For all the event details click HERE.