The rider looked like he had been there many times before as he wheeled his bike into Victory Lane at the Western Fairgrounds in London. As Beattie posed for a victory shot holding the checkered flag in one hand while giving the thumbs up with the other, his dad entered the scene to get in on a couple of the shots as well. This time the Beattie holding the checkered flag was young Ryan Beattie and he had just grabbed his first ever victory after outpacing Brayden Hutchison and Alyssa Armstrong for the win. With Ryan grabbing the win early on, it remained to be seen if he would pass on any of his speed secrets to his dad before the Open Experts took to the track for their final.
When the big guns hit the track later on it was very apparent that Beattie had indeed been watching and listening to his son pre-race. Once again Steve Beattie was the first one to the checkers as he made it two in a row in London. Much like last year, Beattie rode a smaller displacement bike to victory although this year he didn’t have to worry about a last lap charge by one of the big 750’s.
Early leader Doug Lawrence might not have won the battle in London but he did keep on marching towards a victory in the war. With Tyler Seguin finishing fifth, a third place by Lawrence gained him some important points and he now leads Seguin by 12 in the overall standings. Sandwiched between Beattie and Lawrence at the finish line was last year’s overall champion Don Taylor. After a troubled start in which he finished the first lap in seventh, Taylor put on an impressive ride to make his way up to the runner-up position.
The Intermediate class had record numbers which resulted in a last chance qualifier in each race and some unhappy Intermediate riders watching the final instead of participating. A familiar name took the victory in the DTX race as Brodie Buchan had a flawless performance up front. Second place came down to a battle between Cody Marentette and Braden Vallee like it has many other times this year. Marentette had the advantage early but late in the race Vallee was able to slip by to take over second. In the Open final it was a different story however as Marentette grabbed the lead from the start and stretched it out as the race was run. After being stuck mid-pack for a few laps due to a bad start, Vallee made it up to battle Buchan and managed to slide by the points leader on the last lap. At this point the speedy Marentette was out of reach however, and cruised to a deserving victory.
Novice action saw the return to the track for Tyler Brown who has been sitting out all season nursing a knee injury suffered during the winter. When the races were over it was younger brother Dustin Brown grabbing the victory in each although Tyler looked strong in his return taking second in each race. Trent Pickle rode hard to finish third in each which keeps him within striking distance in points of the younger Brown.
Vintage bikes seem to be all the rage lately and with entry numbers increasing the class was split into two separate races. The new Vintage Open class saw Georgetown speedster Alex Olsen take the win over Louie Dinicourt and Brad Kitto. The normal vintage class, which is comprised mostly by small displacement two strokes, saw Don Payne grabbing the victory ahead of Mark Fairfull and Marc Baille.
With London now complete, the Flat Track Canada series now has two national races remaining this year. Those races will take place September 5th at the Paris short track and September 19th in Wheatley.
Western Fairgrounds Top Three
DTX Expert: Parker Norris, Tyler Seguin, Nick Wenzler
ATV Open: Jim Goertz, Peter Grison, Darcy Ryksen
VET: John Parker, Rick Gunby, John Kehoe
Novice 250: Brandon Newman, Hunter Bauer, Jimmy McCullough
85cc: Hunter Bauer, Brandon Newman, Boyd Deadman
65cc: Parker Robinson, Brandon Keys, Maguire Scott
50 Chain: Easton Ventoso, Spencer Whittam, Makenna Nicholson
ATV Youth: Maxwell Johannsen, Tanner VanMourik, Spencer Whittam
Photos By: The Western Fair District, David Dudley, Randy Wiebe.