Welcome Back London
After last holding an event in 2007, Western Fairgrounds in London hosted a race thanks to some hard work by Aaron Hesmer and the rest of the Flat Track Canada crew. With its great grandstands, banking on both the corners and straightaways, and its “big show” atmosphere, this was likely the premier stop on the racing tour for 2014.
Photo by: Western Fair District
We can only imagine at this point how the point standings would look in the Open Expert class if family man Steve Beattie had the time and ambition to hit all the races. After grabbing the win on Saturday night, Beattie now has two firsts and a second in the three races he has competed in. Other riders in this class have got to be breathing a sigh of relief that the old man only jumps onto a race bike on occasion.
#26 Steve Beattie Photo By: Outlaw Productions
Grabbing the victory on Saturday was no easy task for Beattie however as bike problems with his trusted Harley late in the week left him scrambling for a ride. Beattie called his brother Doug on Friday night and Doug graciously agreed to step aside and let Steve ride his Kurt Biegger J&M 450 for the race in London. Kurt and P.J. Biegger quickly prepared the bike for Beattie and the stage was set for a great ride in the open final.
Photo by: Outlaw Productions
When the green light signaled the start, as has become custom this year, 2013 champ Don Taylor grabbed the early lead on his Harley. After a few laps however fans noticed the number 26 machine plugging away at the gap and then making the pass for the lead. Also on a Harley, Doug Lawrence was methodically moving towards the front in a rare Canadian appearance. After passing Taylor for second, Lawrence set his sights on Beattie but bad luck struck in the form of a lapper. Just after crossing the start/finish line with two laps left, Lawrence made the move for the lead going into turn one. Unfortunate contact with the lapper caused Lawrence to go down uninjured but the race was red flagged giving the win to Beattie with Taylor in second.
Photo By: Shelley Gamm
Intermediate action saw two inspired rides by speedster Brodie Buchan in the finals after a couple of less than impressive heat races. After having the unbelievable happen and stalling on the line of both of his heats, Buchan was left to start at the back for the finals. The anticipated battle between Buchan and Quebec rider Dave Pouliot never materialized however as Buchan made a great charge to the front in both races. Pouliot held on for second in both while Braden Vallee rode a borrowed Steve Ball Honda to a couple of hard fought thirds.
#49 Brodie Buchan Photo by: Outlaw Productions
Novice action saw the usual suspects joined by a few fast guests for the night. Jodi Christie, Kenny Riedmann, and Ross Millson, all made the jump from the pro roadracing ranks and certainly didn’t look out of place amongst the regular riders. Tyler Brown was able to grab the victory in both classes but to the surprise of perhaps nobody, Canadian Superbike Champ Christie came up to speed quickly and was able to podium in both races in his first ever flat track national.
#119 Tyler Brown, #20 Jodi Christie Photo by: Shelley Gamm
Some of the best action of the night took place in the youth classes. Hats off to Dustin Brown, Hunter Bauer, Jimmy McCulluogh, Brandon Newman, and Boyd Deadman, for keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats all night long. Maguire Scott had a couple of fine rides as well as he was a double winner in 50cc action.
#91 Dustin Brown, #24 Hunter Bauer, #61 Brandon Newman Photo by: Shelley Gamm
London Top Three:
Open Expert: Steve Beattie, Don Taylor, Chris Evans
DTX Expert: Don Taylor, Tyler Seguin, Nick Wenzler
Intermediate Open: Brodie Buchan, Dave Pouliot, Braden Vallee
Intermediate DTX: Brodie Buchan, Dave Pouliot, Braden Vallee
Novice Open: Tyler Brown, Jodi Christie, Dave Gill
Novice DTX: Tyler Brown, Trent Pickle, Jodi Christie
ATV Open: Steve Lagro, Peter Grison, Darcy Ryksen
VET: John Parker, Les Washbon, John Kehoe
250 Youth: Hunter Bauer, Dustin Brown, Brandon Newman
85cc: Hunter Bauer, Dustin Brown, Brandon Newman
65cc: Jimmy McCullough, Hunter Bauer, Boyd Deadman
50 Chain: Maguire Scott, Mitchell Tinney, Brandon Keys
50 Shaft: Maguire Scott, Brayden Hutchison, Trinity Cullen
ATV Youth: Max Johannsen, Spencer Whittam
Check out the Current Point standings here.