By Todd Vallee
Todd Vallee is the official Flat Track Canada announcer and has been announcing motorsport events for over a decade. He has written for Inside Motorcycles for 12 years with roughly 120 articles combined in print and online. Happily married for 30 years, Todd is also a proud father of two, and soon-to-be first time grandpa. Off the track, you can catch Todd riding his Suzuki SV650, watching racing or hockey, or travelling to a new destination.
Welland County Speedway played host to round one of the 2023 Flat Track Canada series and fans on hand were treated to an incredible show!
17 Experts were on hand to put on an amazing display but the racing was just as impressive in the support classes as well. The DTX Expert race was one for the ages and at the
conclusion of the race, the majority of the fans in the grandstand were on their feet cheering. Despite an absolute stacked field of former national champions, it was sophomore Expert and crowd sweetheart Taia Little taking her first ever Expert victory.
Early on it was 2015 champ Doug Lawrence nailing the green light and putting his number 73 machine out front, but it wasn’t long before he had company. Little had a great start of her own and was hot on Lawrence’s tail for the first two laps. On lap three Little made her move to the front to the roar of the crowd and suddenly it was Lawrence trying to plan an attack. Lawrence spent the next seven laps trying to find a way around Little and on lap 11 he briefly took over the lead once again. Little refused to back down however, swiftly taking back the point position and grabbing her first checkered flag one lap later. Dustin Brown would take third place just ahead of Tyler Seguin and Doug Beattie.
In the Open Expert race Lawrence was looking for a little redemption as the field lined up for the 20 lap feature. In a repeat performance it would be Lawrence jumping into the lead but this time it was Brown tucked into second place and he quickly mounted an attack on the machine in front of him. For six laps Brown was right in Lawrence’s wheel tracks but as the race wore on, Brown started to lose touch with the leader. When Lawrence took the checkers, he had a sizable gap on Brown while Beattie would take third over a hard charging Little. Jimmy McCullough had a great ride to finish fifth after being mired back in ninth on the first lap.
Justin Ball made the drive to Welland worth it as he would take the victory in both the Intermediate DTX and Open Intermediate races. In both races the scenario was the same as
Ball grabbed the holeshot in both and was never really challenged on his way to the checkers. Liam Caskie took second in the DTX race after holding that position all race long, while Jesse Isherwood would take third after a late race battle with Kristy Dulaj.
In the Open race it was Isherwood and Dulaj swapping second place until Justin Crumb surprised them both and took over the position on lap four. Meanwhile Caskie was on the move after starting on row three after switching bikes. By lap four Caskie was into fifth and one lap later he would take over third which is where his climb to the front would stop.
Final finishing order was Ball, Crumb and then Caskie in third.
Nathan Peacock had double victories as well taking both the Novice DTX and Open Novice races in convincing style. Luke Beattie had a brief scrap with Claudio Correia before taking over second place in the DTX race while Seth Little made his way past Tyler Thompson to take third at the line. In the Open race Peacock and Beattie once again put a lock on the top two positions with Little fighting his way up to third place by lap five.
Results in the Open race would duplicate the DTX race with Peacock on top followed by Beattie and then Little.
The 50cc Shaft class was one to watch as that race had the closest finish of the day. Coming out of corner four on the final lap, Adam Taylor found some extra speed and beat his brother Ryan at the line by less than a wheel length.
Round 2 in the National Series will take place on July 1 in Trois-Rivières, Quebec.
For ticket information, please visit flattrackcanada.com.