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.
Although the forecast certainly didn’t look favourable, Flat Track Canada was able to run their event at Ohsweken Speedway on August 12th . Despite the appearance of some ominous clouds and under the constant threat of rain, the precipitation stayed away, perhaps aided by the incredibly hot action on the track.
Although not taking part in the complete series, clay specialist and former national champion Doug Lawrence showed up at Ohsweken and had to be considered an early favourite to take the victory. While Lawrence had looked good in practice and his heat races, there were a few other riders that figured they deserved top billing on this night including Tyler Seguin, Brandon Seguin, Justin Jones, and Dustin Brown.
When the Open Expert race arrived at the end of the night and riders chose starting positions, it was Brandon Seguin getting the first gate pick based on a convincing heat race win earlier in the evening. As Tyler Seguin, Lawrence and the rest of the riders picked their spots to round out the field, the stage was set for an epic battle to be the first one to the checkered flag.
As the lights flashed green, the pack of riders accelerated towards turn one of the high banked oval. Tyler Seguin grabbed the early lead, but it was short lived as the number 73 of Lawrence quickly made his way to the front. Brandon Seguin had quickly settled into third and was busy trying to establish a gap between him and the hungry pack behind him, while at the same time keeping the front running duo in sight. All night long Lawrence had been riding the top of the track to perfection and this trend continued into the main event as lap after lap he would exit turn four up close and personal beside the wall, but looking smooth and fast as he pointed for the straightaway. Meanwhile Tyler Seguin was running a much different line and was exiting turn four at the very bottom of the track and using every ounce of talent to get his bike straightened up for the run down the straight. Lap after lap this trend continued and despite the very different lines being used in the corners, Lawrence and Seguin would end up virtually at the same spot on the track about halfway down the straight. Seguin managed to slip into first numerous times during this battle, sometimes a couple of times a lap, but somehow it was Lawrence who always had the slight edge at the finish line. As this battle continued lap after lap at the front, Brandon Seguin was riding smooth and fast, unaware of the fist fight shaping up behind him for fourth as Justin Jones, Dustin Brown, and Taia Little were busy fighting over the same piece of real estate on the track. This battle between these three would wage on for the last third of the race and would see the fourth-place position change hands four or five times a lap at times.
With the laps ticking off it looked like the top three had been decided and the only thing that remained to be figured out was the battle for fourth. Then the unbelievable happened and Lawrence messed up and went to high in the corner after riding the high line all night, dropping off the edge of the track and losing valuable time as he struggled to keep the bike upright and get back to the racing surface. This handed the lead to the persistent Tyler Seguin and when he crossed the line to take the victory there was a significant gap between him and Lawrence. Brandon Seguin crossed the line with a comfortable gap in third to join his brother in victory lane while Dustin Brown would end up on top in the fight for
Expert DTX action saw many of the same players in the mix looking to be the first one to the checkered flag. Tyler Seguin had the lead early on but by lap three it was Lawrence using the high line to his advantage and making his way around Seguin to take over the top position. Meanwhile Brown was in third place with Justin Jones close behind him. With just a few laps remaining Brown found a way past Seguin and at the line it would be Lawrence followed by Brown and then Seguin.
Intermediate DTX action saw Tyler Brown grab an early lead but that would be short lived as Liam Caskie quickly found a way to the front. Damien Gamble was holding onto third at this point but the man on the move was Phil Little who was moving up through the field after getting stuck mid-pack early on. About the midpoint of the race Little made his way around Adrian St. Amand and then just a couple of laps later fans would see Little slip past Gamble to finish third behind Caskie and Brown. Intermediate Open saw a bit of drama at the beginning as both Caskie and Jesse Isherwood needed assistance from Clayton Isherwood to get their bikes fired up before the lights flashed green. Caskie would lead the pack
early on but by lap six it was Brown who had made his way to the front. Little found his way into third and would hold onto that position despite numerous challenges from riders including Kristy Dulaj and Gamble. At the line it would be Brown taking the win followed by Caskie and then Little.
Nathan Peacock had a blistering start in both Novice races but unfortunately for the New York native his lead would be short lived in both feature races. Seth Little would cross the line first in the DTX race, with Peacock salvaging second ahead of a battle between eventual third place finisher Loic Nadeau and Mateo Racine. In the Novice Open final, it was Little taking first once again, while Nadeau would grab second as Peacock had his hands full holding off Racine for third.
Next action for the Flat Track Canada series is September 2nd at Georgian Downs which is located just outside of Barrie. For ticket information as well as complete results and standings, please visit flattrackcanada.com.