Loudon Classic Day 1: Family First
Father, Daughter Team Up For Loudon Classic Win
Intense two-wheel action could be found at every one of the 12 turns of New Hampshire Motor Speedway's 1.6-mile road course Friday, making for an exciting first day of the 92nd annual Loudon Classic motorcycle weekend.
Premier riders from the Loudon Road Race Series (LRRS) and Sidecar Racers Association (SCRA), as well as amateur riders went head-to-head in more than 15 total races, closing with the three-hour endurance race (results from that event will be available in Saturday's release).
One of the featured events on Friday was the Sidecar Vintage race. The focus of the race quickly turned into a contest for first by the third lap between the father-daughter team of Peter and Lindsey Essaff and the team of Bob Balla and John Linn. By the last lap, the Essaff's beat out Balla and Linn, racing their fastest in the eighth-and-final lap with a time of 1:50.331.
The father-daughter duo from Milton, N.H., passed Balla and Linn for the first time on the frontstretch of the third lap before falling back into second place at Turn 1. The trade-off continued for the remainder of the race, with the Essaff's leading around Turn 12 on Lap 5 and passing the last-place bike along with Balla and Linn. The Essaff's used the racetrack's straightaway to their advantage, taking the lead and keeping it at Lap 7; but the race continued to be a close one, with the Essaff's winning by a slim 1.551 seconds in the end.
The Essaff's were not the only family duo racing in Friday's sidecar race; along with them was father and daughter Jim and Lily Laura, who placed third.
"Sidecar racing is a real family sport; there is no doubt about it," Peter said. "Whether it's a father-son team or two best friends, or my wife raced with me for years, it is something you can do safely. It does not fall down and if you are careful enough, you won't roll over."
"It's a really good time," added Lindsey. "I love racing with my dad."
Peter and Lindsey race another eight laps in Saturday's Vintage Sidecar race at approximately 12:30 p.m., and are optimistic about the outcome, especially after such a successful win from Day 1.
"It will be a battle, I think. It will be fun," Lindsey said.
"This is a big race, and we are the only ones competing in our class, so we have a little advantage," Peter added. "We expect to repeat."
Other day one winners include:
Vintage Sidecar Peter and Lindsey Essaff
Amateur 125 Grand Prix Kevin Perry
Amateur Formula 300 Daniel Rosato
Amateur GTL Kris Hopkins
Amateur GTO Cole Hall
Amateur GTU Brian Campbell
Amateur Super Singles Kevin Allen
Formula 300 Riley Rogers
125 Grand Prix Shawn Spear
GTL Seth Hahn
GTO Shane Narbonne
GTU Scott Greenwood
Novice Formula 1 Matthew Farrell
Novice Formula 3 Gary Beekmann
Rookie Lightweight Gary Beekman
Rookie Heavyweight Alex Quarterley
Super Singles Jake Laforge
Day 2 of racing begins on Saturday at 10:20 a.m. with the Legends Cars Moat Mountain Road Course Series. The first motorcycle race will begin at noon.
The 92nd annual Loudon Classic motorcycle weekend runs through Sunday. Tickets are available at the main gate. For more information on this or any of the other major events at the Magic Mile call (603) 783-4931 or visit www.nhms.com.