The Loudon Road Racing Series was back in action for its second event of the 2011 season. On Saturday, events took place under clear skies and cool temperatures. Sunday, rain made for a challenging day.
Veteran Expert Rick Doucette earned multiple victories in Lightweight Supersport, Lightweight Superbike, Lightweight Grand Prix and Middleweight Production Twins.
Other multiple Expert Race winners included: Eric Wood (Supertwins, Heavyweight Superbike), Shane Narbonne (Heavyweight Supersport, Middleweight GP and Unlimited GP), Brian Ken (Formula 40 Lights and Thunderbike), Jason Carter (GTU and Formula 40) and Tyler Sweeney (Middleweight Supersport and Unlimited Superbike)
Amateur Kristopher Knopf was victorious in five classes: Middleweight Grand Prix, Middleweight Supersport, Middleweight Superbike, GTU and Unlimited Grand Prix
The Amateur/Expert Middleweight Superbike kicked off the event with a bang. Eighteen-year-old Tyler Sweeney on his Sweeney Racing Engines Yamaha R6 grabbed the holeshot into turn 1 with Argo Cycles Scott Greenwood on his rear wheel. Eric Wood, aboard his WoodCraft Ducati 848evo, went around the outside to take control of the lead before turn 2. Greenwood worked his way past Sweeney on the opening lap and set off after Wood. The two veteran riders ran nose to tail for the entire race. Greenwood, in second, was sizing up his long time rival and trying to find a way past. He was able to show Wood a wheel exiting turn 10, but Wood was able to hold the position. On the final lap, exiting turn 10, Greenwood was able to sweep around the outside and snatch the lead and the victory from Wood. The final running order was Greenwood over Wood with Sweeney coming home in third.
"That was a tough one, we have been racing against each other for years and have two completely different styles" Greenwood said. "There are parts of the track that Eric was strong on, and parts where I was strong. It was a see-saw type of race for me. With him out front, where I was good, I would get balked, and where he was stronger he would pull back away. It's been a few seasons since Eric and I have gone head-to-head and it's always a battle."
"I knew Scott was right there," Wood commented. "I made a slight hesitation and he was able to come past. We made some big setup changes to my motorcycle and it has improved a lot this weekend."
Middleweight Grand Prix - Dash for Cash
The always popular Middleweight GP $1500 Dash for Cash pits the top expert and amateur riders against each other and rewards the winner with $500. With payouts down to sixth place, the expert and the amateur winner earns $100 and the on-track battles are tight as all racers want a slice of prize money.
Shane Narbonne aboard his DAS Performance grabbed the holeshot and led the pack into turn 1. Closely following Narbonne were Eric Wood, Tyler Sweeney, Scott Greenwood, Christian Cronin and Jason Carter. Narbonne and Wood set off pulling a slight gap over the battle for third between Sweeney, Greenwood and Cronin. Wood made a pass on Narbonne for the lead into turn 3 on lap three. Behind that battle, Cronin grabbed the third position with an inside pass on Sweeney entering turn 3. Greenwood then passed Sweeney with an outside move on the brakes in turn 6. Unfortunately for Cronin his engine expired on the front straight beginning lap six, ending his run towards the podium. On lap six, Narbonne returned the favor to Wood with the same move he had done entering turn 3. While all this action was happening out front, Greenwood began to charge towards the leaders, recording the fastest lap of the race (1:12.193) in the process. Sweeney was solidly in fourth position with veteran rider Carter having an excellent race and earning new personal best lap time of 1:13.538 in fifth. In the end, the leaders' gap was too big and Greenwood came up short. Narbonne was able to hold off Wood at the finish, earning $500 in the process. Amateur Kristopher Knopf aboard a Kawasaki ZX6R was the Amateur class winner and received $100.00 for his result.
For a video recap of the Middleweight Grand Prix ("Dash for the Cash"), click here.
The Loudon Road Race Series will be back in action for the 88th annual Loudon Classic June 17-19.