We had a great season opening event in Fernandina Beach. The turnout was good as you can see.
The SVRA was pleased with our contribution to their event. The fans were excited to see bikes on the track to provide a different view to the auto enthusiasts. But the past is prologue and the main event is about to begin:
The WERA Collector Series http://www.roadracingworld.com/news/hmgp-and-wera-partner-to-form-new-class-of-racing/
The Collector Series is an opportunity for collectors of road racing motorcycles to exercise and exhibit their bikes at speed on a racetrack. It is designed as a non-competitive exhibition in which the owners are free to run their machines as fast as they desire. Safety of the participants and preservation of the machines are paramount concerns so a no-contact rule is strictly enforced. Owners are encouraged to bring former champions and notable racers to ride their machines. Owners are expected to have exhibits about the machines in the pits and be available to answer questions from the fans. Although no points or championships are awarded, owners may have lap times recorded if they wish by providing a transponder. If the bike is still in its original livery it may run the number associated with its previous rider rather than that of its current owner.
We will have four rounds with WERA this year in an exciting new partnership. We will be with WERA at:
Roebling: May 28
Road Atlanta: June 18 and September 10
Barber: July 2
The tracks will be open the evening before for camping and setting up our pits.
There are some procedural changes that you need to address before the first event:
WERA license required. Many of you already have WERA licenses, but if you do not you need to obtain one prior to your event. WERA has a reduced fee for first time members of $75. If you need a license it is best to call WERA at (770) 720-5010. Here is the link to the first time application: http://maps.wera.com/pdfs/forms/member.pdf
A new WERA license will allow you to participate in the exhibition laps. If you have never had a competition license previously, you cannot run in any of the regular WERA vintage races until you have passed a WERA approved rider school or equivalent. Any regular WERA competitor can sign up to run in the collector series.
WERA tech standards. All bikes must pass WERA tech inspection. It is different than at our past events. Bikes must be taken to the tech station without their lower fairings so the safety wiring of the drain bolts and the belly pan systems are visible. Helmets must be brought to tech. Helmets must be less than 5 years old from date of manufacture and have a Snell rating. The only part WERA tech standards which is not relevant to us is the transponder requirements since we are not running for times, points or championships. If you want lap times and have a transponder you may run it or you can rent a transponder from WERA by the event. You must run numbers so the corner workers and race control can properly manage the event. Unlike normal WERA competitors, you may run a number on the bike related to its heritage and not associated with the rider’s number. The numbers still have to be regular sized but the color of the number and background may reflect bike’s history. Each participant will be given a tech sheet, the top portion of which must be filled in prior to going to tech. They sheet looks like this: http://maps.wera.com/pdfs/forms/spttech.pdf. The complete tech rules are found in Chapter 8 of the rulebook at: http://maps.wera.com/rulebook/?x=1098#ch8
Online Registration. If you hold a WERA competition license you may register for the collector series using the normal online registration site at https://www.wera.com/. If you are getting a WERA license for the first time you need to register by downloading the registration form at: http://maps.wera.com/pdfs/forms/sprint2012.pdf then fill it out and either fax it back to WERA at (770) 520-5015 or scan it and email it back to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also register at the track. The first entry is $100. If you wish to enter any other WERA race class it is an additional $80 per race. Post entry at the track is $105. You should register on the line “Other/Practice”. WERA may break us into four classes (Air-cooled lightweight and heavyweight and Water-cooled middle weight and heavy weight) for their management of the event, but unless our numbers grow significantly we will all ride together.
We plan to continue our social events in the evenings. At each of these events WERA will be running a full vintage race schedule so we will get the chance to mingle with those racers. In addition, we will have a change to see some of the next generation of racers on modern equipment. Many of us got our starts in the WERA series, so it will be something of a homecoming. If you have questions call Bill Brown (404) 379-6091 about how you can participate.
WERA Collector Series
Historic Moto Grand Prix (HMGP) is proud to announce our affiliation with WERA the largest member organization in road racing. HMGP is excited to be a part of WERA sportsman series and we are honored to be a “new” vintage class; the “Collector Class”.
“The pairing of these two organizations is a perfect match” said Bill Brown founder of HMGP. Especially when you consider that the majority of HMGP members, fans, and sponsors have been affiliated in some way with WERA over the years. Brown went on to say “I have known Evelyne Clarke for many years, and she knows what she’s doing. She is the first lady of American road racing. She has done so much for the sport, and I look forward to working with her again”. He seemed not only grateful for the opportunity to be a part of WERA, knowing it will benefit HMGP, but, he was just as eager, and excited about his plans for the 2016 season and wants to make sure that HMGP will benefit WERA as well.
When Bill Brown talks about road racing, you can feel his passion, and love for the sport. When he talks about the 2016 season with WERA Brown said “I’m closer than ever to seeing my vision for HMGP become complete. My vision was for the history of the sport to live on, and to live on the track, not in a museum. I wanted the riders and past champions, not just telling us their stories, but to ride their stories. I wanted the bikes that broke the records, and paved the way, not just sitting and being looked at, but to run and to be heard”.
The most important part of Brown’s vision was for this history to be progressive. He does not want the mentality of “living in the past”. Instead, HMGP wants to give collectors of these historic bikes a venue to exhibit them at speed and the opportunity to reunite them with their famous riders. The 2016 season with WERA will make that a reality. WERA is the future of racing and by running the historic bikes at modern events HMGP can give tomorrow’s stars a connection to the sport’s heritage.
For the 2016 season HMGP will participate in WERA collector class at selected sportsman events. This class will be “gentleman racing”, run for awards not points or a championship. “We encourage you to come out and see some the bikes and riders who made this sport what it is today.”
Evelyne added, “WERA is very excited to be able to host these events in 2016 – history has been such an instrumental part of WERA and to be able to showcase this type of at these events means a lot to us”.
SVRA Amelia Island US Vintage Gran Prix, March 17-20
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s inaugural Amelia Island Vintage Gran Prix at the Fernandina Beach Airport pays tribute to the early sports car tradition of racing on airfield circuits. Once very popular racing venues, especially in the Southeast, airfields were a haven for speed. The Amelia Island Vintage Gran Prix marks a return to racing on the Fernandina Airport, where sports cars and motorcycles raced in the 1960s and 1970s. SVRA pays homage to those earlier races with this invitation-only event, with race groups ranging from pre-war cars up through the 1980s. Among the 250 entrants expected at Fernandina Beach will be Ross Bremer racing his 1967 English Ford Angelia Super – the same car he originally raced on the Fernandina Beach Airport during the 1968 The Gold Crown Prix.
“Back then, we raced at a number of airport tracks around Florida. The business of racing at airports was huge. It was the easiest, most convenient place to have a race track,” Bremer reminisced. “The front straight first turn was always exciting to me. Even though the course was flat, it was quite challenging – some of the turns nearly doubled back on themselves. And the front straights were actually quite fast. They were long enough to get up a good head of steam. That's the reason they would put chicanes in the front straight, to slow it down a little bit.”
“It is memories such as Ross Bremer’s which have prompted us to reintroduce this race.” said Tony Parella SVRA President & CEO. “This race may become a destination for historic racers and sports car enthusiasts. If people want to escape winter weather for an entire week and enjoy both events it will be amazing. We will go beyond vintage race cars to include historic aircraft and motorcycles as well. These will be firsts for SVRA, and I am really looking forward to it. It is an absolute honor to launch our Amelia Island Vintage Gran Prix within a week of the prestigious Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance.”
Historic Moto Grand Prix (HMGP) is honored to be providing the motorcycles for the event. HMGP founder Bill Brown recalls, “I raced at the Fernandina Beach Airport with the Florida Gran Prix Riders Association in 1967 and 1968. Hard as it might be for some people to believe today, I raced a Suzuki AS100 at those events. The second year I also had a 250 Suzuki X-6, but it broke so I only ran the little 100. The course was flat and very fast, which was typical of airport courses.”
The weekend not only promises a huge gathering of race cars but also some of the finest privately owned vintage and historic collector cars will be staged on the Amelia River Golf Club, next to the race track, for the Show and Shine car show. Multiple vintage airplane flyovers, and vintage motorcycle demonstrations are on the schedule. Race fans and car enthusiasts can enjoy the cars, meet the drivers, and enjoy participating in the unique racing history of airfield racing.
Space will limited. If you are planning on coming and have not done so yet, you need to call Bill Brown at (404) 379-6091 to reserve space.
HMGP pays homage to the heritage of the sport. Normally we honor the bikes of the past. This year we will also be remembering the heritage of two of our charter members who we recently lost: Steve Green and Doug Roberts. Steve is remembered for his thundering RC51 Colin Edwards Laguna Seca Special which he rode so well with us. Doug is remembered for his outstanding collection of Yamaha RZ 500 and 350 which he exhibited with us. We need to remember it was not just the machinery, but also the people behind them, that created our motorsports heritage.