Sideburn has worked with the DTRA since Day 1 of their championship, and a current part of the relationship is the magazine being title sponsor of the the DTRA Vintage class. We love all the classes, but have a special fondness for the Vintage racers and their bikes. The riders are quite a spread of ages, abilities and characters, many of them choosing their race machine not on what best would suit the short tracks 80% of our series is contested on, but more what their dream race bike is, often fuelled by On Any Sunday fantasies.
One character, on a dream bike, made an appearance on Sunday. Regular readers of Sideburn, and the blog, should be familiar with Jason. He's had more bikes featured in the mag than any other individual, and that includes having bikes in both Sideburn 1 and 2. He's also written other features for us, about his Sideburn Nepal trip, and competing in Snow Quake.
He arrived at King's Lynn with his newly completed Trackmaster BSA A65. Although he's raced for ten years or more, it's very stop-start, and he misses a lot of races, and only makes a few practice events. He always seems to turn up rusty, and plays the part of the kook who doesn't know what he's doing. Sometimes he's so convincing he misses his heat race, because he couldn't start his new bike. Still, when he doesn't shut off before the line on the last lap, he's difficult to pass. So, despite missing one of his three heat races, because he couldn't start his new bike, he made the vintage final, thanks to a heat race win, and a second in the other. Making the final, in itself, is no mean feat, as entries continue to increase, and the two-strokes and four-strokes, of all sizes, are trying to qualify for the 12-rider final. There were 21 bikes entered on Sunday.
The front of the race was F-A-S-T (as the previous post comparing the times of Sean Kelly's Suzuki TS400 and Mike Fisher's Champion Bultaco to Gary Birtwistle's 2020 Royal Enfield Twins FT shows). Jason slipped into midfield and held off the challenge of Rick Bearcroft, and others behind, by riding a neat line and a decent pace. And he did it on a bike the rest of the pits were going gooey-eyed over. Sideburn vintage rider of the day was a tough choice, because Kelly, Fisher, Paul Harrison, Carl Swateridge and Dave Webb all rode superbly, but Jason (and his bike) edged it.
For more about the DTRA go to dirttrackriders.co.uk