A 2008 Racing Dream with Northern Vintage Racing (NVR)
For the longest while, we have had an ambition to compete in every event in the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) championship road-racing series, and in 2008 we decided to attempt the dream. Wow, what a great trip! It seemed like we saw most of the US states as we drove from East coast to West coast, from the North to the South - 41,655 kms (26,034 miles) and 82 days away from home with our trusty GMC Safari van. Packed in the van with all the usual tools, spares etc was our one 1962 250cc NVR Ducati vintage race bike. We used the same machine in both 250GP and 350GP classes and it proved super reliable and competitive, achieving a total of 37 starts, 37 finishes and 14 podiums during 19 days of racing and 10 days of practicing - this works out to around 2,000 racing miles (3,200 kms). Through the year we managed to accumulate enough points for results we are proud of:
250GP Class - 3rd Overall (out of 64); 1st Best/West Cup; 4th Dixie Cup; 6th Mid West Cup
350GP Class - 5th Overall (out of 39); 2nd Best/West Cup; 3rd Dixie Cup; 6th Mid West Cup
On the journey we experienced some awesome countryside and met some wonderful people. We enjoyed fantastic racing, amazing tracks and close competition. AHRMA uses some of the premier US tracks, like Daytona, Miller, Mid-Ohio, Barber, and is a great organisation with excellent officials and many volunteers who all deserve a great round of thanks. They work tirelessly and joyously to put on superb and well run events, yet retain a warm family atmosphere and enable everyone to have fun. Bruce Yoximer, Willie Tejada, Craig Breckon and the gang from Go Daddy Racing made us welcome at each event and we made many friends in the paddock and appreciated the help and encouragement of the racers and spectators. Fellow 250 racer Jason Lindquist serendipitously captured our first national win on video with a helmet cam - it’s in daily demand by our 2 year old grandson…a future champion maybe?!
Needless to say, we couldn’t have done this without help and encouragement from our friends and supporters.
My wife, Ariane was there for nearly all the events, in charge of timing, morale, food and the fruit tray! She is an invaluable partner in life.
The other half of the NVR team, Michel Roby, not lucky enough to be retired from work like us, could only meet us at Mid Ohio for one event, and his season included placing third in the Canadian VRRA 350GP series.
John Gurr started the year in Roebling, Georgia and Daytona, Florida and finished the year at Barber, Alabama. A master restorer and engineer, he has helped in so many ways through the year and builds the best cranks in the business, which is the base for a reliable motor.
Lucien Cagiano from LCR worked his magic on the cylinder heads and suspension - the power is in the head, and good suspension makes it an easy bike to ride.
Many, many other friends have been involved and given their advice and time freely, particularly members of the CVMG (Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group) - a great club and enthusiastic group of folks.
We also greatly appreciate those who have supported our efforts and whose products and services we used:
Amy Murphy and Sukoshi Fahey from AVON tyres
Ray and Charles Gref from Moto Internationale Montreal
Bob Bariteau from Moto Lemoyne - he does the best cylinder boring
Mike Partridge from Walridge Motors
Brian Henderson for great brakes
Lucien Cagiano of LCR
Moss from Ferrea titanium valves;
KENDAL Oil; TGA; Syd’s Cycle; Megacycle Cams; R&D Valve Springs; Carrillo Rods; Works Suspension
Thanks to everyone for helping make the dream reality - we are very lucky.
Eric Pritchard, Northern Vintage Racing, #170
Ormstown, Quebec, Canada November 2008