Shannonville Motorsport Park’s RACE SuperSeries concluded the 2019 motorcycle racing season under clear skies and great weather last weekend. Conditions were perfect for a return to the popular Shannonville’s 4.03 km Long Track. Race fans were not disappointed with some very stiff competition and record breaking conditions.
Although reigning Superbike Champion Eli Daccache already had another championship sewn up, he left no doubt about just who was in charge with another resounding win in the Pro Superbike race. Pushing his Yamaha R1 to the limit, Daccache bested the field with another race win, earning a series season sweep. With first year pro rider Ivan Babic keeping his BMW firmly in the runner-up position, there was an all-out war in the background. In his first race weekend as a Pro rider, young Jake LeClair, just home from attending Valentino Rossi’s Master Camp, had an epic battle with veteran pro rider Jim Proulx. Proulx held the early advantage but the youngster kept pestering, making a bold move at the midpoint of the contest to earn himself the final step of the podium, his first ever as a Pro. Proulx had to settle for fourth, while Eros Mukja and Franz Walker battled for fifth. When the dust settled it was Mukja with a narrow edge the claim the spot.
LeClair had another brilliant outing in the Pro Sportbike class, again going toe-to-toe with Jim Proulx. LeClair had a great start but before the race was a lap old, Proulx was hounding the rookie Pro racer. The battle again continued for the entire 8-lap event with LeClair pulling away in the latter stages of the race for his first win as a Pro rider. In third was Pro 6 Cycle/Dunlop Tire racer Sandy Noce. Noce, the former GP rider enjoyed another good outing to earn third, just ahead of local hot shoe Mike Raniowski. THE “TAKE MIKE FOR GRANITE” backed Raniowski, with his fourth place finish, earned enough points to cap off his season with the championship in the Pro 600 Sportbike class. Kingston’s Chris Fehr, who led the class going into the weekend fell just short of a championship challenge finishing in sixth, just behind Michael van Ek.
In Amateur Superbike action it was series leader Jared Walker out into the early lead. Walker could not shake off the advances of Andrew Haick however and before the midpoint of the race, Haick made his move and shuttled into the lead. Walker rode a smart race and didn’t get caught up in the battle however and held on for second place, enough to give him the series championship. Jeremy Sharrard put his Honda onto the last step of the podium just ahead of Martin Richard. Todd Ferguson had another good outing to finish in fifth.
Jared Walker added yet another championship trophy to the Walker trophy case with a resounding win in the TTR Ignitions Amateur Sportbike contest. Walker led from start to finish getting past contender Richard Diaz. Martin Richard also got past Diaz to take second place, relegating Diaz to runner up position and crushing his chance for a championship title. Todd Ferguson took fourth, just ahead of Ben LeClair who tested his 600 sportbike acumen for the first time to take fifth.
In the heavily contested Mopar Express Lane Lightweight Production race, the Junior division had already been decided and that was a good thing for Patrick Barnes, who could not compete in Sunday’s final because of an injury he received in a qualifying mishap. Barnes was relegated to spectator status for the race while the rest of field fought for the Senior title and for runner-up status in the Junior class. Matt Simpson was the best of the class however with a brilliant ride to win the race, setting a new track record of 1:59.995, beating the record set by Cameron Walker. In a race long battle with Senior racer Alan Burns, he also managed to pull Burns along for another track record in the Senior division of 2:01.330. John Taverner finished the race in third ahead of Connor Campbell and Dwayne Bucholtz, while Jacob Black finished in eighth with enough points to take the Senior Championship.
Eli Daccache had already taken the Sprint Cup trophy, so the race was for second place bragging rights. Daccache handily won the race just ahead of Ivan Babic and Mike Raniowski. In fourth was Sandy Noce with Eros Mukja taking fifth.
Hans van Sluewen who was tied with Chris Fehr going into the weekend finished the Lightweight Superbike race to take that championship, although Ro Daley, the Novice 600 rider won the race just ahead of van Sluewen. Kana Matsumoto returned to Shannonville after a long hiatus to take third while Chris Fehr lost his bid for the championship, finishing in fourth. Alan Burns had a good outing to finish in fifth.
Cameron Walker added to the family hardware with a win in the Lightweight Sportsman contest. Walker led from the start to stay ahead of Chris Fehr while Ben LeClair took third. Walker had already cemented the championship in the previous round.
The Middleweight Sportsman race was a barnburner that went right down to the final lap to crown a new champion. In race action Matt Simpson was just unstoppable in the race win, besting race veteran Ken Foley after a long battle. In third was Colin Duncan with fourth going to Christopher Dopke. Criag Atkinson put his beautifully prepped Yamaga FZ-07 into fifth. For the championship however, it was Huntsville’s Cindy Bucholtz with the championship, after Andy Dickinson was sent to the sidelines with a mechanical issue. With Dickinson out, Bucholtz gained a 3-point advantage over Kayla Hannaford for the championship.
Kyle Blakely held a good points advantage going into the Heavyweight Sportsman contest, leading Kayla Hannaford by 30 points so he needed a good finish to earn the championship. In the race it was Vivian Matthews with the win, just ahead of Ken Foley. In third was David Walker with eventual series champion Kyle Blakely finishing in fourth, earning enough points to lock away the championship. In fifth was Colin Duncan. Hannaford had to settle for a sixth place finish.
Local racer Mike Raniowski took the Masters Middleweight championship with a respectable race win, besting Chris Fehr. In third was Marco Alessandrini while Ken Foley finished in fourth. Hans van Sluewen had a good race to finish in fifth.
Hans van Sluewen won the Lightweight Twins race but with a second place finish by Cameron Walker, Walker gained enough points for the championship. In third place was Alan Burns who beat out J.P. Schroeder to the finish line to take the final step of the podium. Ryan Smith finished in fifth.
Champions for 2019
Pro Superbike: Eli Daccache
Pro 600 Sportbike: Mike Raniowski
Am. Superbike: Jared Walker
Am 600 Sportbike: Jared Walker
Lightweight Production Junior: Jacob Black
Senior: Patrick Barnes
Sprint Cup: Eli Daccache
Lightweight Superbike: Hans van Sluewen
Lightweight Sportsman: Cameron Walker
Middleweight Sportsman: Cindy Bucholtz
Heavyweight Sportsman: Kyle Blakely
Masters Middleweight: Mike Raniowski
Lightweight Twins: Hans van Sluewen
For Shannonville Motorsport Park, Don Empey