It was a brilliant weekend at Jennings where the inaugural race for the 2010 CCS Florida Vintage Series was held. Jennings GP is a 13 turn motorcycle-only track located in the woods of North Florida. The stage is set for the Florida Vintage Series since 2009 where the vintage races were cancelled. With the effort of vintage racer Michael Perry the series is revamped and reborn with the approval of Henry DeGouw the Florida Region organizer.
There was plenty of competition with many old and different faces. The turn-out for the vintage races should have been better (according to pre-entries) but it was better than in the recent years. The "William's Cup" trophy is really nice and I applaud Michael Perry's effort in having made such a prize for the series champion. There are three classes of vintage racers with Premier being the top class, Medium-weight, and Lightweight.
Most of the bikes were medium-weight legal but there were 8 entries into the Premier class all of them racing up a class. I did move Troy up into the Premier class and he grid on the front row with Tash Zarvalas(CB350) , Chuck Easterling(RD400) , and Mike Perry(TZ350) . There was also Eddie Gilbert(GPZ750) and Jason Messey(Triumph 750) on the second row.
All three left Troy from the start but Troy made up ground on the first lap. On the next two laps Troy and Chuck battled for position P2 with Tash pulling out a healthy lead some 4 seconds ahead. Everyone seemed as though they were running a lot stronger than in practice, but Troy seemed to be languishing in third place. I know Troy had planned a strategy of laying back and following before picking up the pace but Tash was getting away.
After the 2nd or 3rd lap Troy finally put a pass on Chuck and began to pull away. In the next two laps Troy's pace dramatically changed as evidenced by his whole riding position. He became more consistent and his focus was more apparent. His intentons were also evident by the way he would attack every corner. By the 4th lap the distance was closing and Tash's son was desperately trying to get his father's attention to get going-"Troy' s coming".
On the 5th lap Troy put his best lap in posting a 1:28.3 and was bearing down on the leader and made his move in T13. What it did look like was Tash was going to hang onto Troy's lead and put a little pressure on Troy. Troy's focus remained as they circulated around the track. Troy did stay consistent and quickly dispatched the lapped riders but so did Tash.
On lap 6 Troy began to pull away and remained with that focus until the last lap when he looked back to see nothing. Troy did stay in the gas for fear of looking back on the wrong side and missing Tash hidden from view. In the end Troy got his first "Win" with a good healthy lead.
Paul also had a good race and won the medium-weight class race also posting his best lap. Paul was consistently faster each lap of the race and had some good battles himself. He began charging the corners as he gained confidence tipping that lightweight FZR400 into the fast swweping corners of Jennings GP.
The pair of FZR400 riders, uncle and nephew, placed well.Many thanks to Henry De Gouw for listening to the vintage crowd and allowing us this race. I hope it was as much fun for the crowd to watch as it was for me.