Santa Maria, California
April 12, 1997 - Fairgrounds Raceway
From: Gary Roberts
Fairgrounds Raceway had its first 1997 meeting on a brand new, enlarged
track with a near perfect surface, which stayed that way all evening.
Competition was strong among the 18 second division only riders. The
strategy taken last year to grow local talent is certainly working. At
least half the riders were locals, supplemented by Bakerfield,
Victorville and the high desert area and a couple who drove up from Los
The Bakersfield contingent dominated the racing, much the same as last
year. Racing was to a regular GP format, supplemented by the winner of
the D joining the C, winner of the C joining the B, winner of the B
joining the A, same as last year.
Brad Sauer 15
Robbie Sauer 14
Marvin Sonnier 11
Charlie Powell 10
Terry McCurdy 10
Tim Appel 8
Billy Lyons 8 reserve, 3 rides
Rudy Maresca 7 reserve, 3 rides
Mark Hitchcock 6
Mark Maynard 6
Gerry Dutweiler 6
Paul Baldwin 6
Jeff Smith 4
John VanderMuellen 3
Jason Chabot 2
Malcolm Roe 1
Jason Montgomery 0
Jimmy Collins 0
Smith, Collins, Cabot, VanderMuellen
Hitchcock, Maynard, Dutweiler, Baldwin, Smith
McCurdy, Maresca, Hitchcock, Maresca, Lyons
Robbie Sauer, Brad Sauer, Powell, Sonnier, McCurdy
The Sauer brothers, from Bakersfield, were in a class of their own. They
have been around for several years, racing at all the Southern
California tracks. On the other end of the experience scale was third
finisher in the A, Charlie Powell, whose made his racing debut on
Saturday. Clearly an experienced moto-crosser, this 17 year old looks to
have great potential.
Malcolm Roe, another Brit, had his first competitive race in 18 years.
He rode despite a horrendous looking bruise he acquired in the afternoon
when his primary chain snapped. He had bike problems all evening and
must be in horrible pain now.
As with any start up operation we ran into a few teething problems, but
generally the evening went without any obvious (to the crowd) problems.
Some of last year's staff have become racers, some been given other
positions, (I am referee!) so we are short of infield helpers. Anyone in
the area who is interested in getting involved, please send me an EMail.
This could easily become a path to take up racing.
We are also short of spectators. The crowd was less than 300. We are
starting an advertising campaign to get a few more people in. In 2 weeks
there is a strawberry festival, normally attended by some 20,000 people
in the fairgrounds complex, and we will be racing afternoon and evening.
It is hoped that will sustain interest.
Same as last year, the atmosphere was great. Friendly, a lot of good
sportsmanship, everyone helping out and we all got together in the pub
afterwards. A great evening.
Gary Roberts - firstname.lastname@example.org