DMX catches up with Derek Schuster to get the scoop on Sandstorm!
By: Chris Pomeroy
This weekend could have been just another end of the season race at Gopher Dunes .But, Derek Schuster and Brett Lee have decided to make things a little more interesting and try and make it a day riders soon won’t forget. Nicknamed “Sandstorm”, the final race of the Ontario Motocross Season this Sunday will feature some new classes, fun events such as a best whip contest, and the option to sign up and race even if you don’t have a valid CMRC License. To get the fine details and the reason behind this cool event, I gave Derek a call; here is what he had to say.
DMX: Hey Derek, what are you doing today?
Derek: Well, right now I am cooking up a little bit of lunch. After lunch, I have a some work to do on the track to get ready for this weekend, the track is open for practice until Wednesday night so people will be showing up soon to ride also.
DMX: Tell me about Sandstorm, what is going to be different than normal this weekend?
There are a few things that are going to be different. We are trying a new format with what goes on during the day at the track. There will be some new classes, some different side events going on and to race on Sunday, you will not need a CMRC license. The aim is to obviously get as many riders out as possible, but we also want to make it fun for everyone who comes through the gate, and we want the day to end as early as possible so people can leave at a decent time.
Derek Schuster still finds some spare time when he can to rip some laps around his masterpiece!
Photo courtesy of Gopher Dunes
DMX: How did all these new ideas come to fruition?
We have spent a lot of time talking to a lot of different people about right way to do this, we have spoken to you, industry people like Andy White, Ryan Gauld gave us a lot of feedback with how the classes might work, and just a lot of different ideas thrown into a hat and here we are. I think it’s going to be great!
DMX: You mentioned that a rider will not need a CMRC license for this event, how does that work?
It is still a CMRC sanctioned event but to try and attract more riders, we have worked things out with the CMRC that you will not need to pay for a license on Sunday. You will still need to fill the application out, but you won’t have to pay. Insurance is obviously an issue for those riders who are here for the first time, but we have put together some generous sponsors to cover their insurance. We just want to try an attract more first time racers, that’s what it’s all about.
DMX:That sounds really good Derek, it good that the CMRC is bending the rules a little bit to help you create some more excitement in Ontario Motocross!
Oh yes, for sure. Mark and everybody have been very receptive to the idea right from the start. If a first time rider shows up here on Sunday who normally wouldn’t have because they can’t afford to spend the money right now, if that rider has fun and goes racing in 2011, everybody, including the CMRC wins. It’s good for the sport.
Gopher Dunes never lets racers down when it comes to track prep!
Photo Courtesy of Gopher Dunes
DMX: How will the new classes work?
Our goal with the new class format was to eliminate a few of them so riders can get more track time but also so everyone can come and have a good day racing and be able to leave at a decent time. No one, including us want to be here until dark racing. So we have gotten rid of all the MX3 classes, there will now be only a class for 250 four strokes and an open class for all other big bikes. If a junior rider for instance wants to ride three classes, then they can ride the 250F class, the open class and then an age class, unless they are 25 or over because there will also be no plus 25 class on Sunday. We have also added an extra year onto the schoolboy class so it is now 12-16, we will also be letting a kid ride a 250F in the schoolboy class if they are 16 or under. All these changes may not help every rider in the pits, but we feel the majority of guys will benefit on Sunday. By trying all these changes now, it gives us the opportunity to see how it all works and evaluate it over the winter.
DMX: Wow! That is a lot of changes, are you sure that’s it?
I know that is a lot but we really want to try these things to see how they work. Actually, there is a few more things. Riders in the 50cc class will ride for free on Sunday and there will also be a open class for 50’s and 65’s to give the kids who want it, an extra class to ride. Like I said before, one of our goals is to give everyone more track time.
DMX: Sounds like there will be a lot of action on the track, what about the action off the track. What kind of side events do you have planned?
We have a freestyle ramp already to go for the best whip contest; the riders have already pre entered so that is ready to go. Red Bull has stepped up huge as a sponsor and will be there on Sunday in full force with their Energy Lounge, everyone knows how cool that is. There will also be a Show and Shine in the morning on Sunday, so the rider with the best looking bike will win some cool Red Bull prizes!
You never have to worry about dust at Gophers thanks to the fantastic watering system they run. One thing forsure is that the Schusters and Staff don't cut corners when it comes to good safe racing!
Photo Courtesy of Gopher Dunes
DMX: So when a rider shows up on Sunday, what will they have to pay?
There will be a gate fee as usual, that hasn’t changed. A rider can ride one class for $30 or as a special offer, they can ride four classes for $60. With these changes, I think there is going to be some tired riders on Sunday night! Hopefully they go to sleep with a smile on their face though!
DMX: Ok Derek, thanks for taking the time to chat. I hope Sunday is a huge event and a taste of what is to come in 2011!
We hope so too. We know it’s expensive to go racing, our goal is to build the best track we can and put on the best event we can. I hope everyone comes on Sunday and checks things out!