By Billy Rainford
It feels like it’s been a really long time since I’ve sat down to write a Monday Morning Coffee the day after actually being at some racing. In fact, it’s been since the Daytona Supercross that I’ve done it! That race was way back on March 7th.
Yesterday, I was at Round 2 of the AMO Ontario Provincial Championships (OPC) at Walton Raceway and it felt great. We were under COVID-19 restrictions but that didn’t stop racers from making the trip in droves! There were over 650 entries.
Brett Lee, Mel Lee, Ryan Gauld, and the rest of the crew did a great job. They had signage up reminding people that, although we were back at the races, things are not yet back to normal. Dave Bell did a great job on the mic playing his mix of music, calling out riders names and positions, keeping riders informed on when they should be heading to staging, and also reminding everyone that we are under the microscope and to take the social distancing and mask rules seriously.
Obviously, there were a lot of people walking around, but if you stopped and looked closer, there actually was space between everyone not from the same household. But here’s the kicker…
Like something out of the climax of “When A Stranger Calls,” Brett told me that someone had made several calls to the police to complain about a lack of social distancing and reported drunk people out on the track. What?!
I wondered how someone would even know what was going on at the track and who could have possibly made the calls. Then, he told me that “the call is coming from inside the house!” Yes, for those of you who like playing my old reference game, that’s where the movie comes in. Someone who was at the races on Sunday was placing the complaint calls to the police.
That’s right, someone who was physically at the races was placing calls to the police to complain about it. Fortunately, when an official was on the property they were happy with what they saw and we were able to continue without missing a beat. But it really makes you wonder what the motivation was for someone to do that, doesn’t it.
Nobody was allowed to pit near the fences that line the infield. That area was kept empty and there were signs up reminding people to stay at least 6 feet away from each other. The food vendor in the middle of the area had markings on the ground and signs up.
When you went with your rider to the staging area, masks were required, and from what I saw everyone was complying.
Whether you’re a denier or not, everyone seemed to realize that jumping through these hoops is exactly what’s necessary to keep us opening racing in Canada. I had a mask on me that I wore when I got closer to the starting gate or in staging. Yes, it’s a little uncomfortable, but I’m not going to be the one that causes any trouble or gets racing re-shutdown!
I don’t really want to say too much about the racing because I will be going over them in detail in a separate column. For starters, you can go over the results here:
I will say that a few riders really impressed me, though. From the youngest racers on the track all the way up to the Pro ranks, there were riders stepping up their games.
That was a full day in the hot sun with a lot of racing to get through! We weren’t actually done racing until after 6:30. It got a little breezy and the sun was relentless, so there was some afternoon dust in spots, but Barry Hetherington and his gang were busy doing what they could to keep it safe and still get all the racing in.
Here in this area, we’ve got two more Amateur National Qualifiers (ANQ)/OPC’s to get through before the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MX Nationals start on July 25-26 at Gopher Dunes.
July 12th – Gopher Dunes
July 19th – Walton Raceway
I’m guessing I’ll be there.
OK, that was just enough to get you through another cup of coffee this morning. I’ll end it there so I can get to editing some photos and putting together some race videos I shot of just about every 2nd moto.
Have a great short week and a Happy Canada Day!