Super Hooligan GNC Twin Pro Short Track and Air-Cooled Vintage Race
East Fifth Street in Downtown Austin
Story and Photos by Kurt Bauer/ Dirtbauer.com
AUSTIN, TX, APR. 8, 2016
MotoGP would not be returning to Indy, even though they had one more year on their contract. Therefore, the only U.S. race would be in Austin, Texas, so I flew down on Thursday for Friday’s GP practice and the Super Hooligan event in Austin.
The weekend weather was looking good, although with a small chance of rain. I made my way into the turn-15 grandstands for Friday’s session, but mostly I checked out the facility and the Fan Zone and then caught 10-time World Trials Champion Geoff Aaron putting on a great trials exhibition.
After that, I headed downtown to take in the Super Hooligan flat-track races and bike show. I couldn’t imagine a flat track set up in downtown Austin, but I followed my GPS’s instructions from the Circuit of the Americas to East Fifth Street, and sure enough, I saw the Wall of Death and some nice-looking bikes lining the street, which was barricaded and being manned by Johnny Law.
I got there early, and parking was already at a premium. I squeezed my rental in and hoped I would be able to get out of the car!
Sure enough, there was a super-duper small short track set up, with Austin’s city buildings in the background. They even had a Pro class to run, which drew Jarod Vanderkooi, Rob Pearson, Stevie Bonsey and a few others who were in town for Saturday’s AMA Half Mile. But this was mostly for run-what-ya-brung, air-cooled vintage types. There was even a costume contest, featuring an awesome Donald Trump costume!
It was too early to get inside the exhibit for the Hand-Built Motorcycle Show, but there were so many cool old bikes to look at that were lining both sides of the street for two blocks.
I talked my way into the pits and watched some of the practice. This was going to be some interesting racing on this tight bullring that was about the size of a hockey rink. I took in some of the races and then decided go across the street for the bike exhibit, but by that time the crowd had really grown and the line was almost two blocks long, as this event has been here before and attracts a big crowd to see a hundred hand-built bikes built by some of the best.
Stevie Bonsey took the win in the Pro class, ahead of Jarod Vanderkooi. These big bikes were a handful for the small track, but this really did make for some tight racing!
Man, what a success this was – and no charge. Yes, that’s right – free!
Thank you, Indian, BMW, Roland Sands, and whoever else helped with this excellent event.
The Texas sun had taken its toll on this Hoosier, so I decided to call it a day. Sure enough, the Budget Rental was blocked in, and there was no way to squeeze between a nice Dodge and an RV. After some investigating, I noticed that if I could move one or two motorcycles, I could make my escape over a small curb. I only had to move one fairly small bike with no locked steering or an alarm, and I was out!
For more on this event, please go to www.handbuiltmotorcycleshow.com or www.rolandsands.com.