Saddlemen

Portfolio from the Old School TT Scrambles at the Glen

| 15 August 2017 7:07 pm

Old School TT Scrambles
Glen Helen Raceway

Story and Photography by Tom Corley/tcestudios@netzero.net
SAN BERNARDINO, CA, JULY 23, 2017

Motorcycle racing on a 1950- to 1960s-era TT Scrambles track again became a reality at Glen Helen Raceway, on a redesigned section of the truck track. Promoter Tami Greenhill, who previewed the track, exclaimed: “It’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be fast, it’s gonna be slick, it’s gonna be hard-packed. Get your tires ready! Anything goes! Come on out and join the fun!”

And the participants surely agreed with all of that, especially about it being fun.

“Who would have thought a TT race would be so much fun?” Maico enthusiast Gary Kortz reported. “I like Vintage Motocross and only went because several of my friends went. Sure glad I did!”

Truly, this track – designed by four-time National Champion Gary Jones and tested by his son Justin – was a big hit… and yes, both of them raced on this day.

Calling the action over a good sound system was Greg Barbacovi, who even played “Motorcycle Song” by Arlo Guthrie to start things off. Thanks for the hug, Greg, and we’re going to have to start calling you “the smell-good announcer.” Hope you found another pair of Von Zippers to see the races through; those glasses are you!

This portfolio is best viewed on a full-screen computer. Enjoy…

A full starting line of riders gets ready to tackle the newly designed TT Scrambles track at Glen Helen. There were historic bikes, Vintage Motocross and desert racers, along with modern machines and even a solid turnout of sidecars.

A full starting line of riders gets ready to tackle the newly designed TT Scrambles track at Glen Helen. There were historic bikes, Vintage Motocross and desert racers, along with modern machines and even a solid turnout of sidecars.

The riders’ meeting started with the officials telling everyone what’s up for the day. That’s starter and racer Rudy Gil (left), promoter Tami Greenhill (center), and track designer and racer Gary Jones (right).

The riders’ meeting started with the officials telling everyone what’s up for the day. That’s starter and racer Rudy Gil (left), promoter Tami Greenhill (center), and track designer and racer Gary Jones (right).

Promoter Tami Greenhill was so happy that there was a fine turnout of riders that she stretched her arms out wide, as if to say, “Hallelujah!” And it really took some inspiration to put together this event. A big part of her driving force is her father, racing legend John “R” – whom we had the privilege of meeting on this day.

The moto congregation included Lori Payne (left), who, by the way she was holding her hands, seemed to be getting into the spirit of things. Eight races were ready to roll, and with this event there was a heat race and then a main event. Everyone will be telling their buddies, and the next event should be even larger!

The moto congregation included Lori Payne (left), who, by the way she was holding her hands, seemed to be getting into the spirit of things. Eight races were ready to roll, and with this event there was a heat race and then a main event. Everyone will be telling their buddies, and the next event should be even larger!

Sidecar pilot Roy Watson had some gremlins to deal with as the day got under way.

Sidecar pilot Roy Watson had some gremlins to deal with as the day got under way.

The day got off to a rough start, literally, for sidecar pilot Roy Watson, who couldn’t get his motor started. Watson, who is 80 years old, finally got it started with a few more hard kicks.

“I had it flooded,” Watson confessed. “I have never learned.”

Watson was with his shotgun rider Gary Crawford, on the sidecar named “Chicken Shifter.” This is a 1985 Honda 600 with a year-2000 motor. He has raced everything, everywhere, including desert races, trials and enduros. And right at this moment, deejay Greg Barbacovi was playing the Johnny Cash song “I’ve Been Everywhere” – which pretty much describes Roy Watson and his sidecar. Let’s see how they roll out on the track…

Leaning through the wide turn one is Gary Crawford, with Roy Watson doing a good job of controlling the “Chicken Shifter” (Z4). For the day, it was Mike Burns, Paul Stimson, Mark McDade, and Watson in this Sidecar Expert contest.

Leaning through the wide turn one is Gary Crawford, with Roy Watson doing a good job of controlling the “Chicken Shifter” (Z4). For the day, it was Mike Burns, Paul Stimson, Mark McDade, and Watson in this Sidecar Expert contest.

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A close view of the starting line shows race seven getting off to a wobbly start, with Hodaka ace Dave Gordon (29) still getting the jump on some modern bikes in this combined event. Other than a different pair of rear shocks, it appeared as if Dave had a stock Super Rat, which he took to a win in the 100cc Scrambles Novice class. Bring your Hodaka out to the next event and race with Dave!

A close view of the starting line shows race seven getting off to a wobbly start, with Hodaka ace Dave Gordon (29) still getting the jump on some modern bikes in this combined event. Other than a different pair of rear shocks, it appeared as if Dave had a stock Super Rat, which he took to a win in the 100cc Scrambles Novice class. Bring your Hodaka out to the next event and race with Dave!

More first-turn action from the inside, and this time it’s race eight coming through! Out front and getting a great start is SoCal Maico rider Brad Russell (81G), with one of the hottest riders of the day, Ayrton Sieja (241), out to make the pass.

More first-turn action from the inside, and this time it’s race eight coming through! Out front and getting a great start is SoCal Maico rider Brad Russell (81G), with one of the hottest riders of the day, Ayrton Sieja (241), out to make the pass.

“Glen Helen was a great time,” Brad Russell recounted. “I thought the track was really fast, flowed really well, and, despite the speed, was safe. The track crew kept the track in great shape all day, despite the 100-degree temps, with just the right amount of water. The officials were great, sign-ups were effortless, and the races ran smooth.”

Taking the outside of turn one and banking it like a Pro is Ayrton Sieja.

Taking the outside of turn one and banking it like a Pro is Ayrton Sieja.

Many people observed and even photographed Ayrton Sieja, but few recognized him – so this reporter just had to find out. Ayrton explained why few knew him.

“This is my first Vintage race ever, and man, was I blown away!” he declared. “Such a fun, mellow vibe with great company! I’m a little out of shape for two classes, but it was well worth it!”

Rudy Gil gives the checkered flag to Ayrton Sieja, who won both the 250cc Historic Expert contest and the Sports 250 Expert class. What does he look like with his helmet off? Why, we will just go find him in the pits…

Rudy Gil gives the checkered flag to Ayrton Sieja, who won both the 250cc Historic Expert contest and the Sports 250 Expert class. What does he look like with his helmet off? Why, we will just go find him in the pits…

Ayrton Sieja poses behind his CZ for this portfolio. Some of us invited him to come race Vintage Motocross, too. Will we see him compete again soon? He sure made quite an impression at this event!

Ayrton Sieja poses behind his CZ for this portfolio. Some of us invited him to come race Vintage Motocross, too. Will we see him compete again soon? He sure made quite an impression at this event!

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Rudy Gil is the man with the flags, and he is well known for being the starter at flat-track events in Southern California. But did you know that he is also a very good Vintage Motocross racer? On this day, he took his Maico out to play…

Rudy Gil is the man with the flags, and he is well known for being the starter at flat-track events in Southern California. But did you know that he is also a very good Vintage Motocross racer? On this day, he took his Maico out to play…

In race eight, starter Rudy Gil (left) takes this jump headed back toward the finish line and is a bikelength from CZ jockey Jeremy Salmen (17). Rudy has quite a racing family: his son Nick Gil and daughter Monica Gil are both flat-track racers. On the day, Salmen won the Sports 125cc Novice class, while Rudy Gil took the Sports 500cc Intermediate title.

In race eight, starter Rudy Gil (left) takes this jump headed back toward the finish line and is a bikelength from CZ jockey Jeremy Salmen (17). Rudy has quite a racing family: his son Nick Gil and daughter Monica Gil are both flat-track racers. On the day, Salmen won the Sports 125cc Novice class, while Rudy Gil took the Sports 500cc Intermediate title.

Okay, so if the starter Rudy Gil got out on the track to scramble, who started his race? Here is the answer: Michael Bierman took over the starting line – but hey, we’ve got a picture of him racing, too!

Okay, so if the starter Rudy Gil got out on the track to scramble, who started his race? Here is the answer: Michael Bierman took over the starting line – but hey, we’ve got a picture of him racing, too!

Fasthouse-jerseyed Michael Bierman (111) had a full day, as he helped Lori Payne with her ride; covered Rudy Gil, who raced, so he waved the flag for him; and, as you can see here, raced his hot-rod Honda.

Fasthouse-jerseyed Michael Bierman (111) had a full day, as he helped Lori Payne with her ride; covered Rudy Gil, who raced, so he waved the flag for him; and, as you can see here, raced his hot-rod Honda.

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Going over the TT Jump by the stands in race three were Len Anderson (6V) and Matt Parsons (3P). Anderson placed second in the Scrambles 500cc Intermediate race, which was won by Triumph rider Lance Brown. Parsons claimed the Scrambles 500cc Expert win.

Going over the TT Jump by the stands in race three were Len Anderson (6V) and Matt Parsons (3P). Anderson placed second in the Scrambles 500cc Intermediate race, which was won by Triumph rider Lance Brown. Parsons claimed the Scrambles 500cc Expert win.

Wearing matching jerseys here are Matt Parson (3P) and Len Anderson (6V), on their great sounding BSA beasts in race one. Anderson won the Scrambles Lightweight Intermediate class, while Parsons was first in the Classic 500cc Expert class.

Wearing matching jerseys here are Matt Parson (3P) and Len Anderson (6V), on their great sounding BSA beasts in race one. Anderson won the Scrambles Lightweight Intermediate class, while Parsons was first in the Classic 500cc Expert class.

Flying over the TT jumps at high speed are Lori Payne (111) and Anna Lisa Davis (203).

Flying over the TT jumps at high speed are Lori Payne (111) and Anna Lisa Davis (203).

Lori Payne was riding a hot-rod Honda mini that belongs to Michael Bierman. Observing Lori was Bob Tocco, who felt this was the fastest that Lori has gone in years, and he recommended she sell the 125 and get a bike like this.

Anna Lisa Davis was equal with Lori. Overall for the day, Payne won the Women’s Expert class, over Tami Greenhill. The Women’s Novice race was won overall by Davis.

Gary Kortz (81G) and Randy Okada (182) in action.

Gary Kortz (81G) and Randy Okada (182) in action.

As mentioned at the start of this story, Gary Kortz was having so much fun racing.

“I had the smallest bike in the field,” Randy Okada reported, “and [I was] hoping to keep up with the biggest bikes.”

How did Okada like the track?

“I loved the track,” Okada said, “kind of smooth, perfect for vintage bikes or us riders too old to hit big jumps.”

Both of these riders were winners: Kortz was victorious in the Over 60 Intermediates, and Okada topped the Over 50 Novices.

One of the best jump shots of the day: These riders went really fast over this TT jump, but it was smooth and safe, with a good landing. On the inside is Parker Jones (181), with Brad Russell (45) alongside. Both are Maico-mounted.

One of the best jump shots of the day: These riders went really fast over this TT jump, but it was smooth and safe, with a good landing. On the inside is Parker Jones (181), with Brad Russell (45) alongside. Both are Maico-mounted.

Parker Jones had some good feedback about the track and the event.

“The track had good turns and some fun jumps,” Jones said. “It was a lot of fun and hosted by people who are passionate about Vintage racing. The event was good for riders of all skill levels. I look forward to the next one. I’ve been breaking in my recently restored 1978 Maico 250, courtesy of SoCal Maico and Noleen J6. The Vintage Scrambles race was a perfect opportunity for me to get more time on my bike and hang out with friends who share the love of racing.”

Parker went on to win the Post-Vintage Expert class, over Brad Russell.

“Both my SoCal Maico-backed bikes ran great,” Russell reported. “I ended up winning the 500cc class on the 440 and finished second on the 250 behind Parker Jones on his Noleen-backed Maico. The first-place trophies were awesome – a finish-line photo by Full Throttle Photos. It was a great day! I can’t wait for the next one!”

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Race-five action through the third turn, and ahead at this point is four-time National Champion Gary Jones (88), followed by Matt Parsons (3P) and Brent Wilkinson (951, behind Parsons). Jones did a super job of helping with the track and had fun racing on it, too, along with his son Justin.

Race-five action through the third turn, and ahead at this point is four-time National Champion Gary Jones (88), followed by Matt Parsons (3P) and Brent Wilkinson (951, behind Parsons). Jones did a super job of helping with the track and had fun racing on it, too, along with his son Justin.

Taking this bank on turn one is Gary Jones (88), who appears to be outdistancing the rest of the pack. This Yamaha is similar to one that he rode back in the day. Gary took first in the Over 60 Expert class.

Taking this bank on turn one is Gary Jones (88), who appears to be outdistancing the rest of the pack. This Yamaha is similar to one that he rode back in the day. Gary took first in the Over 60 Expert class.

How about another shot of Gary Jones? Okay, here he is in flight off the TT jump with another talented rider, Steve Williams (815).

How about another shot of Gary Jones? Okay, here he is in flight off the TT jump with another talented rider, Steve Williams (815).

We know quite a bit about Gary Jones, but we wanted to know more about Steve Williams, who gave us an interesting account about the Husky that he raced, as well as his career.

“I love the Old School Scrambles and the people that attend,” Williams said. “Nothing better than being able to race my 1972 Husqvarna WR450. I want to support the Vintage racing as much as possible. The course by Gary Jones was fun and fast. It had a couple of rolling jumps and the always challenging flat corners. Since I don’t get to race the old Husky as much as I like to, I never know how it’s going to handle in the different terrain. However, I have found it is a great-handling bike. I found the Husky in Mojave, California, sitting outside, and it had been there for over 25 years. It was weathered but well worth the $150 I paid for it.”

First-turn action in race five, and it’s Steve Williams (815) grabbing the lead, and he’s on his way toward winning the Over 50 Expert class. Behind him is Matt Parsons (3P), on the BSA that proved unforgettable in this day’s competition.

First-turn action in race five, and it’s Steve Williams (815) grabbing the lead, and he’s on his way toward winning the Over 50 Expert class. Behind him is Matt Parsons (3P), on the BSA that proved unforgettable in this day’s competition.

“The Husky actually belonged to Parnelli Jones at one time,” Williams continued. “I replaced the weathered parts and added a new top end and, to my surprise, it started right up. I replaced the rear shocks, adding the total funds spent on the bike to approximately $700. As a tribute to the bike, I left all the rust and wear as I found it. I also race off-road on my new bikes. I have won championships in the District 37 Desert and Gran Prix series, WORCS, SCORE Baja, Best In The Desert. I currently ride and race the ’72 Husky 1985 Honda CR500, 1995 CR500, and a 2017 Yamaha YZ 450FX. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be racing the BITD Vegas-to-Reno [which is 540 miles] – the longest off-road race in America.”

Very impressive, Steve.

Who’s this aggressive rider to the left who is ready to make the pass on the dual-sport rider? That just happens to be the ISDT champ Justin Jones (42), the son of Gary Jones. See what he can do when he’s way ahead of the rest...

Who’s this aggressive rider to the left who is ready to make the pass on dual-sport rider Jon Rice (right)? That just happens to be the ISDT champ Justin Jones (42), the son of Gary Jones. Let’s see what he can do when he’s way ahead of the rest…

With the shutter slowed down, we are able to see the rear wheel of Justin Jones’ Honda spin. But wait - he can get even more stylish...

With the shutter slowed down, we are able to see the rear wheel of Justin Jones’ Honda spin. But wait – he can get even more stylish…

Justin Jones flies over this TT jump like almost certainly nobody else – at least on this today.

Justin Jones flies over this TT jump like nobody else dared to on this day.

“My opinion of the race was nothing but positive,” Justin said. “My initial thought of the race was that it would be boring, but when I rode the track, I completely changed my mind. I had some of the most fun racing than I have had in a couple of years! The more riders, the closer and more fun the racing will be. I can’t wait for the next one!”

One last shot from the first-turn sweeper: John Woolsey (74W) leads Gary Jones (88) race five on what appears to be the same-year Yamaha but with a different pipe. Woolsey won the Over 50 Intermediate class and Gary Jones took the Over 60 Expert title.

One last shot from the first-turn sweeper: John Woolsey (74W) leads Gary Jones (88) in race five on what appears to be the same-year Yamaha but with a different pipe. Woolsey won the Over 50 Intermediate class and Gary Jones took the Over 60 Expert title.

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Well, the day’s racing is done, and it was a good day of shooting for this photographer – and for Bob Tocco and Alison Barnes, in this trackside perch. Bob had intended to race his 250 but hurt his leg when he tried to start it.

Well, the day’s racing is done, and it was a good day of shooting for this photographer – and for Bob Tocco and Alison Barnes, in this trackside perch. Bob had intended to race his 250 but hurt his leg when he tried to start it.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend – John Rice, a.k.a. John R, was on hand, and he wore a shirt to honor another legend: Don Jones. The legacy of both of these great men live through those who happened to be racing on this day. John Rice is the father of Tami Greenhill, who promoted this race and jumped on a mini to have some fun. Don Jones was the father of Gary Jones, who was a big part of this event, as was Gary’s son Justin Jones.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend – John Rice, a.k.a. John R, was on hand, and he wore a shirt to honor another legend: Don Jones. The legacy of both of these great men live through those who happened to be racing on this day. John Rice is the father of Tami Greenhill, who promoted this race and jumped on a mini to have some fun. Don Jones was the father of Gary Jones, who was a big part of this event, and so was Gary’s son Justin Jones.

This is the official event shirt, which is still available for purchase while supplies last. It’s $15 each or two for $20, plus shipping. Now, this particular shirt is very special, as The Man – John R himself - signed it just for me. Gotta love that guy!

This is the official event shirt, which is still available for purchase while supplies last. It’s $15 each or two for $20, plus shipping. Now, this particular shirt is very special, as The Man – John R himself – signed it just for me. Gotta love that guy!

Okay, now back to the “Motorcycle Song” by Arlo Guthrie, which announcer Greg Barbacovi played earlier in the day. Sing along with me, moto choir…

“I don’t want a pickle
Just want to ride my motor sickle
And I don’t want a tickle
I’d rather ride my motor sickle
And I don’t want to die
I just want to ride my motor cy…”

See you at the next Scrambles event, coming in December!
– Tom Corley

Glen Helen Raceway
San Bernardino, California
Results: July 23, 2017

SCRAMBLES LIGHTWEIGHT INT: 1. Len Anderson (BSA).

CLASSIC 250 INT: 1. Paul Chaffee (CZ).

CLASSIC 500 NOV: 1. Luke Sayer (Suz); 2. Mark Millington (Gre).

CLASSIC 500 INT: 1. Darrin Gauvin (Gre); 2. Rudy Gil (BSA).

CLASSIC 500 EX: 1. Matt Parsons (BSA).

MODERN SUPPORT NOV: 1. Sam Shank (Hon); 2. Tony Radford (Yam); 3. Raymond Blacklock (KTM).

MODERN SUPPORT INT: 1. Gary Sewell (Hen).

MODERN SUPPORT EX: 1. Tim Hoole (Yam); 2. Michelle Horton (Yam); 3. Dan Alamangos (Hsq); 4. Lori Payne (Hon); 5. Ron Lawson.

PRO MODERN: 1. Justin Jones (Hon); 2. Craig McCall (KTM); 3. Colt Foster (Hon).

SCRAMBLES 500 INT: 1. Lance Brown (Tru); 2. Len Anderson (BSA); 3. John Huegel; 4. Darrin Gauvin (Gre).

SCRAMBLES 500 EX: 1. Matt Parsons (BSA).

4 HISTORIC NOV: 1. Rich Barnes (Yam).

250 HISTORIC EX: 1. Ayrton Sieja (CZ).

POST-VINTAGE NOV: 1. Doug Childs (Hon); 2. William Wallace (Hsq); 3. Sam Shank (Hon).

POST-VINTAGE EX: 1. Parker Jones (Hon); 2. Brad Russell (Mai).

50+ NOV: 1. Randy Okada (Yam); 2. Andre Souisa; 3. Mark Sieja (CZ); 4. Don Salmen (CZ); 5. Tim Vasquez (CZ); 6. Tom Reynolds (Yam).

50+ INT: 1. John Woolsey; 2. Brent Wilkinson (Suz).

50+ EX: 1. Steve Williams (Hsq); 2. Matt Parsons (BSA).

60+ NOV: 1. Mark Obert (Hon); 2. Luke Sayer (Suz); 3. Glenn Brandt (Hsq).

60+ INT: 1. Gary Kortz (Mai).

60+ EX: 1. Gary Jones (Yam).

70+ INT: 1. Chuck Deran (Yam).

70+ EX: 1. Mike Brooks (Oss); 2. Ralph Parzelt (Yam).

WOMEN NOV: 1. Anna Lisa Davis (Yam); 2. Amber Sklar (Yam).

WOMEN EX: 1. Lori Payne (Hon); 2. Tami Greenhill (Hon).

SIDECAR EX: 1. Paul Stimson (KTM); 2. Mike Burns (Kaw); 3. Mark McDade; 4. Roy Watson.

100 SCRAMBLES NOV: 1. Dave Gordon (Hod).

MINI SUPPORT: 1. Tim Hoole (Yam); 2. Dan Alamangos (Hsq); 3. Mike Bierman (Hon); 4. Jerry Matta (Yam); 5. Lori Payne (Hon); 6. Tami Greenhill (Hon).

SPORTS 125 NOV: 1. Jeremy Salmen (CZ); 2. Mark Carlton (Hon); 3. Dave Gordon (Suz).

SPORTS 250 NOV: 1. Tom Reynolds (Yam); 2. Mark Obert (Hon).

SPORTS 250 INT: 1. Brent Wilkinson (Suz); 2. Nick Antry (Hon); 3. Tom Contino (Mai).

SPORTS 250 EX: 1. Ayrton Sieja (CZ).

SPORTS 500 NOV: 1. Kyle Chaffee; 2. Tim Vasquez (CZ); 3. Jose Gil.

SPORTS 500 INT: 1. Rudy Gil (BSA).

SPORTS 500 EX: 1. Brad Russell (Mai); 2. Steve Williams (Hsq).

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