Joyce and Turpin share wins and spills at Talladega GP
(September 13, 2023, Knoxville, TN) Shane Turpin and Tim Joyce tested, and exceeded, the limit in their chase for the 2023 American Historic Racing Motorcycle (AHRMA) championship.
Sponsored by Hagerty Insurance, Roadracingworld.com, and NYC Norton (nycnorton.com), AHRMA’s 2023 Vintage Cup features the Formula 750 (F750) class which includes 750cc two and four-stroke powered machines built up to 1972.
Rounds 17 and 18 of the Vintage Cup were held on September 9 and 10, 2023 in conjunction with the Bridgestone Tires AHRMA National Roadracing series at Talladega Gran Prix.
It’s a hot time in Alabama even in September. Going into Talladega, the Vintage Cup championship race was narrowed down to two riders: Shane Turpin and Tim Joyce.
Going into the Talladega Gran Prix rounds, Joyce, who races a NYC Norton 1968 Seeley NRE 750, was leading the points in the Vintage Cup series. Turpin, on a 1972 Ducati Imola, sponsored by Larrabure Framing and VeeTwo, joined the series mid-season and has raced himself into contention for the championship.
The rounds at Talladega were pivotal for either rider, and certain to affect the final championship outcome.
On Saturday, the race started with Joyce leading until the first corner where he was shoulder-to-shoulder with Turpin. Joyce pulled ahead and was well into the first lap when he realized Turpin had suffered a mechanical failure and had left the race. Joyce kept his head down and won the race, which was his 10th Vintage Cup victory and earned him enough points to possibly win the 2023 Vintage Cup championship.
Dan Sokolich on a 1977 Yamaha RD400 finishing second, Ben Schmitt rounding out the podium on his NYC Norton 1968 Seeley Commando in third, Bucky (James) Sexton on his 1970 BMW R75/5 in fourth, and Al Charles, AHRMA’s Road Race Director on a 1970 Triumph T-150 in fifth.
Turpin returned Sunday with a repaired motorcycle and took his grid position next to Joyce on the front row. The start was a repeat of Saturday’s with Turpin and Joyce again shoulder-to-shoulder going through the first turn with Turpin taking the advantage on the exit. Joyce passed Turpin entering the second turn, but Turpin went underneath Joyce into the next corner forcing Joyce to lean the bike harder to make it through the famous decreasing-radius turn.
Joyce accelerated hard, slid the rear wheel which then regained grip and launched Joyce in a spectacular high side and out of the race. Joyce walked away relatively unscathed as Turpin rode his Ducati to victory.
Sokolich was second place, with Justin Hebbel riding a 1972 BMW R75/5 in third, with AHRMA Road Race director Al Charles rounding out the grid.
“It has been a season of grueling competition and that began to show as some top riders began to deal with mechanical issues in practice,” said Carl Anderson, AHRMA’s 2023 Chairman of the Board. “Tim Joyce and the NYC Norton team seemed to do the best job of dealing with adversity and came out on top Saturday but crashed on Sunday while attempting to claim another win.”
Kenny Cummings of NYC Norton, said, “We came into Talladega with two riders and teams going head-to-head, and it was anyone’s guess what the outcome of these two races would be. Talladega is one of the shortest tracks on the schedule, but it brings some of the best race excitement. This weekend was no exception. Congratulations to Shane and Tim for your wins this weekend.”
Cummings reflected on the roller-coaster weekend, “As team owner and sponsor, I’m very happy with our outcome, but I must give credit where credit is due. The Larrabure/Turpin Ducati is a force to be reckoned with and we hope to see some good race action heading into our final rounds at Barber.”
The annual Vintage Cup spotlights one of AHRMA’s road racing classes with extra attention on competitors in the selected class during each race event. Enhanced awards for the Vintage Cup competitors are presented separately from other class trophies during the Saturday awards ceremony at each AHRMA National Road Race event.
Highlights from each Vintage Cup race will be reported in RoadracingWorld.com’s online edition. At the conclusion of each season, the perpetual Vintage Cup trophy will be engraved with the national champion winner’s name and presented to the winner at the National Awards Banquet to keep for one year.
2023 Bridgestone Tires AHRMA Roadracing Series, Formula 750 – Vintage Cup Results
Saturday, September 9, 2023
1. Tim Joyce, 1968 Seeley NRE 750, Springfield, VT
2. Dan Sokolich, 1977 Yamaha RD400, Washington, MO
3. Ben Schmitt, 1970 Norton Commando, Kearney, MO
4. Bucky (James) Sexton, 1970 BMW R75/5, York, PA
5. Albert Charles, 1970 Triumph T-150, Thornville, OH
Sunday, September 10, 2023
1. Shane Turpin, 1972 Ducati Imola, Scottsdale, AZ
2. Dan Sokolich, 1977 Yamaha RD400, Washington, MO
3. Justin Hebbel, 1972 BMW R75/5, Baltimore, MD
4. Albert Charles, 1970 Triumph T-150, Thornville, OH
The American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to competing on fantastic classic and true vintage machines along with a wide range of modern motorcycles. With over 3,000 members, AHRMA is the largest vintage racing group in North America and one of the biggest in the world. The association has grown steadily over the years, reflecting the increasing interest in classic bikes.