Kershaw, SC., March 23, 2021 – Heated battles took the chill off rounds 3 and 4 of the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association’s (AHRMA) 2021 Vintage Cup during the March 20-21 weekend at Carolina Motorsports Park.
500 Premier, which features iconic racing motorcycles from the 1960s, is the road racing class AHRMA is highlighting during 2021. Special awards and coverage are being provided by class sponsors Roadracing World (roadracingworld.com) and NYC Norton (nycnorton.com).
The class included Wes Orloff, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, aboard Dale Coffman’s Honda 450, and Helmi Niederer on his NYC Norton Seeley G50, first time back on the track after recovering from a broken shoulder at Barber 2019. Tony Reed was on his fast BSA B50 along with other BSA racers Andy Findling, Chuck Crocco, and David Rutherford. Dave Roper joined the grid on the historic Dick Mann Special AJS 7R. Rounding out the grid was Jerry Duke on his Ducati 350 Scrambler.
Saturday’s race was held in the early afternoon with weather conditions vacillating between Winter and Spring. There was optimism in the paddock that the racing surface temperature would be warm enough to provide the tire grip needed in close vintage motorcycle competition.
Orloff took the holeshot on Saturday’s race which allowed him to avoid traffic in the first corner. Neiderer lost the front end in the melee which also took out Vintage Cup points leader Reed’s rear wheel, taking him out of contention to earn Vintage Cup points in the race. When the race was restarted, Orloff took another holeshot and a flag-to-flag victory.
Warmer weather and higher track temperatures offered better conditions for Sunday’s race. All of the bikes damaged during Saturday’s fracas had been repaired and the racers ready for a rematch.
At the start, Tony Read experienced mechanical issues and was unable to launch his BSA. In a repeat of Saturday, Orloff got a strong start which he leveraged into a sizable lead. Roper followed with Niederer in third for the duration of the race. Duke and Rutherford rounded out the top five with Findling and Crocco on their well turned-out BSAs also in the mix.
“Wes Orloff is one of the most congenial, gentlemanly fast guys out there and it’s always good for him to take a win, and he took two this weekend,” said Kenny Cummings of NYC Norton, sponsor of the 2021 Vintage Cup. Cummings continued, “At the same time, the Cinderella story of Tony Read is something we expect will continue in future races. CMP brought him some bad luck this last weekend, but he’ll be back. The Vintage Cup is now equal points between Reed and Orloff with 2000 points each. We know there is more excitement to come.”
Rounds 5 and 6 will be at Streets of Willow in Rosamond, CA, April 16-18, 2021.
Race Results (Saturday, March 20):
1 – Wes Orloff, 1967 Honda 450
2 – David Roper, 1967 AJS 7R
3 – Jerry Duke, 1967 Ducati 350 Scrambler
4 – David Rutherford, 1971 BSA B50
5 – Andy Findling, 1961 BSA Gold Star
6 – Chuck Crocco, 1971 BSA B50
Race Results (Sunday, March 21):
1 – Wes Orloff, 1967 Honda 450
2 – David Roper, 1967 Harley-Davidson CRTT
3 – Helmut Niederer, Seeley G50
4 – Jerry Duke, 1967 Ducati 350 Scrambler
5 – David Rutherford, 1971 BSA B50
6 – Andy Findling, 1961 BSA Gold Star
7 – Chuck Crocco, 1971 BSA B50
AHRMA (American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving, restoring, and competing on historic motorcycles. With more than 3,000 members, AHRMA is the leading historic motorcycle racing group in North America and one of the largest in the world. The association’s enthusiastic membership reflects this country’s strong interest in classic bikes.