NEMRR Round 5 was held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on August 19-20 under near-perfect conditions on both days.
The paddock was a little lighter than usual due to the conflicting MotoAmerica event at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, which drew away a number of regular NEMRR participants to PA to either compete, crew, or spectate. The absence of these riders, combined with a few others who were sitting out due to injury, left the fields wide open in several classes. Also of note for this weekend was the return of NEMRR Executive Director John Grush, who had a medical emergency at the NEMRR round just two weeks ago. Grush was greeted with a warm reception during the riders meeting on Saturday where the crowd was glad to see him back on his feet again.
The Expert races started the weekend off with Brett Guyer and his Seacoast Sport Cycle Aprilia RS 660 picking up where they left off last round with a win over Plaistow Powersports rider Rick Doucette in the Robert Pease-sponsored Expert GTL class, extending his Championship lead.
Ryan Imbeault followed suit on his Penguin Racing/Naults Cycle Kawasaki Ninja 400 as he took the victory over his Penguin teammate Robert Taylor in the First Trax GT500 class.
Next up, motard pilot Gunnar Oulette scored the first of his three victories on the weekend with a dominating performance in the PTC Racing Super Singles Class over up-and-coming young riders Trase Boudreau and Henry Woodman.
In the final combined endurance event of the day, the Bauce Racing GTO race was won by Bill Coolahan on the Team RSP Yamaha R6. Coolahan scored the victory over teammate Nick Leighton.
In the Dunlop-sponsored GTU ranks, a pair of of Yamaha R6 riders topped the podium as veteran Paul Duval of Tony’s Track Days came out on top of rising star Michael Lee.
The feature race of the weekend, the Michelin/Motorace Dash for cash, was wide open. The riders who had dominated the Dash in recent seasons were absent, and the pit was buzzing about what was sure to be a barn burner of an event. Ian Beam was anxious to truly earn a victory after being handed a win at the previous event by another rider’s mistake. Paul Duval had been on many podiums in the past but had never secured a win. Young upstart Michael Lee had been moving closer to the front with each passing weekend and the “King” Rick Doucette needed to put together a good start to go with his typically strong late-race pace to secure his first victory in several years.
At the drop of the flag it was Duval who jumped out to the lead, followed by the mighty Triumph of Beam and the fast-starting Geoffrey “Frenchie” Bonnard. Doucette, simply put, had an awful start and went into the first turn buried deep in the pack. As the early laps played out, Beam chased down Duval and took over the lead on lap four, and Lee charged forward to third as the lead trio pulled out a couple seconds on the remainder of the pack.
Meanwhile, Doucette was charging forward and began to reel off the fastest laps of the race. On lap eight, Doucete finally made his way up to Lee and took over the position with his classic out braking maneuver into the Turn Six “bowl.” With three laps to go he set off after the lead duo, and the crowd didn’t know if there would be time for Doucette to mount a challenge.
With a blistering lap 10 Doucette passed Duval and set off after Beam. Doucette’s last-lap attempt was made in Turn Six again with the two leaders within inches of each other from mid-corner through the entire exit. In the end, Doucette left Beam a sliver of racetrack to hang on to. Beam used his track position to just hold off Doucette as the pair entered Turn Seven and then managed to hold on to the finish line and to the victory. It was one of the best Dash for Cash contests in recent memory!
NEMRR Round 6 will be held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 9-10. NEMRR has a fantastic opportunities for riders to join our racing family with our Super Street class – riders can be part of the race weekend with a track day prepared motorcycle! For more information please visit www.nemrr.com.