|CVRG aka California Vintage Racing Group
|Before I dive headlong into the CVRG, it should be noted that it was Chris Quinn (of Hayward, CA) who was the driving force behind the racing of vintage/classic motorcycles in Northern California since 1980. It was Chris Quinn, who, with the help of a gallant few, took over the VROOM race at Sears Point in 1982 (during the Budweiser Endurance race), when the VROOM event and management crumbled at the last minute, thus saving the event for all involved (I was on a 1929 Sunbeam 500).
It was Chris who went to the AFM Board and lobbied for a Vintage class. The rules were simple; Pre-67, with four classes: 200cc, 250cc, 350cc and 500cc. The bike had to be of the “period”. For some years the vintage class with the AFM (both North & South) gained momentum, and there was some good times had by all.
Late in 1983 a new event popped up, the Zimmer & McGee Vintage weekend at Las Vegas Raceway. Numerous NorCal riders made the trip to Vegas and had a great time. The grids were of a good size, and the old course turned out to be a blast on a small single! I built my first 250 Ducati just for this event.
The following year someone, god knows who, came up with the idea of a Triple Crown, which would pit the NorCal guys verse the Las Vegas guys verse the SoCal guys. Three tracks would be used; Sears Point, Las Vegas and Willow Springs. High point rider after three rounds would be crowned the Triple Crown Champion. It was this Triple Crown that gave us the incentive to form an organization. Chris and I had talked of forming a club, for use of a better word, and by June of 1984 we were well on our way to do such. In July we organized a meeting to be held at Chris’ shop, The Wheel Works. That evening we established the California Vintage Racing Group. Those in attendance elected Chris Chairman; myself as Secretary, and Fred Mork was nominated as the Treasurer. Our first order of business was the need to establish a set of rules. Dick Mann brought with him a copy of the rules from the AMA Advisory Board for the Daytona Invitational Historic Races. Dick was part of this board already, and his advice was more than welcomed. In the end we used the Daytona rules as a format, using the class structure and year cutoffs. (It should be noted, that the rules you have in AHRMA came from the old Advisory Board and the CVRG).
Immediately after forming the CVRG we ran into problems with the Triple Crown Series. Seems the CRMC, the SoCal based group didn’t have much in the way of machines that fit into the AMA or CVRG rules. The majority of CRMC members rode Norton 750s, most all of whom ran on slicks! Slicks were not permitted by the AMA, nor CVRG, and we didn’t have a 750 class. Better late than never, we established a 750cc class for the Triple Crown Series only… during round one at Sears Points (with the AFM), these 750cc machines would have to race behind the Twins race (AFM wouldn’t allow anything bigger than 500cc in the “vintage” class, as per their agreement with Chris). The slick tyres? We ignored it for the time being. The racing seemed to go off well We now all looked forward to Willow Springs in the late summer.
At Willow Springs there was another change, one that was agreed to before we started the series. The agreement regarding “gridding procedures”, which was; "Gridding will first be done via engine displacement (500cc – 350cc – 250cc), and on each grid these riders will be gridded by points earned in Round-1, he/she with the most points gets the pole, respectively in each class." This didn’t happen. All the NorCal riders found themselves on the rear of their respective grids (I seem to think this has happened since then too). Then, like in later years, the rider gridded last was leading at the end of the first lap! And on a barrowed bike to boot!
At days end the CVRG lead the points!
Below: Mike Green on his 250 Ducati would win at every round of the Triple Crown Series, thus taking the 250GP title and the overall title. The following year he'd take the CVRG titles as well.
|The CVRG Wrecking Crew, 1986.
L-R: Scott Obermuller, Scott Borem, Dan Phillips, Craig McLean, Mike Camepa, Fred Mork, Michelle Bisson, Bret Morshead, Mike Green, Carmen Lynaugh, Jeff Hecox.