Wacky Scooter Races Birmingham 2019 | RALLERY
What keeps the scooter scene fresh in my eyes is whenever something new gets added to the calendar; be that a new destination, a new ride or a new concept. In that respect, the inaugural Wacky Scooter Races scored on all points.
What’s the point?
The point was to allow scooterists to get their scooters on a race-track for sensible money, and to support The Birmingham Children’s Hospital at the same time.
Ordinarily, if you want to race a scooter in the UK it now requires an ACU course and a fee to get a licence, a dedicated racing scooter, specialist safety clothing and most of all big money for entries. Professional racing (at any level) is not a poor man’s sport.
By contrast, Wacky Races offered sessions for novices to ride the track on their own road or race scooter, wearing good quality road gear from as little as £10 for one session.
For those who spent £45 on the full package you got six 25 minute track sessions as well as a free T-shirt, and funky keyrings. That really is astonishing value for money.
The Birmingham Wheels kart track is medium-sized and we were given the simplest of all layouts allowing for top speeds in excess of 60mph on the back straight if your scooter is fast enough. With a sharp hairpin at the end of the straight you need good brakes to lap quickly.
Spectators were well catered for with a burger van, licensed bar and a great view of the racing.
Typically, far more people said they’d ride than actually had the balls to do so which left more track for the rest of us.
Sessions were split into ‘careful’ and ‘confident’ groups.
Those who turned up on road scooters and fancied a play with their mates in the ‘careful’ sessions absolutely had a wail of a time. It was so good to see nicely-painted full-frame Lammies used in anger along with Vespa PXs and the odd Vespa GTS.
With over 300 spectators visiting during the day I was surprised that more people didn’t fancy at least one session to see if they enjoyed riding on the track. For the next event there is some discussion of dedicated ‘parade laps’ to see if it’s possible to persuade a few more of the doubters to participate. You get very few opportunities to ride a scooter on a dedicated race track so everyone should have a try at least once in their lives.
The ‘Confident’ class attracted a mix of dedicated racing scooters (despite a clash with the BSSO’s Lydden Hill race meeting) street scooters and even the odd ‘special’.
Most special of all was Jerome from Readspeed’s latest smallframe complete with Quattrini cases and a BMB kart barrel. It makes over 45hp, revs to 15,000rpm and is geared for over 100mph. Riding this on a twisty kart track was clearly an uncomfortable prospect as Jerome was spending more time trying to keep it on the ground in the lower gears than being able to enjoy it. Look out for a SLUK feature soon.
Also on hand was my old Scootering Magazine SS90/Quattrini project scooter “Underdog” which was actually one of the fastest machines on track once we sorted out the jetting. Kart circuits and smallframe Vespas go hand-in-hand.
From the BSSO paddock also came Lee Giles on his Scomadi 200 from last year’s Scomadi Cup series, along with Shaun Fairhead on a highly tuned RB Group 6 special. Both were quick, but Lee was the only person to have a decent crash all day, snapping a headset on the Scomadi but not even bothering the Ambulance. He was soon back on the track.
In the paddock The Classic Scooter Company were on hand for anyone seeking spares, the Vespa Owner’s Club UK were signing up new members and The Two Ronnies SC were celebrating both their racing prowess and the acquisition of a pair of bubble hand-grips in the raffle. Something for all the family, as long as they like handlebar grips that look like butt-plugs.
Gary and Wendi – the people behind this event – were inundated with positive feedback on the event, not least of all getting a spot on the end of the BBC news normally reserved for funny stories like fat ginger kids with their heads stuck in railings.
Given that the event passed off totally peacefully without the ambulance even needing to turn a wheel, and the circuit owners even seeming pleased, it looks highly likely that there will be other Wacky Scooter Races in the future. If you want to know when this might happen then follow this Facebook page.
Additional Photos by Lyndon Biddulph
Rallery by Sticky and Lyndon
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