By Alex Gallacher Shannonville Motorsports Park
Shannonville (Ontario), May 17, 2023 – The Super Series launched the 2023 season on the warmest Spring weekend with the biggest grids in recent series history. With grids large, riders talented and weather perfect, the fans were treated to nine intense and action-packed races.
With the return of CSBK to Shannonville Motorsport Park, the Super Series saw a large number of National riders going up against the best local stars. First up was the 31-bike strong AM Sportbike feature. 2022 Novice champion Alexis Beaudoin started on pole ahead of Colin Duncan, Wes Barnes and Adam Pearsall. Duncan shot off to the early lead after a poor start from Beaudoin, and the field completed 90% of the first lap without issue.
Newcomer to the Super Series this season Jason Nash was the first to find trouble, after going down in the Allen’s corner braking zone. Both Ryan Dunwoodie and Pedram Jajarmizadeh were able to avoid the sliding Nash despite having little time to react. On lap 6, pole sitter Beaudoin lost control at the exit of Allen’s corner and the race ended under red giving Colin Duncan his first win of 2023. Wes Barnes and Maverick Cyr completed the podium.
Lightweight Sportsman was up next and despite starting at the rear, Istvan Hidvegi wasn’t going to be denied a win. Hidvegi, along with Chris Fehr, shot through the field like cannons. After less than two minutes, the pair found themselves 1st and 3rd with newcomer and polesitter Zaim Laflamme in between. Fehr got around Laflamme and gave chase to Hidvegi but an incident cut the race short and ended under red giving Hidvegi the win with Fehr and Jean-François Cloutier completing the podium.
The Pros took to the track next for their first Sportbike feature, and with the star-studded grid featuring Bridgestone CSBK’s very talented riders, it served as a preview to what fans can expect this coming weekend.
David MacKay lead the race from the get go with Brad McRae and Matt Simpson in chase. On Lap 3, Campbell found himself in battle with Simpson for third. Simpson tried a last-minute move on the back stretch right-handed to pass Campbell, but went down and was unable to finish the race. On the next lap the chase continued and race leader MacKay went down and handed the race lead to McRae and Campbell. Two laps later, Campbell retired with a mechanical problem allowing McRae to take the win ahead of Sean Latta and Marco Sousa.
The 2023 novice class got off to an amazing start with 13 riders challenging for their first Super Series wins. The Quebec rider, Denis Giguère, started on Pole and after a weak start found himself in last. The lead was inherited by Dawson McLaughlin who found himself under siege from Catherine Mackenzie. The two fought it out for the whole race before Giguère charged back through the field and passed them both.
With Giguère riding off the into the distance to claim his first win at Shannonville Motorsport Park, the 2nd and 3rd place riders still had to sort out their places. Despite hard challenges from MacKenzie, McLaughlin held his own to hold off Mackenzie for 2nd.
The Heavyweight Sportsman/ Lightweight Superbike feature was dominated by Jordan Decarie, who held off fierce challenges from defending champion Drew Weber. When it looked like Weber had caught Decarie, Weber crashed and the race was ended under the red flag. Decarie scored the win followed by Alex Coelho and Duncan. Hidvegi claimed the Lightweight Superbike feature with Cloutier and Sean Kitchen completing the podium.
AM Superbike saw a fight between Bev Ackerman and Matt Vanderhorst. Despite Ackerman logging faster laps near the end, it wasn’t enough for him to reel in Vanderhorst who held his 7-second lead to claim the win. Cyr completed the podium.
Pro Superbike saw a battle for the ages, 2021 CSBK Pro Superbike champ Alex Dumas and defending Shannonville Pro Superbike champ Elie Daccache. Daccache got the better start and Dumas was on a mission to get him. With both riders running times in the low 1:06’s, they were clear of eventual place finisher Trevor Dion by nearly 20 seconds. Dumas waited for his moment to strike and with a handful of laps to go made his move in the double apex in turn 3, 4 and 5. Now with Daccache in chase, Dumas score the win by 2 seconds. Little did the spectators know, they would see this battle one more time before the day was up.
The penultimate feature was the Lightweight Production race. With Laflamme on pole, it was Cloutier that got the better start. Cloutier had a slightly slower bike compared to Laflamme, however made all the right moves to keep him behind. For 12 heart-pounding minutes, Cloutier played defense. Coming to the stripe, New Brunswick’s Vincent Wilson managed to come out of nowhere and got passed Laflamme going into Allen’s corner. Cloutier took his first well-deserved win in several years.
The Sprint Cup final saw Dumas once again take on Daccache, but this time Dumas got the better start. Daccache was within a 3-bike length for most of the race. When Daccache saw an opportunity to make his move, young Dumas finessed his way to the win by less than 2 tenths over Daccache and 18 seconds over Sam Guérin.
Day two saw a few riders call it a weekend, however majority of riders that stayed put on more spectacular shows.
The first race to go off was the 23-bike strong AM Sportbike class, Maverick Cyr won the Pole and was quickly passed by Colin Duncan off the start. However, Cyr managed to get back around Duncan with a wild but fair lunge into Allen’s Corner. In the end Cyr was too strong for Duncan, holding on for the win by a margin of 2 seconds. Wes Barnes was third.
Istvan Hidvegi claimed the Lightweight Sportsman victory ahead of Chris Fehr and Zaim Laflamme, while the Pro Sportbike race was won by Brad McCrae for the second day in a row. He was followed by David McKay and Sean Latta.
The Novice race was a real educational experience for the beginner’s class where the race had to be re-started twice. On the first start, Dawson McLaughlin got the jump on Denis Giguère and Catherine Mackenzie. However, heading into the backstretch hairpin Giguère made contact with McLaughlin’s rear tire sending him out of the race. After the second start, Mackenzie was on a mission and made a daring pass on the outside of Mark Stecho in corner 2. Unfortunately, her bike got a little squirrelly and she went down.
The third and final restart saw Hamilton take the lead from Stecho and McLaughlin. Dropping back to third, McLaughlin was determined to win. Making a three wide pass into Allen’s, McLaughlin passed two of his competitors and walked away for his first Super Series victory.
Jordan Decarie took the Heavyweight Sportsman crown ahead of Coelho and Barnes, while Hidvegi doubled up the Lightweight Superbike win ahead of Cloutier and David Buckland. Maverick Cyr claimed the AM Superbike win ahead of Matt Vanderhorst and Bryce Deboer.
Alex Dumas bested Daccache and Dion for the PRO Superbike win while Vincent Wilson took this first Super Series win in Lightweight Production. Dumas would end the day with a Sprint Cup victory over Daccache and Dion, making the winning pass with less than 2 laps to go.
Official results and standings after Round 1 can be found on the Super Series’ website.
The Super Series will be back in action June 9-11, where the Long Track will play host. Round 2 will include the first ever 2-hour endurance race on the Friday, which is sure to draw a lot of rider support.
Don’t miss the opening round of the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship this coming weekend at Shannonville Motorsport Park. General admission and VIP tickets are available online now or can also be purchased at the gate.
Text by: Alex Gallacher
Photo credit: Don Empey
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