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Words by: Rennie Scaysbrook from Cycle News
Photos by: Max Mandell 
 
Let’s Get It!
 
Super Hooligan racing has always appealed to me, because I like doing things a bit left of field. I also love the fact that here is a race series that doesn’t take itself too seriously—if at all. I must admit this is not the first time I’ve raced a Hooligan event, having taken the start at the 2016 Austin MotoGP event as a guest of Indian Motorcycle in a converted carpark (yes, it was as mental as it sounds and you can read all about that by clicking here). 
 

Costa Mesa Speedway is about two miles from where I used to live so this hallowed venue that has hosted speedway racing for the past 49 years is absolutely my home track, and once I got wind there was a Hooligan race happening there, I bugged Sands’ buddy and workmate Cameron Brewer non-stop until he finally relented and handed me an Indian.

“Dude, this is the best dirt in Southern California, you’ll love it,” Brewer told me. He wasn’t wrong.
Costa Mesa Speedway might be short by international speedway standards at just 185 yards, or 1/10th of a mile round, but when its clay/decomposed granite surface chimes in after a couple of races, it’s like a perfect 12 foot barrel for dirt trackers. The tackiness of the clay also makes for a safer ride as it allows the rider to back the bike in seamlessly while having somewhat of a safety net and the opportunity to explore different lines without losing time.

My ride for the meeting would once again be an RSD built Indian Scout, a bike that’s had plenty of race miles, crashes, wins and general heroics under its Dunlop tires. It was a tried and tested race steed, codenamed ‘Raw Dog’, which would later come back to bite me in the B Main final.

Costa Mesa would see me race against the best Hooligan riders in the country—Kopp, former road racer turned Hooligan front runner, Andy DiBrino, Airtrix's Jordan Graham and Brad Spencer, an amateur racer who’s taken to SH racing like a duck to water.

With no practice at all except for one sighting lap, racing a Hooligan event at Costa Mesa is a sink or swim kinda deal. Thankfully for me, even though I was up against Kopp in my first race, I took a fourth out of six after I screwed up a pass for second on the penultimate lap that dropped me back two places when Suicide Machine’s Aaron Guardado snuck up the inside with two corners to go.

Across the remainder of the night the results started to come with another fourth and two thirds, the last while holding second behind DiBrino right up to the last lap when I got done by an unknown rider on a Harley on the final corner.

The Indian was feeling good and by race three I was finally comfortable to throw the thing in on the rear brake and rely on the grip from the Dunlops and the track surface to hold me upright. But what’s even more fun about riding such an animal id opening the gas—there’s butt-loads of torque that kick the back-end loose immediately, so even with Costa Mesa’s tacky surface it’s a battle to keep the bike turning but still driving and keep the pace up.

I was never going to make the A final after my two thirds. If I held that second place I might have had a chance, but I didn’t care as I lined up for the B Final, sixth out of 12 riders.

 

Four laps. 12 bikes. The tapes went up and I got my worst start of the night, dropping down to eighth place and one ahead of Eric Bostrom on a Ducati Scrambler. Catching fifth place, though, I ended up eating it right in front of the main grandstand when the back end kicked out too far and threw me over the high side, straight onto my left shoulder. The race was immediately red flagged and Bostrom was the first on the scene—I was fine, damaged pride is all, but the great thing about Hooligan racing is if you cause the red flag, no problem, if you or your bike are not too bashed up you’re free to join the restart!

That meant I had to make race two count, and I managed to get up to fourth off the line and hold it to the flag in a tiny two lap race. Not bad for crashing while in sixth place!

I reckon I’m properly addicted to this kind of racing. It’s filled with the kind of guys you want to hang out with, everyone having a competitive laugh and a beer at the end. Kopp ended up taking the honors in both the $1000 Dunlop Dash For Cash and A Main, extending his lead in the points over Spencer as he tries to win the FTR750.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. My boy is 12 and he wants it badly, so I guess I have to win it for him!” Kopp said afterwards.

The next time a Super Hooligan event is on near you, go and check it out. Who knows, you might even want to have a go yourself?
 
Stay tuned for a complete write up in Cycle News magazine 

Costa Mesa Speedway is hosting a Super Hooligan Night on Saturday, September 9th for Round 8 of the Super Hooligan National Championship series presented by Indian Motorcycle. The most exciting, diverse and unpredictable live action racing event in the nation. Costa Mesa Speedway has put fans right on top of all the action from the comfort of an Arena style grandstand seating since 1969- it's a spectators dream! You won't miss a thing due to the stadium viewing. Bring out the entire family, grab some food and drinks and take a seat to watch both the Speedway Motorcycles and Super Hooligans rip around the track. 

Gates open at 6pm and dirt flies for the first race at 6:30pm. Spectator fee is $20 at the gate.
 
Space is limited for the Super Hooligan class, so get your entry in now for a chance to reach for Super Hooligan glory! Registration closes Monday, September 4th at 8pm.

SHNC Contingencies & Prizes

Indian Motorcycle

· $1,000 Winner-Takes-All bonus to winner of Super Hooligan Main Event.

· The Super Hooligan Series Champion will win a Factory Indian FTR750 professional GNC flat track race bike – awarded in Huntington Beach, CA October 14th. *Winner must be present at final round

Dunlop Tires

· $250 (first) / $150 (second) / $100 (third) payouts for Super Hooligan Main Event.

· $1,000 Winner-Takes-All Super Hooligan Dunlop Dash for Cash event.

Bell Helmets

· $250 (first) / $150 (second) / $75 (third) payouts per Super Hooligan Main Event.

· Custom painted helmet trophy for Super Hooligan winner at each round.

· $2,500 bonus to be awarded to Super Hooligan Series Champion at final round.

K&N Engineering

· $300 Winner-Takes-All Holeshot Award for Super Hooligan Main Event.

Motul

· $300 Cleanest Hooligan race bike at each race. TBD by SHNC.

For the most up to date schedule and SHNC standings visit our Super Hooligan Blog.

About Super Hooligan:

The spirit of hooligan racing comes from a simpler time, when you raced – and could ride home on – any bike you owned. With its roots in Southern California motorcycle culture, today’s flat track hooligan racing category is rapidly gaining in popularity with riders of all ages and experience levels across the nation by offering the fun of motorcycle competition in a less structured environment. Combining the craft of custom motorcycles and racing the Super Hooligan rules are loose and limit the bikes to 750CC and up twins in stock frames with dirt track tires and no front brakes.




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