John Parker Race Report - Leamington

July 31, 2008

Submitted by:  John Parker

The 36 Hour 1/2 Mile National at Leamington
John Parker finishes with two 2nd place finishes

The first CMRC Half mile event was off to a good start as we rolled into Leamington, Ontario on Saturday July 19, 2008 as the sun was shining and so were our faces. The pits were full of riders and crews setting up and working on their equipment anticipating their practice and qualifying attempts.

The track was well groomed and everyone was in place ready for us to start practice, all went well. We qualified our newly built JPR/Canadian Kawasaki KX450 in first place for the 450 Pro class, our goal was to get off the line in front and stay there, unfortunately it was anticlimactic as the skies opened up and the rain came down. We waited for 2-3 hours and they had to finally call the race, the track just could not absorb the amount of rain water. We headed to our hotel room to wait out the weather and proceed the next day.

We awoke early Sunday morning excited to finish what we started, only to find the skies were still overcast and dull. Unsure about how the day would unfold we headed back to the track, set up and worked on our equipment in hopes the rain would stay away. The sun finally came out and we were off to the races, we qualified our JPR 600 Rotax in first place for the Open Pro class with the same goal in mind as the 450 class. The competition was tough but we had our minds set on one thing - to go for the win. We did it...... we have front row starts for both main events.

In the 450 Pro main event John roared off the line once again on the JPR/Canadian Kawasaki KX450 in the third position, we continued to be there for a few laps and then fell back to fifth position, after a red flag and subsequent restart we climbed back to third spot where we were closing on the second place rider from Quebec, unfortunately he fell off and caused a second red flag so they called the race two laps short and therefore John finished second. The bike was really hooking up on the Leamington Half mile.

The big final of the night, the Open Pro class - once again John on his JPR 600 Rotax up against a few XR 750 Harleys roared off the line in first, John led for a good 7-8 laps of the 15 lap main event, unfortunately Doug Lawrence on his Harley-Davidson passed by us on the high side to take the lead, as John was getting his groove back and setting Lawrence up to pass, there again was young Stephen Vanderkuer not far behind. John was on the heels of Lawrence to pass but unfortunately the checkered flag waved before the pass took place. The final top 5 finishers were Lawrence, Parker, Vanderkuer, Labelle and Don Taylor the current number one plate holder.

Upcoming races
Welland, ON. Aug 2nd
Sarnia, ON Aug 8th
Leamington, ON Aug 9th
Wheatley, ON Aug 10th