“SATURDAY AT THE GLEN” MOTOCROSS REPORT: THE ROAD IS BACK IN ACTION & SO ARE THE REGULARS
PHOTOS BY DEBBI TAMIETTI & JON ORTNER
“Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day!” This was the chant that racers have been using all through January—as the rains poured into SoCal. Glen Helen Raceway managed to stay open most of the time, but keeping three or four tracks prepped was no easy task (especially because Glen Helen is located at the end of a canyon and has two river beds splitting, not only the main road into the racetrack, but the track itself). It took time, but, finally, the Atmospheric River moved farther north and the track actually got in a full weekend of scheduled practices and races. For example, last weekend’s “Saturday at the Glen” race was squeaked in because the rains weren’t scheduled to show up until after 11:00 a.m. By combining classes into multiple gate drops, last week’s Saturday races made it all the way to the final moto on the schedule before the skies opened up. But, Sunday’s Old Timer’s Club Motocross and the ARX Vintage motocross race were canceled—Glen Helen moved them to this Sunday.
As the riders loaded up their trucks and headed towards Glen Helen, most of them assumed that they would have to take the back road into Glen Helen. The back road cuts through the Sheriff’s facility and portions of the prison grounds that is over the ridge from the track. When the early arrivers got to the track, located where the 15 and 215 freeways merge, before going up to the desert, they assumed that they would be coming into the via the back road, but, to their surprise, the County had graded the sand off the main road. The riders who were at the track already, called all of their friends, who were still on the highway, and told them that the main road was open. This “Jungle Drums” style of communication is pretty common among racers.
Once everyone was ensconced into their chosen pit parking spot, the races were set to go. Everyone expected the track to be wet after three weeks of rain, but there was no mud. In fact, the track had to be watered before the day was done. Here are Debbi Tamietti’s and Jon Ortner’s photos of this “Saturday at the Glen.” Enjoy.
Robert Reisinger (96), Ed Guajardo (27), Jon Ortner (N1R), Ray Poltack (hidden behind Reisinger), Dave Eropkin (811), Luc De Ley (hidden behind Poltack) and Ron Lawson (hidden behind Eropkin) spread out. By the end, it would be Guajardo first, Reisinger second and DeLey third.
Bruce Ashmore (111) had a run-in with a rider who wasn’t suppose to be in his class. The ensuing crash sent Bruce to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder and broken bone. The offending rider was black flagged, but too late for Bruce. If you aren’t old enough to race in an age-graded class, don’t lie about your age.
“Saturday at the Glen” is probably the only place where you can see two CMC number ones from the Saddleback and Carlsbad days on the track at the same time. Val Tamietti (31) was a three-time CMC Pro #1, while Jody Weisel (71) was the 1984 CMC Vet Pro #1.
Jon Ortner (N1R) only has two races on his new 2023 Yamaha YZ250X two-stroke. Last week he won the Over-60 Expert class at the National Grand Prix Championship (NGPC) series in Delano and this week he was winning the Over-60 Expert class at “Saturday at the Glen” until he thought the white flag was the checkers in moto two to go 1-8 for 4th overall.
Lars Larsson (171) is a marvel. He was a Husqvarna Grand Prix racer, ISDT gold medalist (for three different countries), the GP rider that Edison Dye brought over in 1967 to demonstrate motocross to America, the co-owner of Torsten Hallman Racing (THOR), an inductee to the AMA Hall of Fame, a four-time World Vet Champion and at 81 years old still racing every week.
Michael Oetzell (406) gets to the ground first in the combined 250/450 Novice class, but Ryan Freitas (665) and Denver Ethridge (515) are out-jumping him. John Schlick (48) ended up 4th in the 450 Novices, but came back to win the Vet Novices in front of Michael Oetzell.
“Saturday at the Glen” motocross will race again February 4, 11 and 25. Pre-entry is only $30 ($25 for minis). Post entry is $40 ($30 for minis) on the day of the race. The Gate fee is $10 (per person). You can sign up for the next “Saturday at the Glen” motocross as late as the Friday before the next race (or just show up in person on race day). For more info go to www.glenhelen.com
Jon Ortner (N1R) flew his Simi Valley Cycles / TBT Racing / O’Neal-sponsored Yamaha two-stroke to an easy win in the first Over-60 Expert moto. His second moto was an easy win for the guys who stayed on the track for the whole moto.
2023 “SATURDAY AT THE GLEN” SCHEDULE
Jan. 14…Winter Series #1 (Arroyo Vet track)
Jan. 21…Winter Series #2 (Arroyo Vet track)
Feb. 4…Winter Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
Feb. 11…Winter Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
Feb. 25…Winter Series #5 (National track)
Mar. 18…Spring Series #1 & Pasha 125 Open (National track)
Mar. 25…Spring Series #2 (Arroyo Vet track)
Apr. 15…Spring Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
Apr. 22…Spring Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
May 13…Spring Series #5 (National track)
June 3…Summer Series #1 (Arroyo Vet track)
June 17…Summer Series #2 (Arroyo Vet track)
June 24…Summer Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
July 15…Summer Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
July 29….Summer Series #5 (National track)
Aug. 19…Fall Series #1 (Arroyo Vet track)
Aug. 26…Fall Series #2 (Arroyo Vet track)
Sept. 16…Fall Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
Sept. 23…Fall Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
Sept. 30…Fall Series #5 (National track)
Oct. 21…Winter Series #1 (Arroyo Vet track)
Oct. 28…Winter Series #2 (National track)
Nov.3-5…World Vet Championship (National track)
Nov. 18..Winter Series #3 (Arroyo Vet track)
Dec. 9…Winter Series #4 (Arroyo Vet track)
Dec. 16..Winter Series #5 (National track)