There were Super Hooligans running wild Sunday afternoon at the Santa Maria Raceway.
The RSD Super Hooligan Series was featured on the Raceway’s quarter-mile decomposed granite flat track.
It was the seventh stop in the Super Hooligans’ 10-race National Championship series.
This weekend’s racing was part of the inaugural Wheels and Waves Weekend that also had a surfing and skateboarding competitions in Cayucos.
At the end of a full afternoon of racing, Joe Kopp roared past Brad Spencer to win the main event. Kopp also wrestled the series points lead away from Spencer with the win.
“We raced for fun last year. This year we wanted to do something bigger,” said Cameron Brewer, the Project Manager for Roland Sands Designs (RSD). “So we put together a 10-round national championship series.”
The Super Hooligan Series kicked off in Oregon in early February.
The riders have also run on tracks in Wisconsin, Georgia, Washington and South Dakota and are now in California for the tour’s final four stops.
“Super Hooligan motorcycles are basically modified street bikes,” said Brewer. “We have limited rules so the guys don’t get carried away building custom bikes. Any street bike, with an engine that’s 750cc or bigger – any make or model – is allowed. They need at least 19-inch dirt track tires or 17-inch wheels with road racing rain tires like the ones they use when racing in Europe.”
In addition to the Super Hooligans, there was a Vintage class on the program.
There were four six-lap heat races Sunday for the Super Hooligans plus a last chance qualifier and a separate Super Hooligan Dash for the Cash before the top 13 went back out for the 12-lap main event.
The Vintage racers had two six-lap heats before their own 12-lap final.
“I’ve brought a 1967 Triumph (Bonneville 650),” said Wheels and Waves founder Julien Aze. “With the vintage motorcycles, nothing has changed. They are classic motorcycles set up just like they were when they were new. The only difference is that we disconnect the front brakes. The bikes are actually safer if you disconnect the front brakes.”
Aze brought his Triumph all the way from Toulouse, France.
“I love to surf, I love to skateboard and I love to race motorcycles,” said Aze. “So I decided to combine all three and started Wheels and Waves. I began holding events in Europe and wanted to transfer that experience to the United States. It’s unique, a new style of event.”
“Wheels and Waves was putting on their Vintage race,” said RSD’s Natalie Nunes. “They invited us to join them to run our Hooligan series and we jumped at the opportunity to race on this track.”
When the day began, Spencer was leading the Super Hooligan points race.
Spencer was also first on the track for Heat 1. He was also first to claim a spot in the main event, taking the lead at the start and rolling to an easy heat win.
Boise’s Alex Smith was right behind Spencer when he went down in Turn 1.
“I’m pretty new to Hooligan racing and new to this track,” said Smith. “I didn’t realize how much the bike would slide but it slid right out from under me on that corner.”
Smith’s fall gave Andy Greider the chance to move into second, a position he held right through the finish.
Kopp went wire-to-wire in the second heat.
The real fun was the fight for second place where four riders battled back and forth before Carcin Dunn took that spot.
Jordan Graham and Jordan Barber won the third and fourth heats.
There were 13 riders in the Super Hooligan final – the top- three qualifiers from each of the heats plus the winner of the Last Chance Qualifier.
Jimmy Hill won that scramble to earn the final spot in the field.
Before the championship showdown, the winners of each heat faced off in a Dash for the Cash – a four lap feature that paid out $410 that was raised through crowd donations.
Then it was on to the main event.
Kopp took the early lead with Spencer close behind. Jason Klemens and Chris McDougal were hot on the leaders’ tailpipes.
Through 12 laps Spencer, Klemens and McDougal all tried their best to catch Kopp but to no avail.
Kopp kept the lead the whole way with Spencer coming in a close second. McDougal passed Klemens late to finish third.
“It was a great run,” said Spencer. “I just couldn’t catch him.
“I wasn’t looking back for him (Spencer) but I could hear him. It felt good to cross that finish line first.” said Kopp, from Mica, Wash. “Brad was leading the points race – he was one point ahead of me coming into today’s race. Now I’m four points ahead of him. This win means a lot but there are still three races to go in the season so it’s not over yet.”
Julien Hepnisusen and Dave Borrass won the Vintage race heats with Scott Toepher and Derreck Dorresteyn finishing second.
They proved to be the class of the class with Hepnisusen winning the main event followed by Dorresteyn and Borrass.
The automobiles return to the Raceway next weekend with the three-day Simkins Memorial weekend, Friday through Sunday, for one of the season’s two three-day weekends.