Pine Rivers BMX LUX400 – Bringing back the Dash for Cash from the ‘80s
Been around BMX a while? Some of us have and remember the ‘80s (barely) where at open days some of the best racing was seen in the “Dash for Cash” event. This is where the top 4 from two classes were brought together for a race at the end of the day/night for a one-off final. What made these so entertaining is that unlike today, you never raced in anything else but your age class, so when the top 4 from (for example) the 13x and 14x were brought together, everyone lined the track to watch. Back then you worked hard to progress into the Expert class and then you worked on getting results in your class and on the weekend Tyson Kennedy’s father, Mark, mentioned to me that in the USA, it’s still a foreign concept to race anything but your age class. After all, you are chasing district, regional and ultimately national points every time you race. Race out of age and you’re completely alien. Here it’s common practice these days and somewhat dilutes the battles you used to see BITD as riders are always racing different age classes as they chase competition.
As a sponsor of a class, LUXBMX wanted to be part of an event that showcased the younger riders, and to hopefully produce some epic racing, so hats off to Pine Rivers BMX Club for embracing the idea of running two “special” classes. A combination of 8-10s and 11-13s and to sprinkle a little more of the ‘80s into the concept, the transfer system was adopted with only two qualifying motos and winner takes all finals! Boys and girls in together as well because it’s 2017.
To add extra incentive, Pine Rivers agreed not to charge an entry fee for the classes to encourage racers to jump in and go bar to bar and give these kids the opportunity to perhaps race quarters, semis and a final. Something that doesn’t happen very often outside of state or national finals. Even with the free entry, I rocked up to the race on Saturday a little apprehensive as open days in Queensland don’t exactly draw big numbers once the state titles are run.
I get there just as nominations are closing to hand over the prizes and ask tentatively what the numbers are, clocking that the track’s perimeter wasn’t exactly bursting to contain race tents and I’m told, 43 noms in the 8-10s, and 26 noms in the 11-13s. Holy crap! Nearly 70 riders entered and both classes running quarters. Michael Tucker was the Race Director on the day and held a special meeting with the riders/parents especially around the rules of the event just to make sure everyone was on the same page and understood the two in, rest out format of the motos. In reality, the transfer system gives you more of an opportunity to progress than 3 motos, total points. Once you get to elimination finals, there’s really nothing different than what the kids are used to with the first 4 progressing, the rest more than likely getting another chance in their respective age class.
With the fact that 70 kids were giving this a go was still bouncing around in my head as I went track side to grab shots of the first moto and it was so incredible to see that the girls jumped in there to give the boys a run for the prize. Although none of the girls made the finals, they were mixing it in the semis. And what racing! Right through to the finals, every racer was giving it 100% throttle, and by the end of the day, some of the kids had reeled off 14 laps in 3 classes. Ah, the energy of youth…
In the end, Callum Woodbury took a really hard fought for win in the 8-10 class after nearly not progressing out of his semi. In the 11-13 class, you would have had all your $$$ on Tommy Tucker for the winner at the start of the day, but Tyson Kenny surprised Tom by slipping by him in the semi and sending a warning shot. Tyson didn’t pull that 1A out of his Weetbix packet that morning.. In the final Tommy just got an edge on him into the first berm where I was reeling off shots and I heard his tyre skipping on the asphalt and thought he’s going down, but he kept it pinned and shot down the 3rd straight with Tyson in hot pursuit. PR is Tom’s home track and with that lead, Tyson would’ve needed a Honda CR125 instead of his Yess to haul him back, and Tom joined Callum in winning a $200 LUX voucher. Both final’s gates had a mix of World, Aussie and State plates from all ages which really reinforces the depth of competition in this part of the world. And competition breeds speed.
Massive props to Pine Rivers for including this event in their open day. It had to be scored manually as the transponder system isn’t easily adapted to the transfer system of racing and perhaps this is why USABMX uses scores still. There were a couple of glitches, but in the end even the parents of the second place rider in the 8-10 class, Bailey Mills, thanked me for the opportunity for Bailey to race under this format as they’re off to the USABMX Grands next week. And this from the rider that went away with nothing physical as there were no second prizes, but what he did do is increase his experience bank that I’m sure he’ll draw upon in Tulsa OK on Thanksgiving weekend.
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