CAMDEN — G&J Kartway held a weekend of racing Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17, for the Ohio Mini Road Racing League.
The OMRL is a circuit of motorcycle racers who travel all over Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky to compete in a seasonal racing schedule. There are seven total classes: Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3, Stock moto, Stock NSR, Supermoto, and Kids 50. The motorcycles used are based on the size of the engine: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc, and unlimited, which could be as high as 200cc, according to officials. All classes are open to people of any age except for Formula 1, which is restricted to experts. There are some prizes and trophies at stake for each circuit and class level, but almost everyone participates for fun.
Similar to kart racing, motorcycle racing in the OMRL is primarily a family sport. Parents and children participate in both, as racers and supporters. Teams do exists between families and friends, with a few individual loners going on their own. The Myers are one example of a family who is also a racing team.
Chris Myers is the father of two racers.
“We have Landen, my son, and my step-daughter Delaney Richie,” Myers said. “It’s great — there is nothing like seeing your kids excel. The whole family really comes together. My wife races as well, so we’re all into it. Sometimes we just rent a truck and go to a race and just play for nothing more than just fun.
“It’s always worth it,” he added. “It’s always about having fun, but if you ask Delaney, it’s about winning. But once you invest in it, they are good for a long time. The bikes are almost indestructible and you don’t fall so far down when you down. So from there it’s just nothing but fun. Some go onto the pro levels, but some just like the fun.”
Richie is 12 years old. “Chris got me into racing,” she said. “I like beating the boys more than having fun. I want to do this more, it’s too much fun.”
Chris Wallace is the vice-executive of the OMRL who helped run the event in Camden.
“It’s a great environment, kid friendly, seniors friendly — we have all kinds of cycles going on, mostly 150cc but we also have unlimited and 50cc for kids. Road racing is 1/2 mile at at time. We have five classes. Normally we run a morning and an afternoon race,” Wallace explained.
Wallace has been in racing for 15 years. “The best part of this sport is that the costs are low and the fun factor is very high,” he said. “We can race much closer to the limits so the edge of the tires are sliding side by side. There’s much lower risks than most other racing types. We practice first in the morning, then we get into the class racing, each has two heats.”
Cole Anthony, 10, races with a 100cc class motorcycle.
“I’ve been racing two years,” Anthony said. “I like it very much, I love it, its really a family thing. I decided to try and I love it. My mom worries about me sometimes, but I tell her it’s okay. I want to take first place, but I also want to have fun.”
Kevin Madison of Athens, recently got involved in road racing.
“This is my second-ever mini road race,” Madison said. “I ride off-road a lot and wanted to try road racing. I don’t really want to hurt myself, so this is lower speed and a bit safer. The 100cc class is what I race. The stock moto class is pretty much safer, you can’t do much to them but change tires and, all in all, it’s about $1,200 and that’s more affordable than the unlimited class. I’m from Athens so I enjoy the travel. I don’t make a living off of it, but it’s fun. I want to get my friends into this from my area.”
Information can be found at the OMRL website, www.omrlmoto.com, including schedules, registration, membership, fees and links about motorcycle racing in Ohio.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH