HOUSE CALL: BBR MOTORSPORTS
Swap stopped by Brown Brothers Racing Motorsports in Auburn, Washington, last week to check in on the masters of mini moto. Duane Brown was kind enough to give us a tour of the facility, which creates everything from riser handlebar kits for minis, to complete $25,000 mini moto race machines. Enjoy!
Vintage Iron: Second Annual Hopetown Reunion
What does your future hold if you do not know your past? Finding out where you came from can be extremely difficult, but certain individuals and events can bring every detail you’ve ever wanted to know to light. This past weekend, we headed to Simi Valley, California, for the second annual Hopetown Grand Prix Reunion, which was hosted by the Zimmerman brothers, Mark and Randy, and SoCal motorcycle standard The Fasthouse, where we heard countless stories of dusty days. Hopetown made motocross; it began as a California Grand Prix on a plot of land owned by movie star Bob Hope, but it soon grabbed the attention of the European “scramblers” Joel Robert, Roger DeCoster, and Torsten Hallman. Although the Hopetown Grand Prix is long gone, the spirit of the event is alive in its former racers.
Inside The Fasthouse With Kenny Alexander
If you are a part of the Southern California motocross scene, then you know Kenny Alexander. If you are not from the lower half of the Golden State, here is your quick lesson: Alexander was an incredibly quick amateur racer before he made the career choice to join the stunt industry in television and film. He and his group of friends created The Fasthouse, which puts on modern day motocross events that have the feel of an era that is long since passed. Alexander loves moto, which is evident by his annual A Day In The Dirt extravaganza, and was a part of the Hopetown Grand Prix Reunion. We grabbed a few moments with Alexander between glances at the vintage iron and heard about the events Fasthouse has in store for the coming months.
Visit thefasthouse.com for more.
For those that do not know, what was the Hopetown Grand Prix?
Hopetown, if I am not mistaken, started in 1958, but the year it got going was when the Europeans came. Torsten Hallman came over in 1966, and then Joel Robert and Roger DeCoster. They brought a different riding style, different bikes, and different vibe to the sport. After those guys showed up here and put a spanking on us, the new word was motocross. Mark and Randy Zimmerman put on this event last year and had a great turnout. This year they stepped it up and are honoring DeCoster, Hallman, and Robert, who are arguably the three greatest motocross racers ever.
What is your involvement with the reunion?
Mark, Randy, and I have been friends for a year, since the last reunion, and we have a few businesses in the making. They’ve asked me to help step it up a bit and promote Fasthouse, which is a new company that we have formed.
Are you surprised at the turnout today? Everyone walking through here has a war story to tell, a favorite bike that they rode, and a hero.
What is cool about this is that these guys came from the days when the sport was raw, when there was not much television, so the war stories are all that we have. These guys cut the first tracks.
You’ve helped organize all of this today, but what has been the coolest moment for you?
I was with Bruce Brown this morning and we walked through here together. He filmed the 1967 race that all of these guys came to and then put it on ABC’s Wide World Of Sports. That was the first time that people got the chance to see motocross and because Bruce is a hero of mine, it is the highlight.
What are the reactions from guys like Malcolm Smith when they see all of these things in one place?
For these guys, like the “Flying Hawaiian” John DeSoto, John Rice, Malcolm Smith, this is their life. They know it and understand it. They cherish it and we should cherish them.
What does Fasthouse have in store?
We are trying to bring back soul and grassroots back to motocross. We think that it is the coolest sport that there is. We plan on making hard parts and some swag style things out there. We are about throwing events and having fun for everyone.
What can we expect for this year’s A Day In The Dirt? It’s still a bit away, but is coming soon.
July is when we getting rocking on everything. Red Bull is really stepping up and we have some big things planned. We are going to have two tracks this year; one is a TT-style track, so guys that don’t want to hang it out can have fun. You can bring a street bike, a mini bike, anything you want and run it, all while the Grand Prix is going on. We have one race called the Bossanova that will be a team race for a five-man team. It’s like the Motocross of Nations, but all five guys will be out there at the same time so you can see where you finish.
What's A Girl To Do?
After proving herself as a champion on Japanese soil, Honda Muscle Milk's Sayaka Kaneshiro came to the United States just a few years ago to compete on our National stage in the WMX Championship that once shadowed the men's series for the majority of the season. Now, with the women's year already finalized following a short three-race stint that culminated a few weeks ago at Southwick, Sayaka is left without a series to race in. So, what next? She decided if she couldn't race women, then it’s time to go race with guys, and we spotted her at round two of our TWMX Race Series at Perris Raceway on Sunday, competing in the pro class. We hope to see her back for round three, when the series heads to Cahuilla Creek on July 28th.