by Mark Firkin
Any thoughts that VMX Magazine Classic Dirt 15 wouldn’t survive without Conondale were flushed down the potty over the weekend. Thanks to the hard work and perseverance from Ken, Sou & Perry at VMX Magazine, the QVMX and Brisbane Motorcycle club and a wonderful team of volunteers, Classic Dirt proved once again that Ray Ryan’s original concept is bigger than petty politics or whatever venue it’s held at. VMX Mag Classic Dirt is about a group of great people and their passion for old dirt bikes getting together in a paddock and having fun riding and showing their bikes and partying…nothing more.
In a nutshell Queensland Moto Park at Boonah proved to be the perfect venue, the race track seemed to be liked by almost everyone who rode it, the facilities and infrastructure are far superior to those at the previous venue, it’s shitloads easier to get to for both Brisbane and Goldie residents and three hours closer for us making the journey from the southern states….a win-win all around.
I walked the paddock for three days and caught up with many old racing mates, some I hadn’t seen in decades. The quality of the bikes was brilliant and eclectic and it seemed to me that there were more early era bikes, especially pre ’75 than over the last few years….perhaps the short suspension friendly track had a bit to do with it. Unusually, I reckon there were more pre 75 CZs than Maicos and there was an obvious increase in the number of aftermarket framed bikes and hot rod, engine swap bikes, it seems that there are more Dr. Frankensteins in the sport than I’d thought. The quality of the restorations are continuously improving and I even saw a Bultaco Alpina that had me gobsmacked by the quality of its restoration.
Like all new events, there were a few aspects that can (and will) be improved on, the entry numbers were a little down on last year, I suspect that some potential entrants, especially those from N.S.W and FNQ were holding back to see how it would turn out, not wanting to make a 12 or 20 hour drive to find the event to be a flop. Having said that, the entries were much higher than expected and it was a credit to those who had the belief in the event and overlooked the politics that had led to the venue change. All of that has passed now, I loved the event when it was at Conondale but VMX Mag Classic Dirt has entered a new era at QMP and the future of Ray Ryan’s dream is looking pretty bloody good.