Four-time World Champ Doug Polen
Doug Polen, two time World Superbike Champion and two time World Endurance Champion, has announced he’ll take part in vintage racing at the 4th Annual Bonneville Vintage GP on Saturday, September 5, in the Battle of the CB160s LeMans Start race at Miller Motorsports Park.
Polen was already scheduled to be on hand at the Bonneville Vintage GP with Doug Polen’s 1On1 Racing School, recently named the official New Racer school for the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA), the sanctioning body for next weekend’s races. This was already a pretty cool deal, as Polen’s school is the only one we know of using one-way radios to give students real-time instruction while they’re out on the track. And where Polen typically employs other racers as instructors for his school sessions, Polen himself will lead the instruction for the sessions scheduled at Miller, with a maximum of six students out on the track at any one time.
Okay, so maybe most of us won’t get out on the track with Polen, but all of us will ge to watch Polen as he battles it out with an experienced grid of CB160 racers. And make no mistake, those CB160s may be pint-sized, but their riders put huge effort into wringing as much out of their little 14hp machines as they can, and Polen just might be surprised at the competition. Hell, the CB160 racers are already plotting how to make sure he loses, sketching out handicap schemes that’ll keep him at the back of the track. “These guys are coming out with all sorts of devious plans to handicap him,” says race organizer Tom Kullen. “Retard the timing on his bike, drop the air pressure on his tires, maybe make him start from the club house.”
Polen will take part in a LeMans start, which places the fast guys to the back, forcing them to catch up with the other riders so they don’t just walk away from everyone. But even if they put Polen a turn or so back from the starting grid, in a race where the good riders already know how to run almost flat out through the turns, will Polen, even with his huge skill set, really be able to catch up and outrun them? Curious minds want to know, and we’ll all find out a little more than a week from now at the Bonneville Vintage GP, Saturday, September 5. Be there! – Richard Backus