The Hippo


Oct 15, 2019








Courtesy photo.

Loudon Road Race Series

Where: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 112 Route 106, Loudon
When: Seven weekends from April to October (next events: July 23-24, Aug. 13-14, Sept. 10-11, and Oct. 1-2; times vary: see website)
Features: Competitive motorcycle racing, motorcycle race training

Motorcycle madness
Road Race Series offers competitive bike racing

By Matt Ingersoll

 If you want to ride your motorcycle in a place where speed limits don’t exist, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway gives you that opportunity in the form of the Loudon Road Race Series — seven weekends of Championship Cup Series motorcycle racing from April to October along the speedway’s 1.6-mile track. 

The Series is a part of the American Sportbike Racing Association. The next series of races will be held at the track during the weekend of July 23 and July 24.
Its flagship event is the Loudon Classic, which held its 93rd annual race from June 17 through June 19 and featured more than 200 riders. Shane Narbonne, a racer from Tyngsboro, Mass., was crowned the winner of the Classic for the second straight year and his fifth year overall.
“The cool thing about the Loudon Classic is that it’s ... considered the longest-running motorcycle race in all of the United States, even since before the track opened,” said Kristen Lestock, New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s communications director. “It’s actually a part of Laconia Motorcycle Week.”
Lestock said riders must be able to provide a racing competitor’s license and certification from an accredited motorcycle riding school in order to participate in the Series. The Penguin Roadracing School, based in Winchendon, Mass., visits the track each Friday of a weekend the series hosts races, and representatives from the school are on hand for one-on-one training with riders. They also rent bikes out to participants in their classes, though Lestock said riders must provide their own motorcycles to race in the Series.
The speedway has the strongest relationship with the Penguin Roadracing School, but other New England-based motorcycle track racing schools such as Tony’s Track Days in Longmeadow, Mass., and the Fishtail Riding School in Durham have also produced certified riders for the Series.
“It’s very teamwork-based; you actually see that there is a lot of camaraderie among riders, and they are kind of like a big family,” said Brenda Leonard, director of the LRRS. “You know, they see each other seven times a year, and they are always helpful to other riders who are coming in.”
In addition to visits from the Penguin Roadracing School, the speedway hosts an open test on the track each Thursday before a racing weekend. Riders can come to the track to test their bikes, find out what may need tweaking, and stay for the day and practice.
The races are open to spectators and are very family-friendly events, Lestock said.
“We also have a whole team of officials and referees, safety coordinators and tech inspectors,” she said, “so it’s really safe here.”
Leonard said the Series has helped to boost interest in motorcycles and motorcycle racing across the Granite State.
“You’d be surprised at some of the riders who have raced,” she said. “I never even used to really pay attention to motorcycle racing, but it’s really fun to watch, it’s kind of amazing. So we try to get it out there and give more respect to the sport itself. It’s definitely a growing sport.”
Single-day admission passes for the Series start at $10. Tickets can also be purchased for $25 for the entire weekend for adults and $15 for the weekend for teens ages 12 to 17. Information about upcoming Series events and an application to register as a rider can be found at 

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