Detroit’s guerilla race, The Thunderdrome!, is returning for 2011 with three dates. Last October’s inaugural event on the city’s derelict Dorais Velodrome saw hundreds of people who wouldn’t otherwise have any involvement with motorsports actually racing mopeds, minibikes, bicycles and other contraptions. Think of it as no-barrier-to-entry racing that actually ends up being more exciting than what the professionals do. This year’s first race will return to Dorais Park on April 30th.
On June 12th, The Thunderdrome! will leave detroit for western Michigan’s Gilmore Car Museum, racing on this egg-shaped asphalt oval. That event will run concurrent to the Gilmore Vintage Motorcycle Show, which already attracts between 6 and 9,000 motorcycles.
We expect the vintage motorcycle crowd to be properly terrified when a bunch of kids start tearing around on sub 100cc mopeds and pit bikes. Despite only reaching top speeds of 45mph, last year’s first race was packed with real action, with elbow-to-elbow passing taking place through the cracked, frost-heaved banking.
September 10th will see The Thunderdrome! return to Dorais for the season finale. This year, a new class for sub-250cc, centrifugal clutch, no-suspension minibikes will be added while bicycles will be dropped from the Gilmore event.
The thing that makes The Thunderdrome! so unique is that it’s not held in the middle of nowhere and doesn’t just attract die-hard gearheads. Instead, it’s in a city center and packed with kids, teenagers, young adults and attractive women. People you don’t typically see even spectating at a normal race are actually doing the racing here. It’s amazing and you can be a part of it for virtually no money. Just visit The Thunderdrome! site, register, then turn up and race. We’ll be there, racing.