On any given Saturday afternoon, one can find DJ Brakel in his backyard racing his mini ATV on the dirt-racing track that wraps around 1 ½ acres of land outside his home in Lochbuie.
Brakel is the executive racing coordinator at ThunderspeedRPM Racing, and it is obvious from his excitement and knowledge that he loves to race. He pulls out the green flag and the first racer takes off on an ATV around the track.
Orange and yellow cones mark the dirt track and are set up in a number of various patterns. Hairpin turns, mild jumps, sand traps and small hills are some of the configurations that make up the different conditions of the race track. The track changes so no racer will have an advantage over the other. Brakel puts together races at his home to give people a place to race and be competitive in a safe manner.
“I’m doing this to give kids a place to ride their motorized vehicles,” Brakel said.
Brakel has been racing for 20 years. For the last 15 years, he has been involved with mini motorsport racing. He used to be an announcer for Promotion Racing and has had extensive experience with Rocky Mountain Speed Sports.
Hosting the events is also a more inexpensive way to race because it is free. Brakel just asks that participants bring a few extra dollars to pitch in for the barbecue after every racing event that he hosts at his home.
It is also encouraged that people bring their own race machines. These include machines such as; ATV quads, prefabricated go-carts, homemade go-carts, riding lawn mowers, golf carts, bar stools and riding coolers. Creativity with the type of motor vehicle being raced is welcomed as long as the racer is able to be competitive with their race machine.
“I would really like if we could get a lot of people to race with their own race machines instead of just the one machine I provide,” he said.
The types of racing classes include time trials, bracket racing and head-to-head racing. Time clock racing is about racing against yourself and only one person races at a time. Racers go around the track twice. In the time trial races, racers must be faster than their best time or receive a circle around their name. After that they have one more chance to beat their fastest time or they are out of the competition.
“I like to see people improve and get faster each time on the track,” Brakel said.
The bracket racing is choosing a predetermined time without going faster or slower than the time picked. Head-to-head racing is the most competitive form of racing, and it can have any number of racers racing on the track at once. However, in this class driver seats are required to be below 12 inches from the ground in a relaxed state.
Brakel is putting on these races so people can come out and have a fun time with motor sport racing. The events usually last between four to six hours. Anyone is welcome to participate and watch. A signed waiver is required, as well as gloves and a helmet. After starting these events about six weeks ago, Brakel is hoping that he can get some people who are interested in racing to come out with their own racing machines.
“After we get going I am hoping we can give out trophies for the winners to have,” he said.
Get involved with ThunderspeedRPM Racing by emailing Brakel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Names will go on the racing contact info. Two weeks prior to an event, Brakel will participants with the details. Brakel said flea markets are a great way to purchase a mini ATV for racing at a better price than online or at a store.