2012 was a great year for AMA and ATVA competition. Here, some of the national champions and top competitors talk about the 2012 season, look ahead to the 2013 season, and explain why AMA and ATVA competition is the best racing on the planet. No other No. 1 plate matters.
Thomas Herlihy: 2012 AMA Vintage Roadrace Grand Championships Novice GP HW class champion
March 25, 2013
Thomas Herlihy, of Columbus, Ohio, raced in the 2012 AMA Vintage Roadrace Grand Championships and placed first in the Novice GP HW class. Amanda Herlihy, Thomas's daughter of Chicago, rode with her father in the sidecar races.
In Herlihy's eyes, nearly all of the sidecar racers were extremely tough competition.
"I have a lot to learn about racing a sidecar, sidecars are not like cycles, cars, or anything else, they are inherently an unstable vehicle. It is a very unique vehicle in which two individuals are both responsible for the control and performance of the vehicle! It is a very bond and wonderfully shared experience between teammates and all competitors. The camaraderie between all hack racers is enhanced due to the venerability of the co-drivers and the shared responsibility for the co-driver's safety," Herlihy explained.
Herlihy has been racing for six years, riding a motorcycle for 43 years and has been a loyal AMA Member for more than 15 years.
"Racing is a very dynamic and satisfying sport. To share the on-track and complete racing experience with my daughter on the sidecar is an incredibly satisfying and bonding experience for us. I also truely enjoy sharing the unique sport of sidecar racing with the spectators and public," he said.
For 2013, Herlihy plans to race at the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days in the Vintage Sidecar and Novice Production classes.
What does Herlihy do in his free time, unrelated to racing?
"I enjoy being a self-employed entrepreneur. I'm currently developing a small coffee shop in Hilliard, Ohio, Solar Cafe, visit solar-cafe.com and buy some unique coffee products! I also enjoy motorcycle touring with my wife, who indulges me and my hobbies. We recently rode Highway 1 up the left coast from San Diego to Cape Flattery and Seattle, Wash.," he said.
Herlihy would like to thank Solar Cafe, who is his sponsor.
"I'd also like to thank all my family. My sons for helping, especially my daughter for sharing the passion for on track racing, and my wife, Margo, for indulging in my passion," Herlihy said.
"I've been attending races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course since the late 1960s and have watched the likes of Redman, McLaren, Revson, Gurney, Jones, Donohue, Holbert, Rahal, and other greats race at this facility. For me to be able to go out and play on this track is a thrill and a long time childhood dream come true!" he said.
In closing Herlihy stated: "Everyone who rides a motorcycle should consider joining the AMA, they are the only group who truly represents rider's political interests at all levels!"