Monday, January 17, 2011

Airdrie Echo - Lake Chestermere to host ice race

Lake Chestermere to host ice race

Jan 14, 2011 06:00 am | By Covy Moore | Airdrie City View
The Second Gear Motorcycle Club, including several local racers, will hit Chestermere Lake Jan. 16 for the first round of its 2011 ice racing championship.
Airdrie riders Danny Hewitt, along with Mitchell and Monty Brown are expected to compete in Chestermere this weekend.
The club is based in Calgary, but visits various lakes across the province and oversees the competition of motorcycles, quads, UTV’s and sidecars on ice ovals in Alberta.
The championship series returns to Chestermere after warm weather caused the event to be cancelled last year.
“It’s unique to say the least,” said Rhonda Pechout, event coordinator with the Second Gear Motorcycle Club. “It’s a great spectator event as you can see everything from one spot. The racers always ride harder if they know they have an audience.”
Ice racing is a unique sport using studded tires on slightly modified bikes, quads and utility vehicles.
Racing begins at 11 a.m. and Pechout urges fans to come out early.
“If they arrive early, they may be able to park their vehicle close to the track and can watch and listen to the announcer through our FM transmitter,” said Pechout.
“Otherwise, dress warm, grab a hot chocolate and hot dog from the concession and head down to the pits to meet the riders. Many of our riders race multiple classes and basically stay outside all day, so they are dressed to the max. Ice racing is not about looking pretty.”
The day’s racing will see up to 10 drivers per class, per race driving around the slippery left-hand turning oval on motorcycles, quads and sidecars.
A predetermined number of heats will be run in every class, and the driver with the most points from their heats will take the class victory.
“The riders have had some opportunity to practice, however, the first race definitely gets the kinks out of the equipment and brushes off the cobwebs on the riders,” said Pechout.
“Riders may have been moved up in a class if they finished in the top last year, so this can prove to be a challenge. Usually, there are a few crashes in the first heat before the riders get everything figured out. Nine months is a long time to not have practiced.”
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