Most of our 2019 race series takes place on road course designed tracks. They are designed by the Tim Gordienko for the WSCC, and the snow is plowed out on the frozen lake or pond into the desired course shape.
WSCC decided to do something new in 2019 and try one race weekend at an ice oval track. Located in Beausejour, Manitoba, the ½ mile oval track has been home to snowmobile power toboggan racing since 1962, and has hosted such racing greats as Gilles Villeneuve in 1973 and Jacques Villeneuve in 1974 at the Sno-Pro Canada races. This amazing facility features grandstands for 1800 people, two 6000 sq ft heated buildings which includes a bar, concessions and refreshment services, and indoor VIP sponsor box seating.
The track is made up of 12 to 18 inches of solid ice and lined with over 3700 bales of hay along the banks. The bales on the inside of the track are lined with orange plastic snow fence for driver visibility and to help hold sections of the bales together in case of a crash.
There are some big differences between road races and oval races. Oval races feature only left hand turns but at higher speeds on a much wider track. We may also mix the two ice race classes together, and have both rubber tire and studded tire classes racing together on track. This makes for a much busier track and more interaction between cars.
I have never raced an oval track before, and I expect some challenges in figuring out the best lines for the car. I also have to contend with dealing with traffic on a more crowded track, the mixed classes and limited visibility.
But I love a challenge and I am looking most forward to trying my hand at something new in the race world! Racing an ice oval is a new experience and one I can’t wait to try. I am also looking forward to racing at a great facility with such a wonderful history of racing greats. And even though it presents challenges, mixing rubber and studded class will result in some good competition. I enjoy the challenges of multi class racing and am looking forward to this weekend!