By John Bondar,
Special to Wheelstalk.com -
In just a couple of weeks, the real diehards of motorsport will head north to Minden, Ontario to go ice racing. Yes, ice racing, on real ice … and sometimes snow too. And sometimes slush later in the season.
The season begins on weekend of January 19 and continues for a total of six weekends, usually ending at the end of February or beginning of March. Six different member clubs of CASC-OR organize the events which are usually held until the ice turns to slush in March. The planning for each season begins as soon as the previous season ends but really kicks into gear when the track begins to be built.
Beginning in December (or as soon as is gets really cold) the track is flooded each night will the goal of building a thick base of ice. Then as it starts to snow, the banks are built-up and formed. Once the season begins, the track is flooded and repaired during the week for preparation for the next weekend.
Ice racing is one of the most affordable forms of racing. I used to say if you spend more than $500 on your ice racer, then you spent too much. But seriously, there are some real beaters out there but also some well-prepared and maintained equipment. The entry fees are very reasonable as are the operating costs. Possibly the largest expense is for tires. There are a few options here, studded or non-studded, and the costs vary.
There are a number of different classes to race in depending on your car and rubber. The classes are separated into front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. And then further separated by studded or non-studded tires. Each class provides an incredible amount of challenge and entertainment.
I had an absolutely amazing time when I raced a front-wheel drive rubber car. I bounced off the snow-banks and even a few other cars on my way to the finish line. An OPP officer stopped by and was tracking the speeds and found that the little front-wheel drive cars were hitting 90 km/h on the main straight. Quite incredible considering it was solid ice!
Part of the fun of ice racing is the many family and friends that attend and inevitably end up at the local hang-out to share some stories. Even when it is -40C, ice racing keeps you warm inside.
Check out this web site for more info.
Yours in motorsports,