Ice racing season begins

John Bondar

By John Bondar,
Special to -

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,
John Bondar


  1. Todd Doyle says:

    This will be my 5th year ice racing and my 3rd year in all wheel drive rubber to ice. For those who have caught the bug for this type of racing, it is discussed all year long. Often those discussions occur while enjoying other types of racing and car related events. The hobby really provides much more than 6 weeks of fun. It really provides 52 weeks.

    Of note, the Minden Kinsmen crew who build and maintain the track do incredible work in their community with the support of all the ice racers and community leaders. In a time where service to community is so important to business leaders, it is sometimes a bit too easy to forget the people in service clubs who do large numbers of community service hours to support both local and national causes.

    So, THANKS to the Minden Kinsmen and the auto sport clubs who help make ice racing happen and the hard work they do to support their community.

  2. This will be my second year Ice Racing. a Middle age crazy desire? Pehaps. But after being a spectator for a few years, I gave it a try last year.

    As a true rookie to any form of racing, the potential intimidation was eliminated completely by the comraderie and total willingness of everyone to help both with racing , setups, and mostly friendship.

    The support for newbies like me was beyond just being welcomed. Techincal, On track Instructional school, driving tips, track conditions were all freely shared.

    The volunteer support in track prep and maintainance has made this sport and venue a Canadian treasure. Kinsmen as a small local club, and their dedicated volunteers, and non Kinsmen volunteers do an amazing job to make CASC Ice Racing in Minden not only a premier Canadian event, but help keep an econmy alive in what was sometimes mostly a summer destination.

    The local businesses offer a heartwarming and truly fabulous addition to the racing. Racers are welcomed fully and treated royally.

    It truly is the hottest sport on ice.

  3. Jonathan Rashleigh says:

    As a multi-time past champion of the sport, I would just like to say thank you to the Minden Kinsmen for doing a great job for so many years. Most of you don’t know but they have been building this track since the late 70′s. My family has been ice racing since 1977 and we couldn’t do it wihout them.

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