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    Clarkson University Clean Snowmobile ChallengeA BRP Ski-Doo snowmobile was selected and adapted by Clarkson University to win its second straight Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge. Ski-Doo models were also chosen by the second and third place teams in the internal combustion category and the winner of the Zero Emission category.

    The snowmobiles entered are judged on many criteria, including emissions and noise, but they also have to be functional machines that can be trail ridden, so handling, comfort, endurance and the ability to pull loads factor in also.

    Clarkson started with a Ski-Doo MX Z model featuring the Rotax ACE 600 engine and modified the fuel and ignition systems to automatically run on ethanol blended fuels that ranged from zero to forty percent ethanol alcohol. Student engineers then added a compact, one-of-a-kind catalytic converter they designed to further clean up emissions. In taking the overall championship, the team also took honours for Best Handling, Quietest, Best Ride, Best Value – which accounts for price, fuel economy and performance – and Most Practical Solution – which balances cost and noise reduction.

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      Keith CurtisPolaris snowmobile hill climbers won seven class titles and Keith Curtis won Stock King of the Hill honors at the 2012 Jackson Hole World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb. Curtis won three class titles in addition to his Stock King title in competition held March 22-25 on Snow King Mountain in the scenic Wyoming resort city.

      Curtis won the 1000 Stock, 800 Stock and Open Modified class titles, and was joined as a class champion by these Polaris hill climbers: Les Keller won the 700 Stock title, Erin Beukelman won in 1000 Improved Stock, Cole Willford won the 600 Modified crown and Charles Lopeman won the Pro Masters Modified title.

      Polaris racers won seven class titles compared to a total of eight titles split among racers on two other brands of sleds. Curtis and Keller won their Stock titles on sleds that are nearly identical to what recreational riders can purchase.

      “I raced a stock 2012 RMK Assault in Stock 800 and Stock 1000,” says Curtis. “For 800 Modified and Open Modified, I raced a modified 2012 RMK Assault 800.”

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        Kyle Tapio Jackson HoleKyle Tapio had a weekend to remember at the World Championships of Hillclimbs in Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Team Arctic racer piloted his 2012 Arctic Cat ProClimb snowmobile to two class wins, both the Improved and Mod King titles, and the ultimate King of Kings crown.

        Tapio’s results capped a very successful championship for Team Arctic, which scored 10 victories by six different riders, including two podium sweeps.

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          Logan Christian Clash Of NationsThe Christian Brothers Racing team traveled to Falun, Sweden, this past Mar. 23-24 to compete in the Clash of Nations, an event that featured snocross, snowmobile freestyle, big air ski and big air snowboard competitions.

          In its second year, the Clash of Nations is an X Games-caliber event that is held at the Lugnet Ski Jumping Arena, a dedicated ski jumping facility that is converted into a multi-sport venue for Clash of Nations. Rock formations create a natural arena around the place making for a beautiful and somewhat surreal setting for a snocross/freestyle event. Over 13,000 fans attended the two-day event with most of them on hand to see Saturday’s racing and freestyle program. They were greeted with temperatures in the 50-degree Fahrenheit range and warm sun making for two nearly perfect days of competition.

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            Kody Malmborg Jackson HoleYamaha has had a resurgence in cross-country snowmobile racing this season and the effect seems to be rubbing off on the hillclimb racers as well. Kody Malmborg, Jr. did what many doubters thought was impossible on Sat., Mar. 24 – top the Snow King on a four-stroke snowmobile at the Jackson Hole World Championship Hillclimb put on by the Jackson Hole Snow Devils.

            Malmborg piloted his Yamaha FX Nytro MTX to the top of the steep course as the first four-stroke to do so in the 37 years the event has been held – while also becoming the first Yamaha to qualify for the Pro finals since 2001.

            The Jackson Hole World Championships are, as one observer put it, the Daytona of snowmobile events, and the mountain course practically defies description. It presents itself as a nearly vertical face of about a half-mile in length, with 28 gates that the machines and drivers have to negotiate on the way up. Favoring immense horsepower, traction, responsive handling and of course major riding talent, the course quickly weeds out all but the best. “It’s basically like driving up a skyscraper,” says Yamaha snowmobile marketing manager Wade West.

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