Polaris hillclimbers have had a memorable season, winning 11 pro class points titles, all three semi-pro points crowns, two Women’s points titles and the lion’s share of King of the Hill honors on the 2012-13 Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Association (RMSHA) circuit. Leading the way were Polaris racers Keith Curtis, who won points titles in [...] more]]>
Polaris hillclimbers have had a memorable season, winning 11 pro class points titles, all three semi-pro points crowns, two Women’s points titles and the lion’s share of King of the Hill honors on the 2012-13 Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Association (RMSHA) circuit.
Leading the way were Polaris racers Keith Curtis, who won points titles in five Pro classes and won Stock King of the Hill at all five points events, Erin Beukelman – winner of three points titles and a three-time King of the Hill winner (two Modified, one Improved Stock) – and Luke Rainey, Cole Willford and Tyson Thomas, who each won a points championship.
Polaris hillclimbers won all four of the premier Pro Stock classes and filled the top 10 in the standings. Polaris racers finished 1-2 in Pro 600 Stock points and claimed six top-10 spots; finished 1-2-3 in Pro 700 Stock points and earned six top-10 positions; dominated Pro 800 stock, leading to Polaris hillclimbers finishing first through sixth in points; claimed five top-10 spots in Pro 1000 Stock points, a class won by Keith Curtis at four of five events.
The RMSHA has 15 Pro classes, and Polaris racers earned the points titles in 11 of those classes. Polaris champions included:
• Keith Curtis, who won points titles in Pro 600 Stock, Pro 800 Stock, Pro 1000 Stock, Pro 800 Modified, and Pro Open Modified.
• Erin Beukelman, champion in Pro 800 Improved Stock, Pro 1000 Improved Stock and Pro 700 Modified. He was also second in Pro 800 Modified and third in Pro 800 Stock.
• Luke Rainey won the Pro 700 Stock points title and was second in Pro 1000 Stock, third in Pro Open Modified, and fourth in Pro 800 Stock and Pro 800 Modified points.
• Cole Willford won the Pro 600 Modified title and was third in Pro 700 Modified, fourth in Pro Open Modified, sixth in Pro 1000 Stock, and eighth in Pro 800 Modified.
• Tyson Thomas won the Pro Masters Modified championship and was fourth in Pro Masters Stock and Pro Masters Improved Stock, 14th in Pro 600 Modified, and 15th in Pro Open Modified.
Polaris racers packed the top 10 in several class standings, including:
• Tyler Crockett claimed second place in three classes: Pro 800 Stock, Pro 1000 Improved Stock and Pro 600 Modified. He was also fourth in Pro 800 Improved Stock and fifth in Pro 700 Modified.
• Dolan Phelps finished second in Pro 600 Stock points, fifth in Pro 1000 Improved Stock, and seventh in Pro 700 Stock and Pro 800 Improved Stock.
• Les Keller finished second in Pro 700 Stock points, fifth in Pro 1000 Stock, sixth in Pro 800 Stock and Pro 1000 Improved Stock, and seventh in Pro 600 Stock.
• Michael Crockett finished second in Pro 700 Modified points, fourth in Pro 600 Modified, ninth in Pro 1000 Stock, 10th in Pro 800 Modified, and 11th in Pro Open Modified.
• Sandy Sletten took third in Pro 700 Stock and Pro 600 Improved Stock points, fourth in Pro 600 Stock and Pro 700 Improved Stock, and ninth in Pro 800 Improved Stock.
• Brandon Titensor was fifth in Pro 600 Stock and Pro 700 Stock points, eighth in Pro 700 Modified, ninth in Pro 600 Modified, and 13th in Pro 600 Improved Stock.
• Aaron Sterck was fifth in Pro 800 Stock and Pro 600 Modified points, sixth in Pro 700 Modified, seventh in Pro Open Modified, and 12th in Pro 800 Modified.
• Charles Lopeman took fifth in Pro Masters Stock and Pro Masters Modified points, and seventh in Pro Masters Improved Stock.
• Travis Spencer was sixth in Pro Masters Improved Stock points, seventh in Pro Masters Stock, eighth in Pro 600 Stock and Pro 700 Stock, and 13th in Pro Masters Modified.
• Robert Jaskolski was sixth in Pro Masters Modified points and eighth in Pro Masters Improved Stock.
• Keith Jackson finished eighth in Pro 600 Improved Stock points, and 13th in Pro 600 Stock, Pro 700 Stock and Pro 700 Improved Stock.
• Jim Marshall was eighth in Pro Masters Modified points and ninth in Pro Masters Improved Stock.
• Babe Meyers finished 12th in Pro Masters Modified points and 13th in Pro Masters Improved Stock.
• Rick Marshall was 14th in Pro Masters Improved Stock and 17th in Pro Masters Modified.
Polaris Racers Claim the Most ‘King’ Crowns
At each RMSHA event, class winners compete for King of the Hill honors, and Polaris hillclimbers earned the most “King” crowns throughout the season.
Keith Curtis won Stock King of the Hill at all five RMSHA points events and he won Modified King of the Hill at three of five points events, giving him eight of a possible 15 Pro King titles for the season. Erin Beukelman won Modified King of the Hill honors at two events and won Improved Stock King of the Hill once.
Justin Thomas won Semi-Pro King of the Hill twice, Toby Shepherd won Semi-Pro King honors once, and Shelley Heap won Women’s Queen of the Hill honors once.
Polaris Racers Earn Three Semi-Pro & Two Women’s Titles
Justin Thomas won points titles in Semi-Pro Stock and Semi-Pro Improved Stock, and he finished third in Semi-Pro Modified points.
Toby Shepherd won the Semi-Pro Modified title and was third in Semi-Pro Stock points. He was also named RMSHA Racer of the Year.
Taylor Wilkes finished fourth in Semi-Pro Stock and Semi-Pro Modified points, and eighth in Semi-Pro Improved Stock. Tavren Rupp took third in Semi-Pro Improved Stock points, eighth in Semi-Pro Stock, and 14th in Semi-Pro Modified.
Polaris racer Shelley Heap won the Women’s Stock points title and the Women’s Improved Stock crown. She was also second in Women’s Modified. Raysha Nielsen finished second in Women’s Stock and Women’s Improved Stock points and third in Women’s Modified.
Polaris racers claimed the top seven spots in the Juniors points standings, led by champion Tanner Meyers. Finishing firth through seventh, in order, were: Tanner Meyers, Kameron Lindsay, Costner Eborn, Rayden Gladfelder, Hunter Ledford, Seth Coiner, and Tristan Spencer.2a7e ]]>
Though we won’t get any photos until it is officially unveiled at Hay Days in September, BRP has offered a few details on changes to the Ski-Doo MX Zx 600RS race sled for 2014.
2014 MXZx 600 RS Updates
• New Body Style
• New Rear Suspension
• New Track
• New Tunnel
• New Front Suspension Geometry
• New Steering Geometry
• Increased cooling capacity
• Improved Clutch Calibration
• Improved ECM Calibration
• More HP
According to BRP, the Valcourt Race Shop team is concentrating on improved holeshots, easier steering and better suspension calibrations for the snocross set-up. More details (and photos) to follow September 6th at Hay Days.]]>
It seemed like just about every weekend this winter, we were writing about an Arctic Cat sled on top of a podium. With snowmobile racing all wrapped up until next fall, Arctic Cat says its racers have claimed more high-point championship titles than anybody else.
“When you win most of the battles, you’re likely going to win the war,” says Team Arctic Race Manager, Mike Kloety. “In USXC cross-country especially, yet also in ISOC snocross and RMSHA hillclimbs, we won more than our share of the battles and, as a result, took home most of the championship high point titles.”
Arctic Cat found its greatest success in the USXC cross-country circuit, where Team Arctic racers claimed high-point titles in 13 of 20 classes. Headlining the cross-country domination were Christian Brothers Racing Pros Ryan Simons and Zach Herfindahl, who finished 1-2 in both Pro 600 and Pro Open championship tallies. Other stand-out title performances in USXC belong to Benjamin Langaas, who won both Expert 85 and Improved 85 titles; And Jolene Bute, who won all 10 Women’s finals (and the Championship title) during the season.
In ISOC National snocross competition, Team Arctic/Monster Energy superstar Tucker Hibbert reclaimed the Pro Open Championship title after winning 11 of 16 finals, plus his sixth Winter X Games gold medal in a row. Joining him atop the ISOC Championship box was Team Arctic’s Josh Zelinski, who captured the Pro-Am Plus 30 high-point title.
In the MIRA enduro circuit, Cadarette Racing secured the overall Pro Enduro Championship with racers Troy DeWald and Ryan Spencer.
Out west in the RMSHA hillclimb series, Team Arctic’s Rob Kincaid, Chance Buckallew and Kaycee Balls added championship titles to their win tallies, reinforcing the team’s strength that was also highlighted by Kyle Tapio’s King of Kings title (and five total victories) at the Jackson Hole World Championships.
“As much as we value and appreciate individual race wins, I believe that high-point titles tell the most complete story about Team Arctic,” says Kloety. “These championship titles reflect speed, consistency, mechanical aptitude and, of course, dedication. So on behalf of everyone at Arctic Cat, we want to thank all the racers, crews and teams who made 2013 a season of championship success.
“Likewise, I want to express our gratitude to all Team Arctic racers who took part in the 2013 race season. We’re already moving forward with improvements to our race sleds and program for the coming season, and we’ll be back in the action this summer with grass drag competition.”
Ryan Simons, Pro 600 & Pro Open
Benjamin Langaas, Expert 85 & Expert 85 Improved
Kevin Tinjum, Sport 85
Garrett Johnson, Sport 600
Joseph Wood, Vintage
Gerry Mattison, Vintage 50 Plus & Classic IFS 50 Plus
Jolene Bute, Women’s
Ean Voigt, Junior 10-13
Cole Lian, Junior 14-17
Marissa Kallock, Junior Girls 10-15
ISOC National Snocross
Tucker Hibbert, Pro Open
Josh Zelinski, Pro-Am Plus 30
ISOC Minnesota Regional Snocross
Jacob Blanshan, Pro Stock
Sasha Cook, Pro Women
Travis Kern, Pro Lite
Deon Guinn, Sport
Deon Guinn, Amateur 16-29
Jay Lura, Junior 14-15 & Junior 16-17
Ryley Bester, Jr. Novice LTD & Jr. Novice Combined
Evan Christian, Transition LTD & Transition Combined
Ayden Zimmerman, 120 Stock 4-5
MIRA Pro Enduro
Cadarette Racing, Troy DeWald & Ryan Spencer
Alexxa Callan, Pro Womens
Mark Wiedmeyer, Expert 85
Casey Pries, Semi Pro
Robin Deschenes, Semi Pro 600
Tyler Oomen, Pro Lite
Dale Lindbeck, Pro Stock
NSSR World Speed Records
James Leitl, Trail Stock 440 Fan
Joe Reinhardt, Trail Stock 700 & TS 1000
Valinda Hermanson, Stock 440
Patty Olson, Stock 500, 700 Single Pipe, Stock 100
Brandon Damask, Stock 600 Single Pipe
Brett Nelson, Imp Stock 500
Kris Doberstein, Imp Stock 600
Al Doberstein, Imp Stock 700, Super Stock Twin, 4-Stroke Stock Turbo
Doyle Swift, Imp Stock 1000 & Lake Racer All
Ed Ensor, Lake Racer
Kyle Shilts, 4-Stroke Stock Turbo IS
Steve Spire, Super Twin Lake Racer
Mike Martin, Super Twin Lake Racer 4-Stroke
Leighton Motorsports will have a very tough Pro Lite snocross team to beat next season, as East Coast Snocross Pro Champion Corin Todd and ISOC Sport Champion Zak Mason will join forces with top-ranked ISOC Pro Lite rookie Trevor Leighton.
Twenty-year-old Todd of Malone, NY captured the 2013 ECS championship riding a Polaris for the Bailey/Hulten team and will be relocating to the Midwest for his first full effort on the AMSOIL Championship Snocross tour. Eighteen-year-old Mason of Gaylord, Mich. also captured his national championship riding a Polaris and will be moving to Minnesota, along with his father and mechanic Rob, as he makes his debut as a Pro Lite rider this fall.
At the conclusion of the 2013 season, Leighton Motorsports set forth a unique plan to focus their efforts on the Pro Lite class, much in the same way Pro Circuit has done in motocross racing.
“Right after the X Games, crew chief Ray Hulten and I started talking about how we wanted to move forward long-term,” says Trace Leighton. “We decided to step away from the Pro Open class for now and really focus on the Pro Lite class next year. We want to develop the next wave of Polaris stars and the Pro Lite concept is just the first step. This is the first time Corin and and Zak will be supported by a factory-backed team and we want to keep these guys on our team and on Polaris for the next 10 years.
“All three of these guys have a similar demeanor and strong work ethic that will help drive each other to be their best. We know that our toughest competition will come from within the team and that’s what we want.”
To accommodate the new lineup, which will still include two-time Women’s Pro-Am Champion Jennifer Pare, the Fly Racing/Bully Dog-backed team has purchased the former Blair Morgan Racing trailer with multiple slide-outs and added work space.]]>
Royal Purple will provide support to Schultz by furnishing its advanced lines of synthetic lubricants, coolant and fuel system additives for his efforts both as a competitive snowmobiler and dirt bike rider. Schultz for his part, will provide the Royal Purple technical team with valuable feedback helping to make the company’s products even more effective.
Schultz, a veteran snowmobile and motorcycle racer for more than 15 years, can effectively split his racing career into two separate set of championship eras. From 1999 to 2008, Schultz raced internationally racking up a number of podiums. In 2008, while racing a professional snowmobiling event, Schultz abruptly lost control of his machine, crashing and hyperextending his leg in an accident that would ultimately require an above-the-knee amputation.
Facing a career ending injury, where many athletes would have called it quits, Schultz instead took himself to task designing and building one of the most advanced artificial limbs able to withstand the forces involved in extreme sports like Motocross, Snocross and snowboarding. Since then, Mike Schultz’ Moto Knee and his company Biodapt Inc. have provided products to other athletes and veterans returning from war. The Moto Knee has been so effective, Schultz was able to return to competition; recording five podium finishes and four wins in ESPN’s winter and summer X-Games competition for adaptive Snocross and Supercross.
“Mike has shown incredible tenacity in the face of tremendous circumstances,” says Royal Purple Marketing Director, Randy Fisher. “An accomplished able-bodied athlete in his own right, the work he’s done following his amputation both as a sportsman and as an inventor is truly remarkable and we couldn’t be happier to help support him in all his future endeavors.”2273 ]]>
Polaris continued its torrid sales pace in the first quarter of 2013 with net sales of $745.9 million, an increase of eleven percent from last year’s first quarter sales of $673.8 million.
“We are pleased that consumers and enthusiasts around the world continued to make Polaris their brand and product of choice during the first quarter of 2013. While Off-Road Vehicles (“ORVs”) and motorcycles faced challenging 2012 comparisons, we were again able to outpace the industry and increase market share in both product lines,” says Scott Wide, Polaris’ chairman and CEO. “Our snowmobile business also generated strong retail sales and market share growth during the first quarter.”
Snowmobile sales totaled $14.7 million for the 2013 first quarter compared to $4.6 million for the first quarter of 2012. The North American snowmobile industry finished the season strong with industry retail sales up over 20 percent in the 2013 first quarter and up mid-single digits percent for the entire season ending March 31, 2013 due to more normal snowfall levels and later snow cover this snowmobile riding season. Polaris’ North American retail snowmobile sales once again outpaced the industry, resulting in increased market share for the season ending March 31, 2013 and four percent lower season-end North American dealer inventories for Polaris snowmobiles.
During the quarter, the Polaris introduced eight new model year 2014 snowmobiles, including seven all-new models under the Indy name. Sales to customers outside North America increased over 100 percent in the first quarter 2013 as Polaris moved additional product into the Scandinavian and Russian markets where snowfall levels drove healthy snowmobile retail sales increases.]]>
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) is working to become a publicly owned and traded company. BRP has filed a preliminary prospectus with the necessary securities regulatory bodies in Canada for a proposed initial public offering of subordinate voting shares. Should things go according to plan, non-controlling shares of the company will be available on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Financial Post reports BRP hopes to raise CN$250 million (US$243 million).
BRP produces many different kinds of vehicles including snowmobiles, watercraft, ATVs, side-by-sides and the Can-Am Spyder Roadster. The company controls several brands including Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, and Rotax.
The proposed IPO will be made through several underwriters including BMO Capital Markets, RBC Capital Markets, UBS Securities Canada Inc. and Citigroup Global Markets Canada Inc.
BRP was previously a public company until 2003 when the company was acquired by three parties: the Bombardier family (with an estimated 35% share), the Québec government’s public pension plan manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (15%) and Bain Capital (50%). Yes, that Bain Capital, though the acquisition came after the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer Mitt Romney left to run the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The company’s existing owners will hold on to multiple-voting shares for the immediate future, though the Financial Post reports Bain Capital will eventually divest its stake of BRP.
[Source: BRP, Financial Post]2131 ]]>
The Yamaha Nytro MTX earned his first podium finish of the year in the 2013 RMSHA hillclimb series. Chad Jorgensen piloted his four-stroke sled to a third-place finish in the Pro 600 Modified class at Beaver Mountain in Garden City, Utah. This is just the second podium in RMSHA history for a Yamaha four-stroke snowmobile.
Jorgensen added a top-five finish in Pro 600 Improved, with Cable Willford finishing eighth in the class. Willford then grabbed a sixth and Kody Malmborg a 10th in Pro 700 Improved, while Jorgensen took a sixth in Pro 700 Modified and Kolton Malmborg added a sixth in Semi Pro Modified. Finally, Kolton put his Nytro MTX into the Semi Pro Stock final, marking the first time a Nytro has qualified among its 800cc two-stroke rivals in a stock class.
Situated at the Beaver Mountain Ski Area, the racecourse uniquely started downhill, then made a turnabout and zigzagged up the hill nearly 1000 vertical feet – with plenty of jumps, bowl turns and gates along the way. Snow arrived just in time during the week to offer excellent conditions for hillclimbing, and the weather was equally agreeable with sunny skies and 60-degree temperatures during Friday qualifying. In all, Yamaha riders including Jorgensen, Cable Willford, Kody and Kolton Malmborg, and even Nathan Titus – available now that the woods- and ice-racing season is over – qualified in 12 different classes.
Jorgensen was revved up for the event and his top-five finish in Pro 600 Improved fired him up for Pro 600 Modified, where he quickly staged his Yamaha and raced to his dramatic podium finish – just 1.5 seconds behind the winner. The trip up the hill was a strong one, with Chad flowing beautifully, making each turn count and keeping his corner speed up. Now fully energized, Jorgensen lined his Nytro MTX up for his third final of the day, Pro 700 Improved. This time he was totally in the zone, flying up the hill at an incredible rate and building a nearly two-second lead on the clock by the halfway point before catching a bump while driving hard into a corner and then unloading. He had to settle for a 12th place finish, but seems on the path for future success – perhaps even an outright RMSHA class win.
“The team really pulled together this weekend,” says Yamaha snowmobile hillclimb technical coordinator Troy Johnson. “Kolton performed really well, qualifying in all three classes, and his sixth in Semi Pro Mod was his best result of the year. Also Chad was ready to win the Pro 700 Improved class and he nearly did it. I’m looking forward to more podiums in the next round, and maybe even a win.”
“I’m very proud of how the team has improved this season, ” says Yamaha Snowmobile Racing’s Eric Josephsen. “At first just qualifying our four-stroke Nytros for the finals was an achievement. Now we’re on the podium and knocking on the door for an outright win. I can’t wait for the season finale in Idaho next weekend.”]]>
Apparently Tucker Hibbert needed to taste snocross victory one more time this season. The Team Arctic pilot few to Sweden and picked up a win at the Clash of Nations Super Snowcross event.
With 16 riders in the main event, including Logan Christian from Christian Bros. Racing, Hibbert ripped a monstrous holeshot and ran away with the win, while Logan Christian charged hard through the entire race finishing in third.
“It was awesome to come back to Sweden, take a win and finish the season healthy,” says Hibbert. “It’s a great feeling flying across the world and having fans cheer for you. I’m always surprised by the amount of support and excitement from fans in Scandinavia.”
In the Pro Stock class, 16-year-old Martin Moland from Norway had an outstanding win. Moland’s Clash of Nations win came shortly after he was crowned the 2013 bronze-medalist in the Norwegian snocross championship. Luva Racing’s Alexander Berglund of Sweden rounded out the podium for Arctic Cat with a solid third place finish.
“Team Arctic has had a very successful 2013 snocross season and these wins and podium finishes at Clash of Nations make it an even better one,” says Mike Kloety, Team Arctic race manager. “It’s truly fantastic to see the highest level of enthusiasm these snowmobile race fans have for Team Arctic.”]]>
Kyle Tapio led Team Arctic to a hugely successful run at the 2013 Jackson Hole World Championship Hillclimb. Team Arctic riders earned seven wins, including the top prize – the King of Kings title.
The star of the weekend was perennial champion Tapio. Riding an Arctic Cat M800 HCR with the ProClimb chassis, Tapio tamed a gnarly course at Snow King Mountain, winning both the 800 Improved and 800 Mod finals. But that was just a warm-up. When all of the class winners competed in the final King competition, Tapio won the Improved, Mod and King of Kings titles in convincing fashion.
“There’s a reason that Kyle is regarded as the King of Jackson,” says Al Shimpa, Team Arctic Hillclimb Coordinator. “For the second year in a row, he won two class finals, two King-of-class titles and the ultimate King of King championship as best of the entire event. He is truly an outstanding hillclimb racer.”
Joining Tapio on top of the Snow King podium were two additional Team Arctic teammates. David McClure won the 600 Improved class in addition to finishing second in 700 Improved and third in 800 Stock aboard his Arctic Cat M800 HCR. Likewise, Jeremy Archibald led a Team Arctic podium sweep of the 700 Improved class. Team Arctic racers scored 19 podium finishes at the World Championships.
“I’m so impressed with all of the Team Arctic racers and crews,” says Shimpa. “Everyone came to Jackson with their best effort, proving Arctic Cat dominated the toughest mountain race of the year. With three races remaining on the RMSHA circuit, I expect we’ll see a lot more wins before the 2013 hillclimb season concludes.”]]>