Team Arctic Hillclimbers Start 2012 Season on Top

The 2012 RMSHA hillclimb season started just as it has for years, with Team Arctic men and women claiming the most victories of any brand at the Bear Lake Hillclimb in Montpelier, Idaho. Piloting the formidable M Series snowmobiles, including the new ProClimb chassis, Team Arctic racers won nine of 18 classes, then added two King titles for a final stamp of authority at the first race of the season.

It was the potent combination of the new ProClimb HCR and an experienced crew of racers that dominated the big-engine classes. Kyle Tapio delivered a career-performance by winning 800 Improved, 800 Mod and Open Mod, then topped it off with the Improved King title. Hot on his heels, brother Nels won the 700 Mod final and had enough mojo to overtake Kyle to win the Mod King title.

Arctic Cat racer and M-sled engineer Todd Tupper showed he’s still the man to beat in the Masters classes, winning both Stock and Improved finals aboard his 2012 M800 HCR in the ProClimb chassis.

Other class winners aboard Arctic Cat M machines include Rob Kincaid in 600 Improved; Amy Zollinger in Women’s Improved; and Derek Merritt in RMSHA Stock.

“With the start of a new season and the all-new ProClimb chassis, there were questions about what to expect from the team,” said Al Shimpa, Team Arctic Hillclimb Coordinator. “Winning nine classes and two King titles was a powerful and impressive answer. We have a tremendous team of racers, and our snowmobiles are only going to get better as we get more race experience.”

 

Unstoppable at Grafton

Whooped-out ditch, winding river and carnage-causing rough conditions made their first appearances of the 2012 cross-country season at the USCC Grafton 100, and Team Arctic responded by delivering a whooping of their own, including 13 of 17 victories, seven podium sweeps and victory in both Pro classes.

Leading the charge in the Pro classes was Christian Bros. Racing’s D.J. Ekre, who started the day by winning the Pro Open class ahead of teammates Ryan Simons and Cory Davis. After the 20-mile course was transformed into a rough, half-dirt minefield by the many classes of competition throughout the day, Ekre lined up for the five-lap, 100-mile Pro 600 final as the favorite to win. Combining his blazing speed with the excellent handling of his Sno Pro 600 in the ProCross chassis, Ekre fulfilled the expectations with a winning time of 1:48:36, nearly two minutes faster than second place.

“This was one of the roughest courses I’ve seen in years, with more than half the field unable to finish,” commented Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “D.J. put himself into the lead early and then ran the perfect pace to preserve his win. Unfortunately Ryan Simons hit a rock halfway through the final lap, otherwise he’d have taken second in both Pro classes.”

Highlighting Team Arctic’s depth and the strength of the 2012 Sno Pro race sleds, 11 different racers claimed class wins at Grafton.

While the cross-country corps was tearing up the terrain in North Dakota, Team Arctic snocrossers delivered a solid performance at the ISOC National at the Pontiac Silverdome. Logan Christian notched his first podium of the season with a second in Pro Open, while Tucker Hibbert had to settle for third following a rare tip-over while passing for the lead.

Other top performances by Team Arctic in the abbreviated Pontiac event included Tyler Adam’s second in Sport, Samantha Tarnowski’s third in Pro Women and the one-two finish of Reid Runkel and Nicholas Horstman in Transition Limited.

Team Arctic Procross Chassis Leads Soo International 500 Enduro with Strong Results

After 500 miles of dirt, snow, bumps and wide-open racing at the Soo International 500 enduro in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Team Arctic racers and crews claimed three of the top-5 podium spots aboard the consumer-based Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 in the ProCross chassis.

Taking second place in what was a nearly first-time effort, the Christian Bros. Racing duo of Ryan Simons and D.J. Ekre proved the talk of the Soo. Running a mostly-stock Sno Pro 600 except for a Speedwerx mod engine package, the teammates climbed steadily through the pack and even led late into the race. Although it was Simons’ first trip to the Soo, you wouldn’t have known it by his speed and lap times, which were among the fastest of any competitor. Likewise, Ekre showed his typical grit and determination to run with the heavily-favored (and experienced) teams despite having raced it just one time more than a decade ago. Together with the CBR crew, Simons/Ekre finished less than 17 seconds out of first place and on the same lap as the winning driver.

Cadarette Racing’s strategy of bringing two teams to the Soo paid off with fourth and fifth place finishes, both aboard Sno Pro 600s. It was the trio of Brian Dick, Chad Lian and Gary Moyle who claimed fourth, running 498 laps and running trouble-free the entire event. Taking fifth was the duo of Troy Dewald (the 2010 Soo 500 winner) and Ryan Spencer.

The Arctic Cat/Tommie Bauer Racing team cracked the top-10 with Cody Badour and Chad Bower doing the driving duties. Other finishing Team Arctic teams included Ride All Racing, King Cat Racing X-1, R&S Racing and Cat House Racing.

“We went to the Soo with a strong effort that included both experienced teams and some first-timers,” said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “Putting three Sno Pro 600s into the top-5 proved the competitiveness of the ProCross chassis and the quality of our teams. Drawing upon the experience gained this year, I’m convinced each of these teams can place higher, including winning this incredible event.”

The Winning Continues for Team Arctic in USCC Cross-Country

Following the first race of the United States Cross-Country 2012 race season in which Team Arctic scored 13 of 17 class wins, expectations were riding high at round two in Detroit Lakes, Minn. The men and women in green didn’t disappoint. Aboard the newest Sno Pro 600 in the ProCross chassis and the Sno Pro 500, Team Arctic racers once again captured wins in 13 classes for another dominant performance on ice.

This week it was Team Arctic/Christian Bros. Racing pro D.J. Ekre was on top of the Pro Open class, outrunning his teammate (and first race winner) Brian Dick who finished second. Christian Bros. Racing proved its powerhouse reputation as defending USCC Pro Champion Ryan Simons slotted into second overall in the Pro 600 final following two days of competition.

Jordan Torgerson resumed his winning ways by capturing the Semi Pro Improved final, with Wes Selby taking a close second in his first-ever lake cross-country race. Proving the Sno Pro 600 is an across-the-board success, Boris Mahlich scored a pair of wins in the Sport classes while Jolene Bute locked in another victory in the Women’s class.

Arctic Cat continued its stranglehold on the 85-hp classes. Bryce Buchanan remains undefeated in both Expert 85 classes this season, while Taylor McLean, Zach Herfindahl and Kelsey Pladson won their respective classes.

“Detroit Lakes was another outstanding showing by the team,” commented Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “We’re still learning some things about the Sno Pro 600, and I’m proud of the riders and crews who put in extra time and effort to stay on top of the game this past weekend.”

The next race in the USCC season is the Grafton 100 in Grafton, ND, on Feb. 12.

Team Arctic Finds A Familiar Place

Photo Credit: Jim Urquhart

If there were any questions about which brand would start the 2012 USCC cross-country race season on top, Team Arctic answered by winning 13 of 17 classes (while sweeping the podium of six) and going 1-2 in the vaulted Pro 600 final. The dominant performances by the team aboard the new 2012 Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 and Sno Pro 500 race sleds on Pine Lake in Gonvick, Minn., proved beyond doubt that when it comes to speed, cornering and handling, Arctic Cat is the one to beat.

Leading the charge in the Pro 600 final was defending I-500 champion Brian Dick, who found the fast balance of speed, intensity and smooth line choice on the 10-mile lake course to move into the lead halfway through the first of 10 laps and never look back on his way to the win. His two Team Arctic/Christian Bros. Racing teammates would keep him honest, as D.J. Ekre finished a strong second while defending USCC Pro Champion Ryan Simons took fifth in his first-ever ice cross-country race.

Jordan Torgerson served notice that he’s gunning for the Semi Pro title this year by taking both the Semi Pro 600 and 600 Improved classes. Joining him in double-victory category were Boris Mahlich (who won Sport 600 and Sport 600 Improved) and Bryce Buchanan in the Expert 85-hp classes (where Arctic Cat swept the top-9 places in both).

The indomitable Jolene Bute returned to her familiar place atop the Women’s class; Dustin Isaak led an Arctic Cat sweep of the Sport 85 class; and it was all green atop the Junior classes with wins by Matt Feil, Cole Lian and Kelsey Pladson.

“With low snow cover, USCC was forced to go lake racing, which is a form of cross-country that we hadn’t focused on for more than a decade,” said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “Our racers and crews responded with a winning performance that matched the ZR period of lake-race success. And the new Sno Pro 600 in the ProCross chassis proved it has the speed and handling needed to win in all forms of cross-country.”

Record Crowds Cheer On Team Green At Canterbury

Photo Credit – John Sandberg – Arcticinsider.com

For the second time in the still-young 2012 ISOC National snocross season, Tucker Hibbert proved the power of the Arctic Cat ProCross chassis with a spectacular win in Pro Open final in Shakopee, Minn. The Arctic Cat/Monster Energy phenom delivered a jaw-dropping, come-from-behind performance that brought 12,000 screaming fans to their feet and highlighted his insatiable desire to win.

“That was one of the all-time great displays of power, determination and talent,” said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “Tucker proved once again that he’s an incredible champion, and that the 2012 Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 is destined for greatness.”

Joining Hibbert on the top step of the podium at the Canterbury snocross were Team Arctic pilots Tyler Adams, Trent Wittwer, Reid Runkel and Evan Christian. Adams continued his season-long quest to rule the Junior classes by taking the win in Jr. 14-15 and finishing second in Jr. 16-17. Wittwer’s victory in Jr. Novice 10-13 was his second of the season, further confirming his immense talent and drive. Runkel led a Team Arctic-sweep of the Transition Limited final, while Christian dominated the 120 Champ class.

Canterbury Park in Shakopee marked the third stop of the eight-race ISOC National Tour. With nearly a month until the next event, Feb. 3-4 in Farmington, NY, Team Arctic racers and crews will continue to test and improve the new race sled.

“We’ve seen significant progress with the new Sno Pro,” said Kloety. “Much of the improvement is simply getting more seat time with the new chassis. But we’re also learning improvements in calibration for specific conditions, which is a necessary process every time we introduce a new chassis.”

For more information on Team Arctic’s 2012 season, go to teamarctic.arcticcat.com

The Head Start Is Over. Time For Team Green To Turn It Up.

Arctic Cat race fans can rest a little easier knowing Team Arctic/Monster Energy racer, Tucker Hibbert, put a serious beat down on the competitors in Sunday’s Pro Open snocross final in Bessemer, Michigan this past weekend.

Hibbert was well on his way to winning the Pro Open final during Saturday’s main event, only to break a spindle when putting a pass on Ross Martin for first place. With two laps remaining, Hibbert had to coast around the track settling on a fourth place finish.

“Once I passed Tremblay and Malinoski, I charged up to Ross (Martin) and put a pass on him for the lead. But our sleds contacted, which ended up breaking one of my lightweight spindles that we apparently lightened up too much,” said Hibbert.

Qualifying first for Sundays Pro Open Final, Hibbert was motivated to win more than ever. Feeling strong and fast, Tucker’s Sno Pro 600 captured the holeshot and he never looked back. When the checkered flag dropped, Hibbert sent a demoralizing message to the rest of the field with a commanding 15 second lead over second place.

Hibbert went on to say, “The whole situation (broken spindle) motivated me Sunday to try to win even harder. I wanted to prove to myself, my team and any other riders that Team Arctic was there to win.”

Team Arctic Race Manager, Mike Kloety said, “We are really happy with the quickly improving results of the new ProCross race chassis. We are very proud of Tucker’s near perfect weekend, as well as our great showing in the Vet and Junior classes with the new Sno Pro 600.”

Other notable performances came from Team Arctic Cross Country racer, DJ Ekre, who strapped on his snocross boots for the Plus 30 class with a third place finish. Leading the Junior 16-17 class was Ian Buchman and Tyler Adams placing first and third respectively while Austin St. Cyr led the Junior 14-15 class. The Sno Pro 500 swept the top five spots of the Junior Novice class with Trent Wittwer leading the way.

The next race in the ISOC National Snocross Series is Jan. 6-8 in Shakopee, MN. Go to www.isocracing for more information.

Team Arctic is off and running

Photo by TJ Turner

The Snocross season has officially kicked off.  This past weekend, round 1 of the ISOC National Tour took place in Duluth, MN at Spirit Mountain.  Team Arctic was sporting a new look riding the all-new Sno Pro 600 in the ProCross chassis.  Even with minimal seat time on the new Sno Pro, many riders are showing that this new sled will be a welcomed addition to the Team Arctic family.

Defending AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series Champion and Team Arctic rider Tucker Hibbert, showcased his ability and that of the new sled by finishing no lower than 4th in any of his races and charged his way onto Sunday’s podium in the Pro Open final with a 3rd place finish.  After the weekend was all over, Tucker has found himself in 2nd place for the overall points total.

The next stop on the ACSS Tour is in Ironwood, Michigan on December 10th & 11th.  With 14 total podium finishes in Duluth, look for Team Arctic to continue to give you reasons to cheer for green!  Or is it green and white now?

The All-New Arctic Cat 2012 Sno Pro 600 Race Sled

Thief River Falls, Minn. (9/10/11) – The official start to winter kicked off today at the largest snowmobile event in the world – Haydays.  Thousands of loyal Team Arctic race fans were treated to the first unveiling of the all-new 2012 Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 race sled.

70’s fashion Icon, Cat Girl unveiled the all-new 2012 Sno Pro 600 and conducted a walk-around with Performance Product Team Manager Troy Halvorson. Halvorson said the all-new Sno Pro 600 will build upon last season’s winning success and the success of the recently introduced ProCross chassis. Key highlights include:

  • All new ProCross Race chassis – Stronger and lighter than 2011 Sno Pro 600
  • 600R race engine with 40mm Mikuni rack style TM carbs w/TPS
  • Front Arctic Race Suspension (ARS) – with Fox Float X Evol Shox
  • All-new Race Slide Action rear suspension equipped with Fox Racing Shox
  • 1.7-in. Snocross track or 1.25-in. Cobra 2-ply Cross Country track
  • Arctic Drive System (ADS) with magnesium chaincase and all-new Torque Overloading Sensing (TOS) bottom sprocket
  • Torque Control Link (TCL) – Links the drive to driven clutch
  • Radial Master Cylinder brake system
  • 5 gallon Snocross or 12 gallon Cross Country fuel tank

“Racing has been a strong cornerstone of Arctic Cat’s heritage and brand. An arena we have consistently used for testing and development.  It’s our commitment to race the ProCross chassis and show the world that our consumers can buy the same snowmobile to conquer the world’s toughest terrain,” said Brad Darling, GM Snow Division.

Defending his ISOC Pro Points Championship Title, Tucker Hibbert will race the full season aboard the all-new 2012 Sno Pro 600 as well as compete for his sixth-consecutive ESPN Winter X Games gold medal. If he wins, Hibbert will become the only athlete in the history of Winter X to six-peat. Hibbert has competed every year since 2000 and currently holds 10 medals, six of which are gold.

Arctic Cat CEO Claude Jordan stated, “Our talented engineers have built our best Sno Pro race sled to date, and that says a lot considering we won every major race or championship title last season. It’s going to be a tough year for our competition, but an even better year for our Team Arctic race fans!”

About Arctic Cat and Tucker Hibbert

Arctic Cat Inc., based in Thief River Falls, Minn., designs, engineers, manufactures and markets all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles under the Arctic Cat® brand name, as well as related parts, garments and accessories.  Its common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the ticker symbol “ACAT.”  More information regarding the all-new 2012 Sno Pro 600,  and other Arctic Cat products please log on to www.arcticcat.com or visit your local dealer. For more information on Tucker Hibbert, please log on to www.tucker-hibbert.com.

Tucker Hibbert Takes 3rd at FIM Snowcross World Championship

Photo by Erik Ahman.

Hibbert Overcomes Challenge for Third at FIM Snowcross World Championship

Tucker Hibbert wrapped-up a record-breaking snowmobile season Saturday in Finland with a third place finish at the FIM Snowcross World Championship. Hibbert consistently turned the fastest lap times of the day on the rough course in Tuuri but a drive belt failure in the second of three races took him out of contention for the overall win.
Hibbert went 1-16-1 in the three-race format to finish third behind Sweden’s Emil Ohman and Petter Narsa. The first 20-rider, 15-minute race, Hibbert had a dead-last start and put on an impressive charge to take the lead with only minutes to go.
He lined up for the second race confident and pulled a top-three start. Five minutes in, he moved into first but immediately knew something was wrong. Pieces of his drive belt began to break and fly off under the hood. Within moments, the belt completely shredded and he was forced to walk away from his snowmobile. He was not allowed to change the belt during the race because he was unable to get the snowmobile to the designated work area.
Hibbert entered the third and final race knowing the Championship was out of reach but was determined to win. He got a mid-pack start and quickly moved to the front. By the end of the race, he pulled a 27-second gap on second place Ohman, giving him enough points for third overall.
Once Hibbert returns to the U.S., he will shift his focus to preparing for select 450 AMA Pro Motocross Championship events.

FIM Snowcross World Championship Results – Tucker Hibbert
Race 1: 1st
Race 2: 16th
Race 3: 1st
Overall: 55 points – 3rd

Tucker Hibbert – #1 Monster Energy/Arctic Cat-
“I’m really excited about my performance at the World Championship. I don’t think I have ever felt so in control and confident in a race. Blowing a belt in the second race was disappointing but stuff like that happens – it’s racing. I can’t remember the last time I was taken out of a race because of a mechanical problem and that’s a testament to how solid my Monster Energy/Arctic Cat is and the talent of the crew working on the machine. It’s hard not winning the overall but honestly, I couldn’t be prouder of what we (the team) accomplished. We worked hard to get to this event and have no regrets.
Just like last year in Sweden, I was overwhelmed by the kindness and support of everyone in Finland. The European racing community is fired up about snowmobile racing. It’s cool to see so many countries come together to compete. The growth of the sport and level of the competition just keeps rising. The future of snowmobile racing is looking good.
This has been a long year for the Monster Energy/Arctic Cat crew and myself. Racing the full national series plus Winter X Games and the World Championship was a new experience for this team. Although I didn’t win the World Championship, I’m walking away from this season healthy and happy. I’m looking forward to a little rest then diving into preparing to race a few AMA Motocross events in the 450 class.”

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