When the big guns arrive for the biggest battle of the year sporting the highest-powered artillery, you just know that domination will ensue. Continue reading
When the big guns arrive for the biggest battle of the year sporting the highest-powered artillery, you just know that domination will ensue. Continue reading →
Team Arctic’s ISOC national snocross effort delivered its top performance of the season at the year-end event in Lake Geneva, Wis., with five victories across a range of classes and winning the coveted Pro Open Championship. Continue reading →
Team Arctic cross-country racers continued their season long domination of the USXC circuit with another stunning display of success in two separate days of competition in Park Rapids, Minn. Continue reading →
Ryan Simons Captures I-500 Victory; Tucker Hibbert Sweeps Michigan ISOC Snocross; Six Wins in RMSHA Hillclimb
Team Arctic racers and crews continued the magnificent history and tradition of the I-500 cross-country snowmobile race, capturing 13 wins in 16 classes including victory by Ryan Simons in the prestigious Pro 600 event. The three-day, 500-mile cross-country event in Thief River Falls proved both challenging and reflective of history, with rugged ditch and winding rivers testing the fortitude and speed of racers and machines.
Racing for the Christian Brothers Racing team, Ryan Simons delivered a blistering pace, setting the fastest time each of the three days en route to his first win in the I-500. Team Arctic’s Cody Kallock notched his first I-500 podium finish in the Pro 600 class, taking third, with Wes Selby, Cole Nymann, Nathan Moritz and Jordan Torgerson rounding out the top-10.
Numerous stand-out performances highlighted this year’s I-500, including Cole Nymann winning the Semi Pro 600 class with seven Team Arctic teammates in the top-10; and Mason Kallock leading a Team Arctic top-10 sweep of the first-ever Junior 12-17 class to conquer the famous event.
Race Manager Mike Kloety reflected on the success of the team while acknowledging the disappointment that always affects racers who weren’t able to finish: “Winning 13 of 16 classes in the I-500 highlights Arctic Cat’s commitment to build the best snowmobiles in the world as well as the dedication of our great team of riders and crews. Yet it’s also true that there’s room for improvement. What we learn with the ProCross Sno Pro race sleds is used to improve both our race and consumer snowmobiles.”
While Team Green racers cleaned up at the I-500, Team Arctic/Monster Energy sensation Tucker Hibbert swept the Pro Open finals at the ISOC National Snocross race in Traverse City, Mich., claiming his sixth and seventh wins (out of 10 finals) already this season. Hibbert went undefeated in his heats and finals to continue his class domination aboard the ProCross Sno Pro 600. Josh Zelinski, Carson Alread and Cora Hauger also notched class wins for Team Arctic in Traverse City.
And at the first Rocky Mountain Hillclimb event of the season in Montpelier, Idaho, Team Arctic’s Mountain Team scored six wins. Congratulations to all Team Arctic racers on another successful weekend of racing.
It was a gold-medal weekend for Team Arctic Racing, with emphatic wins by Tucker Hibbert at the ESPN X Games and another dominating performance by the team in USXC cross-country.
Hibbert’s historic seventh gold was also his sixth in a row, the first X Games athlete to achieve this feat. When the then-15-year-old catapult himself into the world spotlight by winning his first X Games gold in the year 2000, it was clear that Hibbert was destined for further snocross greatness. Including his seven gold medals, Hibbert has won 11 medals in his X Games career.
Team Arctic racers Derek Ellis and Logan Christian earned eighth and 14th finishes in the Snocross final; Cory Davis took a silver medal in Speed & Style, a fourth in Best Trick and fifth in Freestyle; and Chris Heppding scored seventh in Snocross Adaptive.
For the first time this season in the USXC cross-country circuit, racers moved off of the lakes and onto ditch and river at the Oslo Merchants 100 in Oslo, Minn. The racers and their Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 and Sno Pro 500 machines proved equally dominant in the rough conditions, scoring wins in 17 of 20 classes including eight podium sweeps.
For the second time this season, Team Arctic Cat/Christian Brothers Racing champion Ryan Simons swept the Pro 600 and Pro Open classes at a single event, with his teammates Zach Herfindahl and Brian Dick taking second and third in the stock final. With help from pro teammates Wes Selby and Cody Kallock, Team Arctic took five of the top-10 places in both Pro events.
“It was another great weekend for Team Arctic,” commented Race Manager Mike Kloety. “Tucker’s dominant performance at the X Games highlights the effort he and his team put into that event. And our success at the Oslo cross-country proves that our ProCross sleds are every bit as dominant in the rough stuff as they are on the lakes.”
The next national events for Team Arctic are the ISOC snocross race in Deadwood, S.D., Feb. 1-2, and the USXC I-500 in Thief River Falls Feb. 7-9.
Past and Future Champions Commemorate Derby Weekend
Team Arctic honored the tradition and history of the 50th Anniversary Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby with excellent finishes by its cadre of oval racers as well as the company’s appreciation of its past champions.
Armed with the formidable duo of four-time World Champion P.J. Wanderscheid and two-time World Champion Gary Moyle in the Champ 440 class, Team Arctic was in good position to notch its 11th Championship crown. And when Moyle logged the fastest qualifying time, the possibility of another win looked even better.
But the history of the World Championship is full of twists, turns and upsets. The 50th edition was no different, with Moyle and Wanderscheid delivering excellent performances (despite Wanderscheid competing with a broken ankle, heavily bruised shoulder and ribs, plus pneumonia), taking fifth and ninth respectively.
Commenting on his ninth place finish, Wanderscheid acknowledged both his injuries and the tough visibility of the final: “I always knew that injuries would affect me. My plan in the final was to go for it if I was out front, but play it safe if I was in the pack simply because [with the injuries] I knew I couldn’t recover sled if it got away from me. After the first restart I was always behind a few sleds and, with the snow dust sticking to my face shield, I played it safe in traffic.”
Moyle had his own challenges in the Champ final: “Starting on the back row of the final, I moved up to seventh before the maintenance break that separates the first 10 laps from the final 20 laps,” said Moyle. “At that point a suspension adjustment we’d planned to make wasn’t possible due to a frozen component, leaving us with less suspension travel than we needed for the big bumps that formed. So to finish fifth overall was the best that we could have hoped for given the circumstances.”
In addition to the spectacular racing, special ceremonies during Derby weekend commemorated past World Champions, including Team Arctic racers: Roger Janssen (1969), Bob Elsner (1979), Jim Dimmerman (1984), Wanderscheid (2002, 2003, 2006, 2011); Larry Day (2004); and Moyle (2005, 2007). Arctic Cat congratulates these great champions and all the racers who have competed at Eagle River over the past five decades.
Several of Team Arctic’s cross-country contingent competed at the CORPowersports event in Hayward, Wis., notching eight wins, three class sweeps and victory in both Pro classes. Wes Selby recorded his first-ever victory in Pro class cross-country competition, winning Pro Distance and Pro Sprint ahead of Zach Herfindahl.
Team Arctic’s national-level cross-country and snocross programs resume January 26 – 27, 2013, at the USXC event in Oslo, Minn., and the ESPN Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo.
At the first cross-country race of the 2012-2013 USXC season, aboard the all-new Sno Pro 600 ProCross and Sno Pro 500 race machines, Team Arctic racers delivered an overwhelmingly-dominant performance that rewrote the record books. When it was over, Team Green captured 16 of 20 classes via 14 individual winners at the Gerald Dyrdahl Memorial Pine Lake 200.
Leading the history-making assault was two-time cross-country Pro champion Ryan Simons of the Christian Bros. Racing (CBR) team, who won both the 100-mile Pro Stock and 100-mile Pro Open finals convincingly. Joining Simons on the podium of both finals were his Team Arctic/CBR teammates Brian Dick and newcomer Zach Herfindahl. Including the Pro classes, there were 13 podium sweeps by Team Arctic, making this one of the most successful racing weekends in modern history.
“We’ve enjoyed outstanding success in cross-country over the years but this reset the high mark for winning,” said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “It shows what’s possible when you combine the outstanding efforts of our racers and crews with the speed and handling of our Sno Pro race sleds.”
Joining Simons as a two-time class winner at Pine Lake was Bryce Buchanan, who returned to his familiar place atop the Expert 85 classes aboard his Arctic Cat Sno Pro 500. Nearly nailing the big double, Erik Nymann went 1-2 in the two Sport 600 finals, while Jon Arneson raced a record number of laps en route to his first in Semi Pro Stock, third in Masters 40-plus and fourth in Expert 85.
“The improvements to the 2013 Sno Pro 600 in the ProCross chassis gave us an even greater handling and speed advantage on the fast lake course,” said Kloety. “Of the 14 individual class winners aboard Arctic Cat sleds, six of them were on the new Sno Pro 600.”
The next race on the USXC cross-country circuit is Jan. 5, 2013, in Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Arctic Cat returned to the top of the snocross scoreboard during the third and fourth round of the ISOC series in Bessemer, Michigan, where Team Arctic racers scored nine class victories in the combined National/Regional event. Leading the charge once again was the indomitable Tucker Hibbert, whose sweep of the Pro Open classes was as powerful as it was complete.
“That was the kind of Pro class domination that only Tucker is capable of,” said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “He won the first final with a 35-second margin of victory, and the second final with an 11-second margin. He firmly reestablished himself and the new 2013 Arctic Cat ProCross Sno Pro 600 as the ones to beat.”
Bolstering Team Arctic’s performance in the top classes in Bessemer were Joshua Zelinski and Matt Pichner. Zelinski scored a first and a third in the two Pro Am Plus 30 finals, while Matt Pichner took a bittersweet fourth in Pro Lite after having led for several laps. Also landing a strong performance in Bessemer was Travis Kern, who scored a third in Sport at the national event and a third in Pro Lite during the regional competition.
In other classes, both Trent Wittwer and Evan Christian scored two wins apiece, while Ryan Trout and Ian Eboy Buchman nearly notched doubles of their own. And of the nine class finals won by Team Arctic racers, four were full podium sweeps.
“We had a great weekend in Michigan and our new Sno Pro 600 with the ProCross chassis is working excellent,” said Kloety. “What we need now is for some of our racers to log some seat time before the next race, since many of them hadn’t ridden since the opener in Duluth.
The next ISOC National Snocross is Jan. 4-5, 2013, at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.
If there ever was a doubt as to which manufacturer has the World’s Fastest Snowmobiles, Arctic Cat proved it on the race track. The majority of all class finals paired Cat against Cat across four lanes of the track.
Team Arctic drag race coordinator, Al Shimpa said, “Team Arctic racers definitely gave Cat fans something to brag about this weekend. We blew by the competition like they were standing still. It was the text book definition of domination and something we are truly proud of!”
One of the most exciting class finals took place in Stock 1000 when four 2013 ProCross XF800s crossed the finish line so close, that the results had to be decided via the timing light system. After examination, a first place tie resulted between Matt Lemire and Jeff Marks. Shimpa said, “Winners are crowned as a result of adding together their Reaction Time and their Elapsed Time (RT+ET=Result). A tie for first place rarely happens; this was truly spectacular!”
Kyle Tapio Climbs into the Record Books with Five Wins aboard Arctic Cat ProClimb
It was a beating of epic proportions at the World Championships of Hillclimbs in Jackson Hole, Wyo., as Team Arctic racers out-climbed the competition to score 10 victories by six different riders, including two podium sweeps. The star of the weekend was Kyle Tapio, whose record-breaking performance aboard the 2012 Arctic Cat ProClimb produced two class wins; both the Improved and Mod King titles; and the ultimate King of Kings crown.
Facing the steep and wickedly-challenging Snow King mountain aboard Arctic Cat M sleds, Team Arctic racers notched victories in every category, from 600 to 800, and in Stock, Improved and Mod classes. Jeremy Archibald started the ball rolling by leading a podium sweep with Chance Buckallew and Ben Adams in the 600 Improved class. That was followed by another podium sweep in the 700 Improved final, this time by Rob Kincaid, David McClure and Archibald. Then Tony Zollinger claimed victory in the 700 Mod final.
Having dominated the Women’s classes for several years, Team Arctic’s Amy Zollinger, Jan Ottobre and Christy Frisby once again put on a winning clinic at Jackson Hole, with Zollinger claiming the Stock class (where Frisby took third) and Ottobre winning Mod and taking second in Improved, all on M8 HCRs.
In the big iron classes it was time for Kyle Tapio to reinforce his hillclimb legend status. Piloting his M8 HCR, Tapio won both 800 Improved and 800 Mod in convincing fashion. If Tapio felt any disappointment for taking third in the Open Mod final, he more than made up for it in the King competition, where the class winners in each category race for overall status. There, Tapio not only won the Improved and Mod King titles, he also scored the overall King of Kings crown as the best racer of the weekend.
“Team Arctic racers and crews did an outstanding job at the World Championship, especially the incredible performance of Kyle Tapio, who was in a class by himself at Jackson,” said Arctic Cat Hillclimb Coordinator, Al Shimpa. “Ten victories by six different racers is a testament to the depth of our team and the strength of our M machines.
“In addition, I’m especially proud of Rob Kincaid, who finally knocked the monkey off his back to win his first-ever pro class World Championship in 15 years of competing at Jackson. And I’d also like to thank the Speedwerx crew, who worked extra-hard to ensure the success of most of our Improved and Mod-class machines.”