Archive for April, 2013

Corin Todd and Zak Mason Join Leighton Pro Lite Superteam

Posted on April 24th, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article

Eagle, ID (April 8, 2013) East Coast Snocross Pro Champion Corin Todd and ISOC Sport Champion Zak Mason have joined top-ranked ISOC Pro Lite rookie Trevor Leighton to form a three point attack on the 2013-14 ISOC Pro Lite championship.

Corin Todd

Corin Todd

Zak Mason

Zak Mason

Twenty year-old Todd of Malone, New York, 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, Michigan, 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, new chief Ray Hulten and I started talking about how we wanted to move forward long-term,” said 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 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 ten years.

“All three of these guys have a similar demeanor and strong work ethics 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/Bull Dog-backed team has purchased the former Blair Morgan Racing trailer with multiple slide-outs and added workspace.

For more information, including racer bios, events schedule and team photos, visit www.leightonmotorsports.com.

NPS Releases Proposed Rule to Implement New Yellowstone Winter Use Plan for Public Review

Posted on April 18th, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article

BlueRibbon Coalition Issues Action Alert

By Jack Welch, Special Project Consultant, BlueRibbon Coalition

The National Park Service (NPS) has announced the release of a Proposed Rule concerning winter use in Yellowstone National Park for public review and comment. The rulemaking process is in addition to, but separate from, the public review on the Final Winter Use Plan/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) which was released on February 22, 2013.  The Final SEIS did not have a comment period.  The Proposed Rule will have a comment period. BRC and our partners will be reviewing the Proposed Rule, and will have suggested comments soon.

The Proposed Rule, published in the Federal Register on April 16, 2013, will have a 60-day public comment period ending on June 17, 2013.

The proposed rule will more effectively manage access for snowmobiles and snow coaches in Yellowstone National Park, while minimizing impacts on visitors, air and sound quality, as well as wildlife. The proposed rule will guide management of winter use in the park and will implement the preferred alternative in the Final SEIS.

Under the preferred alternative, the park would permit up to 110 “transportation events” daily, initially defined as one snowcoach, or a group of up to 10 snowmobiles, averaging seven snowmobiles per group, per season.  Up to 50 transportation events may be groups of snowmobiles. Management by transportation events is an  impact-centric approach designed to minimize the impact of oversnow vehicles (OSVs) on air quality, soundscapes and wildlife rather than focusing solely on the number vehicles allowed in the park.

This new, practical approach to OSV management also provides greater flexibility for OSV commercial tour operators, rewards future OSV technological innovations, and reduces OSV-caused environmental impacts–all while making the park cleaner and quieter than previously authorized and allowing for increases in visitation.

Four transportation events per day (one per gate) would be reserved for non-commercially guided snowmobile access, and Sylvan Pass would continue to be operated in accordance with the Sylvan Pass Working Group Agreement.

The winter of 2013/2014 will be a transition year, during which the park will allow motorized over-snow travel under the same conditions in place for the past four winters: up to 318 commercially guided Best Available Technology snowmobiles and up to 78 commercially guided snowcoaches daily.

The proposed rule, and an electronic form to submit written comments, can be found on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NPS-2013-0001-0001. It is also available on CD or in hard copy by writing the Winter Use Planning Team, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.

Written comments may be submitted through the Regulations.gov-website, in person, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by phone, fax, or e-mail. All public comments must be received or postmarked by midnight, June 17, 2013.

Additional information on Yellowstone’s winter use planning process, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions, can be found online at http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/currentmgmt.htm.

The Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park will use the analysis and recommendations contained in the Final SEIS, and comments on the proposed rule, to make a final recommendation to the NPS Intermountain Regional Director regarding the direction of winter use. The Regional Director is expected to issue the Record of Decision (ROD) sometime this summer, after which a final rule to implement the decision will be published in the Federal Register in order to allow the park to open for the 2013/2014 winter season.

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib – www.sharetrails.org

Jorgensen Puts FX Nytro MTX on RMSHA Podium

Posted on April 15th, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article

Beaver Mtn-Jorgensen Finals

Chad Jorgensen powered to a third-place podium finish in the Pro 600 Modified class.

Pleasant Prairie, WI— Aboard his Nytro MTX, Yamaha Snowmobile Racing’s Chad Jorgensen powered to a third-place podium finish in the Pro 600 Modified class at the fifth round of the 2013 RMSHA hillclimb series at Beaver Mountain in Garden City, Utah on Saturday, April 13. The finish is a huge achievement for the Nytro, as it represents the first podium of the year and the second podium in history for a Yamaha four-stroke in this ultra-competitive series. There was more good news at event, as 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. And 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. Although Chad was only credited with 12th place in the class, his run served notice that it’s only a matter of time before a Yamaha four-stroke claims an outright RMSHA class win.

“The team really pulled together this weekend,” said 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.” Yamaha Snowmobile Racing’s Eric Josephsen added, “I’m very proud of how the team has improved this season. 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!”

Season of Success Has Carlson Motorsports Anticipating 2014 Winter

Posted on April 12th, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article

It was a proud moment for father Chris Carlson (right) and son Andrew when Andrew raced through the pack for second place podium finish in New York.

It was a proud moment for father Chris Carlson (right) and son Andrew when Andrew raced through the pack for second place podium finish in New York.

Best Ever Season For Carlson Team

MINNEAPOLIS (April 12, 2013) – Three world class riders, two top-ten year-end finishes, strong and consistent performances week in and week out, and a string of podiums to end the season (8 in all on the national tour). No doubt about it, the 2012-2013 season will go down as one of the best ever for Carlson Motorsports, and already the outlook for next season is bright as the team enjoys time away, regroups, and resets for what should be their most competitive season ever.

Despite struggles early on, the speedy “Swede” Johan Lidman reemerged mid-season as he found his grove with a third place podium at the Eagle River World Championships in January. Johan became more determined, more confident, and a whole lot faster as the season progressed, and eventually was battling for heat wins, and podium finishes race after race. Lidman capped off the season by returning home to Sweden to compete in the Clash of Nations. At the Clash, Johan made the front row with a third, second and first in qualifying, and finished just one slim second off the podium in the final. Johan then completed the season with a victory at the Wallace Sweden Stadium Cross.

The turning point of the season for Lidman was his podium finish at the World Championships in Eagle River, Wisconsin.

The turning point of the season for Lidman was his podium finish at the World Championships in Eagle River, Wisconsin.

Steadfast determination and growing confidence is also what marked the make-up of Pro-Lite rider Andrew Carlson, who also struggled early in the season until suddenly everything “clicked”. Pumped with confidence and the best prepared and performing sleds on tour, Andrew found himself continually battling for the podium and position with eventual year-end champion Jake Scott.

Andrew also made the trek across the pond to race at the Clash of Nations and he appeared to be the odds on favorite to win the Pro-Stock final, with a pair of convincing heat wins under his belt. However tragedy struck before that could happen as an unexpected off and subsequent knee injury prematurely ended Andrew’s quest and his season.

The podium run wasn’t just limited to the Pro ranks for Carlson Motorsports either. National tour rookie Ryan Springer, joined the Carlson Motorsports team on a limited basis this past winter, and he quickly made a name for himself as a go for broke rider who was never afraid to mix it up. By season’s end, Springer scored three national Sport podiums including a victory in Deadwood, South Dakota. Ryan finished just outside of the top-ten and is already being pegged as a favorite to win it all in the Sport class next season.

Ryan Springer stood on top of the box after his Sport National win in South Dakota.

Ryan Springer stood on top of the box after his Sport National win in South Dakota.

With so much success, the injury to Andrew Carlson looked to finish the season on a down note. However after a trip to Vail, Colorado to one of the top specialty surgeons in the country; a successful reconstructive surgery; and unwavering commitment on a complete recovery has Carlson eyeing the start line for the Duluth National opener in late November.

“It was a rewarding season,” said team owner and manager Chris Carlson. “I’m so proud of everyone on our team for really coming together and competing at such a high level week after week. We have the best crew and the best sponsors anywhere…just real, genuine people who want to succeed. Andrew’s injury was hard to take after he came on so strong at the end of the season, but he is completely committed to this sport and being ready for the first race of the season.”

Carlson Motorsports would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported and followed the team throughout the season. Your thoughts and prayers on behalf of Andrew Carlson are sincerely appreciated. You can follow Carlson Motorsports on Facebook or at their website: www.carlsonmotorsportsllc.com

Photos: Gary Walton

Polaris Acquires Aixam Mega

Posted on April 11th, 2013 in Facebook, Sledder Featured Article

Expertise in On-Road Quadricycles and Light Duty Commercial Vehicles Complements Polaris’ Existing Product Portfolio

MINNEAPOLIS (April 11, 2013) — Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:  PII) today announced the acquisition of A.M. Holding S.A.S., which operates under the name Aixam Mega S.A.S., a privately owned company based in Aix-les-Bains, France which manufactures and sells enclosed on-road quadricycles and light duty commercial vehicles in Europe.   The acquisition of Aixam Mega significantly strengthens Polaris’ existing small vehicle portfolio, which includes GEM and Goupil vehicles, and enhances the profitability and growth potential of Polaris in the EMEA region.

“Aixam Mega is an excellent fit with Polaris and offers a unique opportunity for us to expand our small vehicle platform and accelerate international growth,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and CEO.  “We are committed to positioning Polaris as a global leader in the growing small vehicle market and this investment reaffirms Polaris’ commitment to building a global business capable of delivering long-term, profitable growth.  Consistent with our recently announced plan to build a new manufacturing facility in Opole, Poland, the Aixam Mega business acquisition is indicative of our confidence in EMEA to be a contributor to Polaris’ pursuit of productivity, innovation and growth.”

AixamAixam Mega designs, manufactures and sells both passenger and light duty commercial quadricycles under the Aixam and Mega brands. Aixam Mega’s quadricycles are four-wheeled, on-road enclosed vehicles characterized by their light weight, low speed and ability, in many countries, to be operated without a full automobile driver’s license. Founded in 1983, the company has a history of strong financial performance and profitable growth, achieving approximately $110 (US) million in sales in 2012 through a distribution network of more than 400 European dealers. The Aixam brand offers a range of diesel-fueled and electric passenger quadricycles including sedan, SUV and sport styles. The Mega brand offers electric and diesel-fueled light duty commercial vehicles.

“We’re excited about today’s announcement and the opportunity to work with a leading global company like Polaris,” said Philippe Colançon, Aixam Mega business unit President. “Joining Polaris provides us with technology, expertise and resources to make continued investments in our business, while accelerating profitable growth through new customer opportunities. We look forward not only to what we can learn from Polaris, but what we can contribute to Polaris through our expertise and experience.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed; however, the transaction will be funded through the use of Polaris’ cash on hand. The transaction is expected to be slightly accretive to Polaris’ earnings per share in 2013 after acquisition costs.