(January 4, 2015) The TLR Cup Pro Championship Series kicked-off its 2015 season this weekend at the Ironwood Snowmobile Olympus in Ironwood, MI. As the first race of the series, and of the season for many teams, it was a mix of testing, tuning, and some seriously tight race action.
Drivers in the premier class raced through three rounds of qualifying heats to be one of twelve who would start the final. Malcolm Chartier, last year’s series points champ, picked up right where he left off and went undefeated in each of his heats aboard his Ski-Doo, although not without pressure. Jordan Wahl, of the Wahl Bros. camp, also had success in qualifying on his Polaris as he won his first two heats and got second in the third.
Teammate Dustin Wahl also won his first qualifier but after a crash in the third, did not race in the final. The Ski-Doo’s of Matt Schulz and Cardell Potter were also fast, with Schulz winning a heat and Potter taking the checkered in two.
The stands were packed as the field lined up to go ten laps in the first final of the series. Schulz was first to the corner, with Chartier hot on his tail. By the second lap Potter moved into third and the three began to separate themselves from the rest of the field as the laps ticked off. Jordan Wahl held a comfortable fourth as a battle for position between Joey Fjerstad, Travis MacDonald, Gunnar Sterne and Nick Van Strydonk ensued behind him.
When the checkered flag was waived Schulz, Chartier and Potter finished virtually sled lengths apart from one another, with Jordan Wahl and Nick Van Strydonk rounding out the top five.
Supermod 440 FA/LQ
In one of five vintage classes added to the TLR Cup series this season, Supermod 440 FA/LQ featured some of the best vintage drivers and sleds around. Ryan Dethloff and Mitchel Pankratz, both aboard Polaris’, went into the final having won their qualifying heats, so when the tip of the green flag left the ice, it was anyone’s race. Dethloff took the win, followed by Steve Smith and Pankratz, with Brandon Getz and Nathan Feucht completing the top five.
Supermod 340 FA/LQ
The last TLR Cup vintage final of the day started much like Supermod 440 FA/LQ did, with Pankratz and Dethloff as top qualifiers having won their heat races. This go around it was Aaron Ruder, piloting his Merc Snow Twister to the win. He was pursued by Dethloff, trying to make the day two for two but finishing second and Brian Kobow in third. Jeremy Duquaine and Mitchel Pankrat finished fourth and fifth.
Due to heavy winds causing severe visibility issues, Sunday’s races will be rescheduled. Next up in the TLR Cup Pro Championship Series is Friday Night Thunder at the Eagle River Derby January 16. Visit http://www.tlrcup.com/ for the full schedule and like the TLR Cup on Facebook for updates.