Inaugural Midwest Extreme Snowmobile Challenge a Success

Posted on April 23rd, 2015 in Sledder Featured Article, Sledder News

(April 23, 2015) Well the time has finally come and gone and despite everyone’s doubts, we were able to pull off a late April big season send-off race at Lutsen Mountains April 18-19.

Pro Snocrosser Kurt Bauerly took home several class wins.

Pro Snocrosser Kurt Bauerly took home several class wins.

Some of the Cor PowerSports crew were onsite as early as Tuesday last week to start preparing the ski hills for two days of racing and building three different courses; the Lutsen Mountain staff worked for months in advance stock piling snow all over the Moose Mountain portion of the ski resort in anticipation for this one event. When our crew finally got on the hill we found areas that still had 12-15 inches of snow!

Saturday arrived and with that was clear blue skies, temps in the 50’s, and some of the most challenging courses seen to date by racers here in the Midwest. There has never been a cross country race with so much in elevation changes, so for some racers it was almost intimidating. In most classes there were some close fought battles but in all of the races the big battle was between Yamaha racer Ben Lindbom and the Ski Doo piloted by Dillan Dohrn. After their 5-lap race the difference was just a shade over 1.5 seconds between them!

After 6 rounds of cross country racing we made the switch over to hillclimb competition. The course that Nick Gustafson and Matthew Tingstad had laid out was one of the best hillclimb courses in the Midwest that these racers said they have ever had a chance to run. After 70 runs at the hill and just a handful of times of under one minute, the racing was done for the day. Fast qualifying of the day for hillclimbs was Ski Doo racer Kurt Bauerly, with a 54.947 seconds. Polaris racer Storm Johnson had a blazing pass at 52.915 but unfortunately missed a gate when a mogul tossed him just outside the course marker.

Sunday morning we woke up to a horrible sound on our lodge roof, rain. Quickly we looked out the windows and Moose Mountain was fogged in.

Storm Johnson won Pro Open and Open King of the Hill.

Storm Johnson won Pro Open and Open King of the Hill.

Course officials postponed the drivers meeting for an hour to work with the Lutsen Mountain crew to access the entire situation. It quickly became clear that the hillcross course was destroyed by the rain, and with how slushy it was the groomers could not do anything with it. The fog was also so thick that the chalet at the top of the mountain was not even visible until you were 100 feet away from it. So with that, hillcross had to be canceled due to the concern for rider safety.

The Cor PowerSports Crew and Lutsen Mountain staff worked diligently to figure out how they could still get some racing in for the finals on hillclimbs. After the crew in charge of the hillclimb course did some work, we were able to move the finish line just below the fog line so we could still complete the hillclimb races, which turned out to include some very fast action!!

The crew had tightened up the course layout Saturday and with the heavy wet snow on Sunday, the top Pro riders struggled to get times in the 50 second range even with the shortened course! At the end of the finals Ski Doo racer Kurt Bauerly won the Stock King and Mod King championships and Polaris race Storm Johnson won the Open King championship by .7 seconds over Ski Doo racer Travis Kaurala.

With the hillcross portion canceled, racers asked for us to get them something to race so we created a Hillclimb II class that anyone who had signed up for hillcross could run. It wasn’t the bar to bar action they were looking for, but still a chance to sling some snow and have some fun. Some of them put up times that would have given the hillclimb guys fits, so who knows what next year will bring!

At the end of the day, even with the rain, the event went over great. Nobody got hurt, and we got to race our snowmobiles one more time before summer; that is a big win in our book!

With that, our 2015 Cor PowerSports season has come to an end and we cannot thank our fans, racers, and sponsors enough for all their support!

Here’s to a great summer and we will see you at Hay Day’s in September!

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