A warm February didn’t hurt the Second Gear Club’s ice racing series held right on Gull Lake.
For $5 a person with a love for racing could watch the action unfold Feb. 19 on the Parkland Beach side of Gull Lake. The Second Gear Club held its latest event in its oval ice racing series with disciplines including motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, sidecar and 2-stroke engines.
The action was non-stop with crews taking breaks in the racing only to give the grader a chance to smooth out the ice track. And the ice? Still thick enough to handle the racing, said club president Siggi Pechout, who explained that in order to run a safe racing experience at least 20-inches of ice is needed. On racing day measurements indicated 23-inches of ice.
Weather is a definite factor for ice racing, says Pechout. While the ice was a little bit soft, it didn’t stop riders from travelling upwards of 100 km/h depending on the equipment they used. Motorbike events ran in 250cc and 450cc sizes.
For the last 25 years the Second Gear Club, about 600 plus members, has been hosting all sorts of racing events. Along with oval ice racing the group holds hare scrambles — racing through rough or rugged terrain — plus trials and endurocross.
This oval ice series features racing on Pigeon Lake and Gull Lake and eventually culminates at the Lac La Biche Festival of Speed, this year set for Feb. 26.
For Pechout, hosting the different disciplines is all about one thing: the love of racing.
He’s most proud of a stellar safety record. Pechout says about 6,000 heats have been run in the last 25 years with the need to have just 10 ambulance visits on the ice (an ambulance is always on site for races). And of those 10, just two incidents needed a hospital visit with eventual recovery.
What has ensured the events go so well, said Pechout, is the fact that it’s a family affair with everyone working as a team.
Check out these photos of the action.