Utvs, both over and under 900cc, were part of the oval ice racing on Feb. 4 on Gull Lake at Parkland Beach, though not as quick off the starting line as the bikes. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

WATCH: Gull Lake near Ponoka hosts third event in oval ice racing series

Series has been handed over to Rocky Motorcycle Club, first year proving rather successful

There is a new group at the helm of ice racing in the province.

The Rocky Motorcycle Club (RMC) held its third of four races in the 2018 Alberta Oval Ice Racing series on Feb. 3 on Gull Lake close to Parkland Beach. The group took on the operation this season from the Calgary-based Second Gear Club, which ran the series for the previous 17 years.

RMC president, and competitive ice racer, Brian Roberts explained the club approached Second Gear as it had been well-known the club’s organizers had been looking to leave ice racing.

“We wanted to see some life beyond for ice racing and it seems to have worked out so far,” said Roberts.

“It’s been hectic, but reasonably smooth. It certainly helps that we have had some key spots filled by people who were part of the previous series operation along with a few new people stepping up to take on other roles.”

The weather on the weekend was a lot different than the previous two races, with lots of fresh snow and air temperatures hovering near minus 30 forcing racers and spectators to bundle up more than usual. It also presented a few issues on the track as the snow and exhaust kicked up by the motorcycles and ATVs hung in the air and lowered visibility.

Ponoka’s Travis Reed, who ended up second in the open expert class Sunday, said it might be tough to explain why he races a bike with studded tires so fast and so close to other racers on what can be a slippery, hard surface.

“These bikes have far more traction on the ice than one might imagine,” said Reed, who is in his sixth year of racing.

“It’s such as rush racing at 120 to 130 kilometres (per hour) just inches away from other bikes and the pegs dragging on the ice.”

Even with the less than ideal conditions, Roberts stated the number of competitors was around the same as normal with some classifications seeing some growth.

“It’s been pretty successful so far with some classes doing a little better than others. We have seven women hitting the track now, which is huge, and the UTV class is continuing to grow,” he said.

Roberts added they are trying to keep things simple in this first year, focusing on their dedicated group of volunteers and having the entire club helping to make it all happen.

The winners were: 450 intermediate — Jon Ens, Red Deer; 250 intermediate — Tom Jordan, Nordegg; open intermediate — Kurt Baumann, Thorsby; 450 expert — Riley Stormoen, Water Valley; open expert — Riley Stormoen; open novice — Jared Rose, Rocky Mountain House; 250 novice — Luke Russel, Calgary; veteran (39-plus) — Shane Lowry, Rocky Mountain House; two-stroke — Travis Reed, Ponoka; four-stroke — Randy Vangeytenbeek, Huxley; women’s motorcycle — Melanie Baumann, Thorsby; youth quad — Austin Roberts, Trochu; ATV 500cc and under novice — Scott Conley, Drayton Valley; ATV 500cc and under intermediate — Tom Tisdale, Rocky Mountain House; ATV 500cc and under expert — Jay Blake, Rocky Mountain House; ATV non-studded two-wd ladies — Hailee Roberts, Trochu; ATV non-studded two-wd — Jaxon Brooks, Wetaskiwin; UTV open studded — Steve Pohl, Millet; UTV over 900cc non-studded — Mark Meyer, Leduc; UTV under 900cc non-studded — Colin Hall, Nisku.

The final race in the series goes this Sunday (Feb. 11) at Sylvan Lake. That will be followed two weeks later (Feb. 25) with the nationals hosted in Lac La Biche.

 

These two bikes roar into the corner so close to the ice that the riders could put their hand on it during one race on Gull Lake at Parkland Beach Feb. 4. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

This atv class, with non-studded tires, gets prepared at the start line for their race Feb. 4 on Gull Lake at Parkland Beach. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Just Posted

Lacombe, Red Deer and Ponoka counties launch agricultural plastics recycling program

The three counties signed an agreement with Merlin Plastics

Bashaw council declines penalty forgiveness request from Bashaw Motel owners

The motel was destroyed in the 2016 fire; owners owe $46,000 in fire services, taxes and penalties

Ponoka’s Ronnie Racing wins Hot August Night

About 15,000 people filled the Castrol Raceway stands at the motorsports complex

Ponoka County residents divided on farmland uses

There were about 150 people at the county’s meeting related to reducing confined feeding operations.

Ponoka County slows changes to CFO plans

Residents speak their concerns over the potential of changing areas allowing CFOs

UPDATED: Gord Bamford Foundation Charity Gala brings the stars to Central Alberta

The Gala raises money for various children’s charities throughout Canada

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Ponoka RCMP investigate commercial break and enter

Other RCMP files include suspects photographing rural properties and other theft files

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Multiple quakes kill at least 12 on Indonesian islands

A shallow magnitude 6.9 quake that hit about 10 p.m causing landslides

Most Read