BIG PODIUM FOR YAMAHA AT RMSHA FINALE
Aboard an FX Nytro MTX, Cable Willford became the first person in history to race a four-stroke snowmobile to a podium finish in RMSHA hillclimb competition at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho on Saturday, April 14.
With a blazing run of 1 min. 2.937 sec., Willford topped six other pro drivers for the position while also giving Yamaha its first RMSHA podium in recent years.
Adding to the laurels, Willford and teammate Kody Malmborg both put their Yamahas into the finals in a total of seven different classes on Saturday, ultimately earning three additional top-five finishes along the way.
Simply put, the season-ender in Idaho was Yamaha's strongest and most dramatic hillclimb showing this year, serving notice that its four-stroke snowmobile technology can match the best competing two-strokes.
At about a quarter-mile long with 500 feet of vertical gain, the run at Schweitzer Mountain was shorter than some hillclimbs, but it made up for this with a series of technical challenges including tight hairpin turns through the trees and lift towers.
Mastering these rapid-fire challenges required equal measures of power and handling, along with a boondocking-style technique that rewarded driver skill.
Fortunately weather conditions were terrific, with sunny skies for much of the weekend and well-packed snow that held up well. Willford and Malmborg both rose to the challenge on Friday, each qualifying their FX Nytro MTXs in five classes, the maximum number allowable, for the first time this season.
RMSHA racing is perhaps the most concentrated form of snowmobile competition, in that drivers get only one chance to qualify and then a single final run - that's it.
When Willford lined his FX Nytro MTX up for the 600 Mod final, two racers had already run up the mountain and put good times on the clock. So he knew had to run hard and fast - with no mistakes - the entire way up.
But Willford had a few tricks up his sleeve, starting with the 1049cc four-stroke Yamaha engine, which launched his sled out of the starting trench like a Top-Fuel dragster.
He then jumped the course's one downhill section, which many drivers simply rolled, picking up more time. From there on, Willford blasted through the corners and maintained as much speed as he could on his way up the mountain, setting the third-fastest time in class to earn the historic podium.
"After my run we had some tense moments waiting for the other racers to make their runs up the hill, and we had a giant celebration when my time held up," Willford said. "It was a very rewarding moment and it put the competition on notice that we are here and getting better. This is definitely a building block to competing for overall wins."
Yamaha's Eric Josephsen added, "Our goal the whole year was to put both Cable and Kody in the finals. We knew that Yamaha's four-stroke machines are capable, and we're really happy with the way things turned out. Congratulations to the whole team, including Cable, Kody and our semi-pro rider Kolton Malmborg, our crew chief 'Big Kody' and Troy Johnson, who maintained and tuned Cable's machine."
More Like This
UPCOMING SNOWTRAX AIRTIMES
LATEST VIDEOS View All
Full REVIEW: 2018 Polaris 600 RUSH XCR
April 3, 2018
In our closing Test Ride of the season, AJ squeezes the fun flipper as he reviews the spirited ...
2018 Revolutionary Advanced Design Award
April 2, 2018
The SnowTrax tradition of recognizing technological innovations in the snowmobile universe ...
2018 Real World Sled of the Year
April 1, 2018
The final snowmobile showdown of the 2018 Season commences. . .
Woody's Traction Snowmobile Stud Comparison
March 28, 2018
AJ gets some help from Woody’s as he reveals some eye-opening results on the advantages of ...
MBRP's Arctic Cat 800 C-TEC2 Trail & Race Exhaust Review
March 27, 2018
AJ reviews MBRP’s latest Trail and Race performance exhausts which are designed specifically ...
Top Gear View All
March 26, 2018
WOODY'S TWIST SCREWS
Get a grip! And we mean that literary with Woody's Twist Screws.
Ask Motorhead View All
March 30, 2018
ENDURO SUSPENSION CONFUSION
Motorhead Mark weighs in on a reader's problem finding the most compliant suspension settings on his Ski-Doo Enduro...
Press Releases View All
March 29, 2018
TEAM ARCTIC SETS HISTORIC WIN PERCENTAGES DURING 2018 SNOWMOBILE RACE SEASON
Team Green Captures More than 60 Percent of all Class wins, 50 Percent of all Podiums and 75 percent of all Championship Titles in ...
Tourism View All
March 21, 2018
Québec Original – Ride Where the Passion Began
Ask any rider anywhere and they’ll tell you: When it comes to snowmobiling, Québec is the best place on earth!