By: AJ Lester
There was a glow around the Polaris trailers as Ross Martin absolutely dominated Pro taking home both Stock and Mod wins at the WPSA Season Opener.
Following close behind in Mod class was Levi LaVallee on an IQ and in Stock Mike Schultz rode his way to second. In the Semi-Pro Brett Bender pulled rank and swept both class finals looking very much at home on the IQ racer.
This is a huge boost for Polaris and a great way to start off the season. With a solid factory funded race effort and a thirst for blood Polaris will be hunted by green, yellow and blue for the remainder of the WPSA season.
Out of the BMR trailer newcomer Ian Hayden managed to pull 4th in Stock followed by veteran rider and team owner Blair Morgan in 5th. In mods, Dave Allard scored the best of the bunch with an 8th.
Semi Pro finishes proved a bit better as Katejun Coonishish score second in Mod.
We expect to see big things from Ski-Doo in WPSA including the rumored mid-season release of the next generation Rev II in the Mod class. If true, look for Warnert and BMR to get hold of these limited racer-only sleds.
The first-round Yamaha Mod looked very R&D-ish, resembling the all-new Phazer. WPSA Pro Champion Robbie Malinoski lit the wick on the blue rocket and finished with qualifying positions 5, 5 & 6.
This is impressive for an all-new race sled; unfortunately it’s not good enough to make it to the final. Teammate Yuji Nakazawa ran 7, 6 & 4 in qualifying missing the main as well.
As disappointing as this is for Yamaha, Spirit Mountain is always a bag of mixed treats and in no way determines year-end results. Rumor has it a completely redesigned and totally new race chassis is on the way for Robbie and Yuji. Definitely don’t count these guys out.
We weren’t quite sure what to make of Cat letting Robbie Malinoski go. However with Tucker back in the game we expect to see some great results.
Team Green faired okay at Duluth with Garth Kaufman scoring a third in both Stock and Mod finals and working off the rust, Tucker managed to wrap up a 5th in Mod.
In Semi Pro Open Dan Ebert roped in dual 3rd place finishes. Mike Bauer pulled in behind Ebert and cruised his way to a 4th in Semi-Pro Stock.
AC didn’t produce a new race sleds this season. Instead Arctic Cat divvied up remaining 2006 crated Sno-Pros to the top Pro and Semi Pro race teams.
This not only allows AC to move all the overstocked race units, it offers time to prepare an all-new racer based on the new F-chassis for the 07/08 race season.
We think it would be cool to see Tucker on an F-chassis Mod racer mid season, but that’s just our opinion.
AJ Lester is a full-time Editor and test rider for Supertrax International, North America’s #1 Snowmobile Enthusiast Publication. AJ began racing Sno-X when he was eleven. During his ten year career he amassed multiple National and Regional Championships, scoring a record 26 Semi-Pro National victories in the 2002/2003 season. AJ’s years of experience ensure his often humorous opinions on everything from racing rules to trail sled performance and handling tips are both credible and insightful.