If there were any questions about which brand would start the 2012 USCC cross-country race season on top, Team Arctic answered by winning 13 of 17 classes (while sweeping the podium of six) and going 1-2 in the vaulted Pro 600 final.
The dominant performances by the team aboard the new 2012 Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 and Sno Pro 500 race sleds on Pine Lake in Gonvick, Minn., proved beyond doubt that when it comes to speed, cornering and handling, Arctic Cat is the one to beat.
Leading the charge in the Pro 600 final was defending I-500 champion Brian Dick, who found the fast balance of speed, intensity and smooth line choice on the 10-mile lake course to move into the lead halfway through the first of 10 laps and never look back on his way to the win.
His two Team Arctic/Christian Bros. Racing teammates would keep him honest, as D.J. Ekre finished a strong second while defending USCC Pro Champion Ryan Simons took fifth in his first-ever ice cross-country race.
Jordan Torgerson served notice that he’s gunning for the Semi Pro title this year by taking both the Semi Pro 600 and 600 Improved classes.
Joining him in double-victory category were Boris Mahlich (who won Sport 600 and Sport 600 Improved) and Bryce Buchanan in the Expert 85-hp classes (where Arctic Cat swept the top-9 places in both).
The indomitable Jolene Bute returned to her familiar place atop the Women’s class; Dustin Isaak led an Arctic Cat sweep of the Sport 85 class; and it was all green atop the Junior classes with wins by Matt Feil, Cole Lian and Kelsey Pladson.
“With low snow cover, USCC was forced to go lake racing, which is a form of cross-country that we hadn’t focused on for more than a decade,” said Mike Kloety, Team Arctic Race Manager. “Our racers and crews responded with a winning performance that matched the ZR period of lake-race success. And the new Sno Pro 600 in the ProCross chassis proved it has the speed and handling needed to win in all forms of cross-country.”