Riding a sled he had only seen just days before the race, Christian Brothers Racing/Stud Boy/DRIFT Racing/Troy Lee Designs rider and reigning Pro 600 class points champion Ryan Simons swept the Pro class wins at the USXC cross-country snowmobile racing opener at Pine Lake in Gonvick, Minn., this past December 15-16.
Not only did Simons take both the Pro 600 and Pro Open class wins, he was joined on the podium by teammates Brian Dick and Zach Herfindahl making it a Christian Brothers podium sweep on the weekend.
Making a departure from the timed cross-country events of recent years, USXC staged heads-up racing at Pine Lake and Pro riders had to qualify for the 10-lap, 100-mile Pro Open and Pro 600 finals on Saturday and Sunday through two heats. Simons, Dick and Herfindahl breezed through qualifiers but reigning Pro Open points champion D.J. Ekre ran into mechanical problems both days and didn’t qualify for finals. The CBR riders were clearly the ones to beat on the lake and Dick had one of the fastest sleds on the weekend, posting 110MPH on radar.
In Saturday’s Pro Open final Simons slotted his Arctic Cat Sno Pro 600 into second place behind a mod sled of another brand. Simons was slowly losing ground to the dedicated ice sled before it broke down and he took the lead and rode to the win followed by teammates Dick and Herfindahl.
Simons carried his momentum into Sunday’s Pro 600 race where he once again set the pace, grabbing the holeshot in the final and claiming an early lead in the 100-mile race. And, once again, Simons was backed up by his teammates Herfindahl and Dick on the podium.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming into this race,” said Simons. “We just got the sleds together a couple days ago and tested here Thursday and Friday. I don’t know, I guess the Arctic Cat’s are just that good!”
Meanwhile, CBR riders Tyler Adams, Trent Wittwer and Evan Christian were winning races at the ISOC Regional race held at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minn. Wittwer swept Junior Novice 10-13 Combined and Junior Novice Limited 10-13, winning finals in each class both days.
Christian won Transition Limited 8-12 on Sunday and took second place on Saturday and two seconds in Transition Combined 8-12 on the weekend. Tyler Adams took a hard-fought 8th place finish in Pro Lite on Saturday.
“It doesn’t get any better for Christian Brothers Racing,” said team co-owner Dwight Christian. “Sweeping the Pro classes at Pine Lake and our young riders winning all weekend at ERX – that’s a good weekend!”
For more information on Christian Brothers Racing visit christianbrosracing.com.