Racing kicked off under the lights Friday night at Georgian Downs in Barrie, Ontario for the Royal Distributing Cup, Round #3 in the CSRA National Series.
Friday night’s program featured a ProAm class combining both Pro and Semi-Pro racers. Rockstar/Polaris claimed the top of the podium with #93 Iain Hayden taking the win ahead of Royal Distributing team-mates #115 David Joanis in second place and #937 Dylan Martin in third. The Pro Women also participated in the evening’s races with #111s Stacey Orr dominating the class and impressing the crowd with her big air time.
With a record number of spectators and race entries, Saturday got off to a great start with packed amateur classes entertaining the crowd as they anxiously awaited the afternoon’s feature events.
The mild temperatures and sunny skies drew the crowd outside from the indoor grandstands when Winter X Games finalist, Jimmy Blaze, pulled off some incredible Freestyle stunts including the fan-favourite back-flip! With the crowd already on their feet, the Pro’s took to the track for the Pro Open final.
It seemed to be a repeat of Friday night, with Rockstar racers taking over the podium. #93 Iain Hayden grabbed the win on his Rockstar Polaris while his team-mate Butler finished up in fourth position behind the Royal Distributing/Rockstar duo of #115 David Joanis and #937 Dylan Martin.
Moving on to the Semi-Pro division for the Semi-Pro Stock Final, #421 Dylan Hall from Royal Distributing/Rockstar held on to the lead for the win ahead of Byers Motorsport/Polaris racer #381 J.B. Dennis. Rounding out the top three was #333 Jeremy VanDolder (Labourers Union/Dayco).
Sunday’s feature events kicked off with Vintage racing. Over 30 vintage sleds and their owners had found their way to Georgian Downs to put on quite the show.
Four different classes took to the track, with #96 Kyle Hammell being the top Vintage racer of the weekend. Hammell raced his 1982 Yamaha Enticer 340 to the checkered flag for the win in both the Open Fan and Open Liquid classes. Going from one extreme to another, attention moved towards the start line as the Pro’s warmed up their sleds for the Pro Open Final.
Off the start it was #937 Dylan Martin in the lead looking as if he was to start pulling away when he suddenly exited the track on the third lap appearing to be favouring an injury. #11 Katejun Coonishish, who had been following Martin on the first lap, also left the track returning in the last lap. With two riders out of the race, it opened up the oppourtunity for #93 Iain Hayden to take over the lead ahead of #115 David Joanis who was creating a gap between himself and #73 Lee Butler in third place.
At the checkered flag it was Rockstar/Polaris #93 Iain Hayden taking the win and the Royal Distributing Cup with Lee Butler in third. Royal Distributing’s #115 David Joanis finished between the Polaris team-mates for second place. Not to be out-done by his Pro team-mate, #421 Dylan Hall took the holeshot and the win making his contribution to the Rockstar/Royal Distributing team in the Semi-Pro Open final.
Coming off the start in second place was #219 Jamie Byers (Supertrax/Byers Motorsports) ahead of #381 J.B. Dennis (Byers Motorsports/Scott) in third. Dennis eventually made the pass on Byers and took second at the finish putting Byers in a respectable third position on the podium.
The Junior Challenge once again brought six teenagers to the track to experience snowcross racing for their very first time. Participants were each provided with a race sled and all protective equipment for FREE! Pro/Semi-Pro racers instructed the riders while they practiced on the track Saturday afternoon to prepare for their Sunday races. From St. Onge Recreation, Charlie and Tyler Ward, brothers from Barrie tried out the new Ski-Doo Ace 600 sled in the Junior F1 class.
After some practice on the track and instruction from #333 Jeremy VanDolder, they were starting to feel comfortable on the Ski-Doo’s and ready to race. Representing Central Ontario Powersports on the brand new Polaris Shift 550 were Mitchell Durrwachter and Trent Parsons. Both felt at ease almost instantly on the Polaris and were quite impressive for first time racers in the Junior F1 class on Sunday.
Local Arctic Cat dealer, RJ Motosports introduced us to Cody Tibbitts and Will Smith who had the chance to try out the new Arctic Cat SP500 sleds. On Sunday, Tibbitts found minutes went by as hours as he anxiously awaited his races, ready to try out the new skills he learnt in practice Saturday. Smith, who was a natural on the sled from the get-go, made a lasting impression when he qualified for the Junior F2 final and finished an incredible fourth place.
Congratulations Will, we expect that wasn’t the last we will see of you!
The next race will take place February 18 – 20th in Valcourt, Quebec for the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt.