Press Release –
Yamaha racing wraps up another year of high performance competition
No matter what type of snowmobile racing, Yamaha’s 4-stroke sleds posted several wins and podium finishes in the toughest events and circuits in the North American Snowbelt. From a 4-stroke Snocross win heard around the world, to Team Blue’s repeat dominance at the Soo I-500, Yamaha 4-stroke snowmobiles have become a force to be reckoned with on the track!
Clearly the most exciting news for Yamaha race fans was Yamaha’s big Snocross victory at the WPSA National event in Brainerd, Minnesota. That historic event saw the first-ever heat win for a 4-stroke sled in a national Snocross as well as the sport’s first-ever win in the Pro Open class aboard a race-modified FX Nytro. Yamaha was successful for the rest of the season pulling in 11 more podium’s in heat races.
Adversity is the name of the game in racing. How a rider and machine can overcome the challenges before them defines how well they will do in competition. Champion racer Corey Davidson broke his leg in a motocross training accident just before the season got underway. He was back in the saddle, cast and all, for the Mille Lacs 300 in Garrison, MN, in which he won the Pro Open and took third in the Pro Stock classes of the two-race event. Davidson would go on to claim a number of top-10 cross country finishes, including another class win at the Grand 400.
Semi-Pro driver Travis Hjelle showed that a consistent season is the trail to a championship season in his rookie year. New to the series he had to learn the courses and how to compete in the USCC series. Even with all this adversity he prevailed as the season points champion in the Pro Open class and third in the Pro Stock class.
USCC’s Mach got in on the action as well, piloting a Phazer in the new Sport 85 class. He scored a second at the Munising 300. After his race, he had this to say about the Phazer as a race sled, “the sled felt really light. I think it’s because of the torque the motor has. I could burp the throttle and double through the big holes which helped me make up time.”
For the second consecutive year, a Yamaha Apex snowmobile has won the prestigious Soo I-500 endurance race in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The winning team of Chad Gueco and co-driver Bill Wilkes simply dominated throughout the entire event on Saturday, February 3.
Last year’s winner Corey Davidson, driving with Travis Hjelle and Troy Hanson, put another Apex on the podium in third. Filling out the top five for Yamaha was the Loshaw Racing team of Shawn Ritchie and Terry Wright.
Yamaha 4-stroke sleds were consistently competitive in their classes again this season on the ice ovals, with two of the top three points finishers in MIRA’s marquee Pro Enduro class.
Yamaha’s #02 Pro team of Joel Diamond and Brent Versmeerch took second and the #85 Pro team of Darrell Howard, Mitch Diamond and Ryan Kohl earned third-place honors in the season overall. Diamond and Vermeersch capped off a strong series with a first place finish at the tough Michigan CAT 500 in Lincoln, Michigan.
Allen Ulmer took his stock Apex RTX and modified Yamaha 4-stroke sleds through an undefeated season in SDSDRA’s Stock C and Improved Stock 600 classes last fall. Ulmer was backed up in the Stock C by Doug Killion, who earned the second place points championship on his Yamaha racer.
At Hay Days, Pat Hauck and Jerry Fix took home wins in Stock C and Stock E classes, each leading two other Yamaha in the finals.
Jerry Fix cleaned up the Pro Class competition at the NSRA’s WSA 500 in Jessup, IA and Semi-Pro racer Rocky Miller took home wins in two classes. Fix went on to win three season-end points championships in the NSRA: Stock 500, Stock 600 and Improved Stock 600 on his Yamaha sleds.
On the COSDRA grass racing circuit, Steve Agdorny climbed the podium frequently, thanks to his Yamaha 4-stroke sleds. Among his many accomplishments this past year, he won the Stock C class at the Hastings 500 and pulled a pair of seconds at the ISR World Series of Drag Racing.