The ice is where it’s at!

This year has been quite the year for speed on the ice for me. I have raced nearly the entire season at Georgetown and now I have had the chance to run up at Bridgestone Winter Driving School as well!

Georgetown is a pretty amazing thing to have nearby. The Our Gang Ice Racers provide very affordable racing very nearby. Heading up there takes an hour and the racing usually lasts all day. For only $20 on the race days and $5 on the fun days, well it is pretty tough to find any racing that comes close to that type of affordability. We’ve been having a lot of fun getting to know the crew up there as well, attending meetings and just basically hanging out with the guys and gals that run the racing up there. What a great group! I’ve had a great time getting to know them, racing with them and working with them on new ideas. With Jon’s suggestions they have started making some longer tracks which everyone seems to be enjoying. So now we have half to 3/4 mile tracks to run rather than 1/4 mile tracks, combos of sweeper corners and tight hairpins and man they are fun! Check out a video from the last race of the year.

Since I know some people in the racing world I happen to know some instructors at the Bridgestone winter driving school. Since I attended the school back in 2007, I was invited up there by Dave Kern. We headed up with two sets of studs, one car and a closing day at the track.

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Bridgestone is a pretty cool place. They create the same ice tracks each year with the help of Gordon Speck, their track manager. It is all laid out by GPS and it is an amazing site when seen from the air. Unfortunately I don’t have access to that video to share with you, but hopefully I can dig something up for you in the future. In the mean time check out www.winterdrive.com for their information.

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Bridgestone teaches winter driving skills to students that are novices up to advanced drivers. They do their entire school on bare rubber with Bridgestone’s Blizzak tires. They also do truck and trailer driving classes which are pretty incredible to see as well. We were fortunate to be able to try out the studded tires on the track. From what I understand this is either the first or one of the very few times a studded tire has ever been run there. I can tell you that it was an incredible experience!

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We bolted up the tires on my car and we bolted up Jon’s set on Mitch Williams rally car. WOW what an awesome time. The studs hooked up like crazy, the track has big walls of snow which provide a bit of intimidation, but man, when you nail a corner it is just an incredible feeling. The studs scuffed up the track a bit and combined with the temperatures make the Blizzak’s hook up even better. HERO GRIP! So I bolted my studs onto another car to let others have fun with them then ran my Blizzak’s and had a blast as well!

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In addition to driving the track it was incredible to be able to ride with some awesome drivers. Dave Kern took me for a spin in the Rally car and what an awesome experience. We hit 90+mph on the ice and the confidence and control that these guys have is amazing. Matthew Johnson was out in the rally car as well and it was amazing to see him tearing up the track.

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I am sure you are wondering, where is the video from Bridgestone… well look no further! Click play and enjoy. Keep your eyes peeled for some rally cross videos this summer.

New Years on Ice

Yeah, ice is cold. Maybe too cold… But wow is it fun!

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New years day we headed out to Georgetown to go racin’! The Canadian Conti Ice tires we have spec’d out to fit into the mens pro street class and we were able to race with the big boys. The day wasn’t without controversy, but Jon and I were, eh, less than impressive on the ice this time out. Maybe it was the recorded -20 degrees, maybe it was all the hairpin… Maybe it was the pressure. Who knows, but I ended up with 5th place and Jon, well I don’t know what he got. I did win $5 though with my certificate of AWESOME.

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The day was very cold, we were able to get out and race however and unfortunately there were no practice runs on the course. It was a fun course however and definitely challenged me. The course was what they refer to as a “coke bottle” which should describe the shape well. At each end there was a hairpin and this was pretty tough. Without using the handbrake we had to rotate the car around this pin and I can honestly say that this isn’t something I have tried to do before. My first round I was doing horribly, but the guy I was racing hit a cone so I won by default. My second round I did fantastically, my turns were perfect and as I crossed the line I let the back end get away from me… and I hit a cone! My racing day was over, but we waited around and once the Pro Street class was done everyone moved to the Cheaters course. Jon and I spent another hour and a half driving the course. We got lap after lap on the course and had an amazing time. We are a bit competitive, but we mainly just want to go have fun, go sideways and just play! Of course, as you are aware, we will take a GoPro everywhere we go…

Another fun day on the ice, we are looking forward to more races soon!