Here are the Official Results for Team Ariens at the Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby:
Josh Wilson Sportsman 600 2nd
Josh Wilson Sportsman 600, F500 Combined 4th
Regan Vehring Sportsman 600, F500 Combined 8th
Regan Vehring F500 Sport 7th
There was a lot of racing action at the Derby track last weekend, so we wanted to provide a recap of what the drivers go through to prepare for the race with a play-by-play of last week's activities.
Thursday (am) – They started their first practice at 9:00 am. The practice track had not been groomed since last weekend's races. This created difficult driving situations with a lot of snow dust on the surface and slippery conditions that actually caused a few minor accidents which caused delays. All of Ariens' sleds were able to complete two rounds of practice, and they were able to get a good feel for the surface and racing line, and this helped them determine where the bumps were probably going to develop during the course of the weekend.
Thursday (pm) - The rest of the day was spent cleaning and inspecting the equipment, finalizing Ariens' display and talking with customers that were roaming around the paddock. The Path-Pro single Stage was on display, and there was a lot of interest in this model from the people in attendance.
Friday (am) – This was Josh's day off, but Regan took to the ice at 9:00 am to start heat races that would determine qualification and starting order for both the F500 Sport Race that would be held on Sunday and the F500 Friday Night Thunder Race. Regan was able to qualify for the Sunday race without problems but was narrowly beaten on the 2nd round of qualifying for the Friday night race and ended up parking the sled for the evening.
Friday (pm) - Thunder was a packed house with warm temperatures, and the team spent the evening talking with Ariens customers and watching eight classes of racing followed by a fireworks display.
Saturday (am) – The rules for the competition were that the top 5 in each round would advance, and everyone else goes home. Josh went out for the Sportsman 600 Heat 1 Race and finished a strong 2nd right on the leader. He advanced to the finals on Sunday. For the Sportsman 600, F500 Heat Race both Josh and Regan drew the same race. The two were able to finish 2nd and 5th so both riders would advance to the final on Sunday. Regan was also trying to qualify for the Pro F500 Final and had a lap 2 high side in corner 2 that sent him into the bales. Regan was okay but a little sore, and the sled went back to the trailer for repairs.
Saturday (pm) – The team's activities included analyzing data from the machines, repairing Regan's crash damage and getting everything finalized for All Pro Sunday.
Sunday - The racing started at 9:30 sharp, and the first race of the day for team Ariens was the Sportsman 600, F500 combined event. It was a 10 rider field with both of team Ariens' sleds on the grid. On lap 2 Josh was running 5th and got a good look at the underside of the 81 Ski Doo of Mark Durkey when he high sided and flipped his sled in turn 3. Josh narrowly avoided colliding with Mark, and the race was red flagged to bring Mark's disabled machine off the track. On the restart, Josh got a great hole shot and was in the lead until Regan collided with Tim Baumann on the 600 Artic Cat. Regan's sled ended up in the fence on the outside of the front straight. Regan was towed from the racetrack, and the field has its 2nd restart of the day. On the start Josh's sled spun on the line, and he lost position. He spent the next 3 laps trying to regain ground but could only move into 4th place for the finish.
Regan was able to repair the sled to take a start for the F500 Sport Race, but he pulled in early when he noticed that the sled was not handling properly, and for safety reasons he retired early due to unseen damage caused during the previous race.
Josh took the grid later in the day for the Sportsman 600 final. His hole shot was good, and he was running 3rd into turn 1. He was following the Ski Doo of David Kohen and was about to make a pass on David when David's sled died suddenly at the exit of turn 2. There was a momentary hesitation as Josh hit the brake and slid around David and then he moved solidly into 2nd. The remainder of the race Josh tried to run down the leader and was gaining ground quickly but just simply ran out of the laps needed to get the job done. Josh finished 2nd in the Sportsman 600 World Championship.
We want to thank Team Ariens for their participation in the race and for the updates throughout the event.
Please stay tuned or join them next week at the Flip Merwin Memorial Races in Wausau WI. They will be posting pictures and results from the track.