Yamaha is celebrating its history-making top-three finish in hillclimb competition. Cable Willford put his Yamaha FX Nytro MTX snowmobile on the podium recently at a Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Association (RMSHA) race in Idaho. He was the first racer to drive a four-stroke snowmobile to a podium finish. Here are excerpts from the press release from Yamaha:
Pleasant Prairie, WIS. — Aboard an FX Nytro MTX, Cable Willford became the first person in history to race a four-stroke snowmobile to a podium finish in RMSHA hillclimb competition at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho. The feat happened on April 14.
With a blazing run of 1:02.937, Willford topped six other pro drivers for the position while also giving Yamaha its first RMSHA podium in recent years. Willford and teammate Kody Malmborg both put their Yamahas into the finals in seven different classes on Saturday, ultimately earning three more top-five finishes along the way. Simply put, the season-ender in Idaho was Yamaha’s strongest and most dramatic hillclimb showing this year, serving notice that its four-stroke snowmobile technology can match the best competing two-strokes.
About a quarter-mile long with 500 feet of vertical gain, the run at Schweitzer Mountain was shorter than some hillclimbs, but it included a series of technical challenges including tight hairpin turns through the trees and lift towers. Mastering these rapid-fire challenges required equal measures of power and handling, along with a boondocking-style technique that rewarded driver skill. Willford and Malmborg both rose to the challenge on Friday, each qualifying their FX Nytro MTX snowmobiles in five classes.
RMSHA racing is perhaps the most concentrated form of snowmobile competition — drivers get only one chance to qualify and then a single final run. When Willford lined his FX Nytro MTX up for the 600 Mod final, two racers had already run up the mountain and put good times on the clock. But Willford had a good start and then jumped the course’s downhill section — which many drivers simply rolled — picking up more time. From there, Willford blasted through the corners and maintained as much speed as he could on his way up the mountain, setting the third-fastest time in class to earn the historic podium finish.
“After my run we had some tense moments waiting for the other racers to make their runs up the hill, and we had a giant celebration when my time held up,” Willford said. “It was a very rewarding moment and it put the competition on notice that we are here and getting better. This is definitely a building block to competing for overall wins.
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