The Preston Pride Hillclimb is the first race of the Hillclimb racing season. This years event took place under beautiful sunny skies. Qualifying was Friday, January 16th, and the finals were Saturday, January 17th. Both days were action packed.
Most of the top racers were there. Of the 194 member racers of RMSHA, 167 were registered for the Preston Hillclimb. One notable exception was Canadian racer, Vinnie Clark. We were told Vinnie would be at next weeks Soda Springs hillclimb.
One of the highlights of this race was the showcase for the new stock mountain racing sleds that the manufactures have introduced. Arctic
Cat has the new HCR, Polaris the Assault and Ski-doo’s model the Summit Hillclimb. All three were impressive on the hill.
The Summit Hillclimb has a 154 X 16 in wide track and 2.25 inch
paddle height, with Kayaba shocks. It’s dry weight, according to Ski-doo, is only 433 lbs. The HCR (Hill Climb Racer) by Arctic Cat has a 153 X 15 in track and 2.25 inch paddles. Fox shocks and an adjustable 42 to 44 in ski stance. Polaris has the new Assault RMK sled. The track is 146 X 15 in wide with 2.125 inch paddles. The Assault has Walker Evans shocks and an adjustable ski stance of 41.5 to 43.5 inches. The dry weight is reported to be 487 lbs.
Another interesting sled this year is Russell Frisby’s mod Arctic Cat Sno-x Sno Pro that has been long tracked for hillclimbing.
The competition was within thousands of a second in all three classes. Keith Curtis, the reigning World Champion, took Stock King. Erin Beukelman on his Polaris won Improved Stock King over Nate Zollinger by split seconds. The closest race of the day was for Mod King. Two of the Tapio brothers were riding the same sled for the Mod King runs. Nels was second to last to race on their 800 Mod Arctic Cat and was the time to beat.
Kyle, last years Mod World Champion, put on a blistering time, but not fast enough. Nels won Mod King of Preston by a thousands of a second.
For full results go to the Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Association web site: http://www.rmsha.com
Video highlights will be available on Snowgoer 360 in a few weeks.
And photos will be posted on the BAM web site: http://www.bamfilmproductions.com