The TLR Cup series is wasting no time planning for next winter – releasing an interesting schedule for the 2016-17 snowmobile oval racing season that includes an expanded set of races, including stops at some historic events in Canada.
The nine-round TLR Cup series, the brainchild of creator and benefactor Tommy Lipar and currently overseen by Tom Achterberg, will have stops in four U.S. states and two Canadian provinces next winter, including a round at the historic Grand Prix de Valcourt in Valcourt, Quebec, in February. It offers more than $125,000 in added prize money for which the racers compete — on top of any prize money provided by each individual race.
The circuit also has plans for online coverage of all of its races next season, on the free Ditch Banger TV site, the same site that broadcast the Eagle River World Championship last season, and will lead an effort to bring stock-class racing back to the ice ovals this winter.
As always, big money is on the line in the TLR Cup, and for the upcoming 2016-17 season it will be spread to different classes.
Pro Champ drivers will compete for more than $105,000 in prize money — $62,000 for points accumulated during the nine rounds plus $38,000 in “show money” for appearing and doing well at individual events plus a bonus $3,000 in purse for the Eagle River Friday Night Thunder Sweet 16 qualifier.
In addition, $5,000 in added purse will be paid out in the Outlaw 600 class and, new for 2017, the emerging Factory Stock 600 will be a TLR Cup points class, with $20,000 in total prize money. Achterberg said the Factory Stock 600 class is also getting support from the snowmobile manufacturers with contingency funds.
“We’re doing what we can to grow the sport,” said Achterberg. “Since I first got involved in the sport in 2001, I think this is the healthiest oval racing has been.”
Vintage racing classes will not be a part of the TLR Cup points series this year, Achterberg said, because several of the stops on the circuit will not run vintage classes – specifically United States Snowmobile Association (USSA) events.
Achterberg was proud that the nine-stop series has a wider geographic spread than at some points in the past.
“We have have the CPTC [Canadian Power Toboggan Championships event in Beausejour, Manitoba] that is an affiliate of ISR and has been hosting events for more than 50 years, the Circuit Pro Tour gets to have an TLR Cup race [in Valcourt, Quebec], the ORA [Oval Racers Alliance] and USSA of course are a part of it, and that’s healthy also,” Achterberg said. “We’re trying to help support every geographic region in oval racing.”
Here’s a breakdown of the points races:
- Dec. 30-31, Buffalo River Race Park near Fargo, North Dakota
- Jan. 7-8, Ironwood Snowmobile Olympus at Ironwood, Michigan
- Jan. 19-22, Eagle River World Championship at Eagle River, Wisconsin (Friday Night Thunder is the TLR Cup points race)
- Jan. 28-29, Wausau 525 Championship at Wausau, Wisconsin
- Feb. 3-4, The Winter Spectacular at Alexandria, Minnesota
- Feb. 11-12, Grand Prix de Valcourt at Valcourt, Quebec
- Feb. 18-19, Clash At The Creek at Francis Creek, Wisconsin
- Feb. 25-26, Fire On Ice at Weyauwega, Wisconsin
- March 4-5, Canadian Power Toboggan Championships at Beausejour, Manitoba