Race Hay River finishes up first winter season

Lvor Cli-Norwegion, left, Dylan Carter, Jason Griffiths, and Caden Kaskamin during the final weekend of the Race Hay River circuit Mar. 1. Photo courtesy of Ryan Mills

Lvor Cli-Norwegion, left, Dylan Carter, Jason Griffiths, and Caden Kaskamin during the final weekend of the Race Hay River circuit Mar. 1.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Mills

For years, Hay River had one of the most thriving racing scenes in the NWT under the Hay River Snowcross Racing Committee.

It fell by the wayside for a couple of years with just one race per year but it came back with a bang this winter and from all accounts, it was a huge success.

Race Hay River’s Weekend Warriors Series held its final event on March 1 and 2, wrapping up the first season of the new circuit.

Tanner Froehlich, Race Hay River’s co-ordinator, said that weekend went a little slower than past weekends, but the season still brought in racers from all over northern Alberta and the NWT with more than 500 entries over the three weekends of racing.

“Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Fort Chipewyan, Peace River, Fort Simpson, Fort Providence and High Level along with Hay River,” he said.

“We’ve had quite a few people coming in from all over. There might have been a few missing but the (K’amba) carnival may have taken some people away.”

The circuit began on the weekend of Jan. 25 and 26 and continued with two more weekends. Each weekend of racing had a prize pot of $12,000 and was handed out in four categories – ice racing, snow drag racing, cross-country and quads.

“We used to race under the committee and it was just the one race a year but this year, a younger group took the bull by the horns and we fundraised all the money,” said Froehlich. “We got donations from businesses, dreamed up the event and it was very successful. We all worked our butts off.”

Froehlich said the closing weekend featured podium finishes with awards handed out for the overall points leaders in all four disciplines.
One neat feature was spectators were able to listen to the play-by-play of the races on their car radios each weekend, thanks to a transmitter that was donated by William Senior.

“People paid a fee and were given a slip of paper telling them to tune in to 88.5 FM so they didn’t even have to leave their cars,” said Froehlich.
With this season now over, Froehlich said there are plans to have a second season of racing next year at around the same time and there are also plans to have a
summer series.

“We’re looking at dirt bikes and quads there,” he said.

“There will be mud bogs, dirt bike racing, quad racing and mud bogs for 4x4s and trucks. We’re going to start around the middle of summer, possibly July.”

-Sarah Ladik