Tuesday, December 8, 2009

GREEN FLAG: RMR snocross revs up this weekend!

DERRY, NH — With cold air in place and even some natural snow on the ground in parts of northern New England, snowmobile race teams throughout the region are anxious to load up their trailers and hit the road.

After months of securing rides, physical training and mechanical preparation, the chance to compete has come, as Rock Maple Racing (RMR) gets set to kick off its 2009-10 snocross schedule this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13, at the beautiful Hickory Ski Center in Warrensburg, New York.

Spectator gates will open at 8 a.m., while racing will get under way promptly at 9 a.m. Admission is $14 per day for adults or $20 for a weekend pass, $8 per day for children ages 10-18, while children age 10 and under will be admitted free with a paying adult. Pit passes valid through the entire weekend are available for an extra $10.

The Hickory Ski Center’s new owners are preparing to reopen the facility after four years of dormancy. Warrensburg is known as “the gateway to the Adirondacks,” and is easy to reach via US Rte. 9 off Exit 23 on Interstate 87.

Since this is a new host site for RMR, here is an overview of the weekend for first-time fans. Saturday’s activities will consist of qualifying races for all classes within RMR’s five major divisions (Pro, Semi-Pro, Sport, Women and Junior). These events offer points towards the coveted season championships, putting pressure on the riders as they earn their way into Sunday’s finals.

Sunday morning features the Last Chance Qualifiers (or LCQs, in snocross speak), the last opportunity to make it into the final round. After the traditional Parade of Flags and pre-race ceremonies, Finals for all classes will begin at approximately 1 p.m.

Leading the charge into Warrensburg is defending Pro champion Danny Poirier, of St. Theodore, Quebec. Poirier (Hulten Speed Sports/Polaris) won every Pro Open final he entered last season, and all but one in Pro Stock. The two-time title holder (won Pro 600 in 2004) has a new teammate in Ray & Lisa Hulten’s trailer, as talented Minnesota native Bobby LePage joins the squad. Renaud Alexandre will complete the Pro trio based in St. Johnsville, New York.

Other Pro division riders to watch at Hickory include Mathieu Morin, who joins the powerhouse Ingles Performance/Ski-doo organization for 2009-10; multi-time champion Jason Boron (D&Z Racing/Ski-doo); Vermont veteran Chris Chico (Amsoil/Arctic Cat); Jason and Matt Rudd (Ruddman Racing/Ski-doo); Brennan Berardo (DooTalk.com/Ski-doo) and Jake Melville (Ski-doo).

In the ultra-competitive Semi-Pro division, riders to watch include pre-season favorite Corin Todd, of Otego, New York. Todd is part of the D&Z Racing/Ski-doo squad and loves to shine in his home state. Other riders in a long list of legitimate podium threats include Trevor Bouchard (Team Bouchard/Arctic Cat); Robert Graeber, Brad Davis (Team Southside/Polaris), Garrett Mees, Lucas Brunelle, Lincoln Lemieux and Michael George.

Across all five divisions, there are talented riders returning to action for 2009-10.

Rock Maple Racing is the eastern affiliate of the International Series of Champions (ISOC), and is proud to be hosting the inaugural New England Nationals at Rockingham Park in Salem, NH, on Feb. 13-14, 2010. For more information, please go to http://www.rockmaple.com/.