Officials at East Coast Snocross (ECS) have created a “race within a race” for first-year riders in the Pro division, as the new ECS Rookie of the Year (ROTY) program is initiated. The top rookie (combining points from Stock and Open) will receive a cash purse at season’s end, while the top Pro rider earning the most points overall will also earn a cash purse.
The fine folks at Island Water Sports and Malibu Boats have already committed to sponsoring these new purses, and invite all other ECS affiliate sponsors to participate. ECS officials will put all funds raised from affiliate sponsors towards these new year-end cash purses. Racing sleds can be expensive, so these new purses will help teams a great deal.
What makes the timing perfect for this program is the number of former Semi-Pro (now known as Pro Lite) class riders making the step up to Pro for 2011-12. Riders like 2011 Semi-Pro champion Jacob Muller, Vermont standout Chris Ackerman and Michael George of Pine Plains, New York, will all be battling for positions on the track to win the inaugural ECS ROTY title.
At every ECS points race, eligible riders will earn points towards the overall ROTY title in both the Pro Stock and Pro Open classes. The highest finishing rookie in each Pro final will earn 25 points, while the second highest finishing rookie will earn 20 points. The third highest finishing rookie will receive 15 points, with fourth and fifth getting 10 and five respectively.
At the end of the year, the rider with the highest combined (Stock and Open) point tally (or in other words, the one with the highest average finish throughout the season) will be crowned “2012 ECS Pro Rookie of the Year.” Along with the cash purse after the last race, the winner will also receive a prize package of goodies from various ECS product sponsors.
For many years, prominent sanctioning bodies in auto racing have implemented programs of this nature to showcase rising talent. Among all snocross riders, those who’ve just made the move to Pro are exciting to watch as they work to earn respect from the veterans. With this new rookie program, these “young guns” will also battle for bragging rights among themselves.
It all kicks off when ECS launches its second season Dec. 10-11 at the beautiful Burke Mountain Ski Resort in East Burke, Vermont. Several riders within the ECS fraternity will jump-start their season on Thanksgiving weekend, as they travel to Duluth, Minnesota for the mighty AMSOIL Duluth National. Riders look to shake off the cobwebs and get back into a rhythm, while mechanics strive to dial in new sleds and find that sweet setup to go fast.
East Coast Snocross, presented by Woody’s Traction and AMSOIL, is the new sanctioning body for snowmobile racing in the northeastern United States. ECS maintains a regional circuit intended to keep grass-roots snocross racing healthy in this part of the snowbelt, while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow’s factory-backed Pro teams.