By: ISOC Racing
SHAKOPEE, Minn. (Jan. 6, 2017) – The AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series Presented by RAM returned to the familiar racing grounds of the Canterbury horse-racing track, a long-time favorite stop for many of the riders in the series. Following a long break for the holiday season, the riders were pumped and ready for the challenging venue. Sunday included an extra day of racing to make-up for the round-two cancellation back in November due to heavy fog in Duluth, Minn.
After a Pro Open clean sweep in rounds three and four, Tucker Hibbert was positioned well in the points chase, while attempting to add a few more wins to his record. However, riders Tim Tremblay and Lincoln Lemieux have been turning up the heat, along with Corin Todd and Kody Kamm showing they are within striking of distance of a podium finish.
The Pro Lite division is beginning to take on a new shape as the rider from Sweden, Aki Pihlaja, set the bar high in Colorado with a dominating finish in round four. Nickolas Lorenz and Cole Cottew also put on a great show in round four, challenging Jake Angove for podium finishes. As always, the Pro Lite division has featured some great racing action.
Great bar-to-bar racing in the heat races saw Pihlaja throw down two first-place finishes. Zak Mason, aboard the LaVallee Racing sled, nailed solid finishes, getting him into the final round, while 2016 Champion Montana Jess was forced to run the LCQ, where he took the win to find a spot on the back row of the final. Maxime Taillefer, on the Warnert Racing sled, made a big pass in round two, heat two on the last lap to take the lead from Evan Daudt, who had led the entire race. Angove, with two podium finishes, had a tough night, where he was unable to transfer into the final after a ninth-place finish in the LCQ.
The Pro Lite division put on a show with a nine-lap final. On the line, top qualifier Pihlaja was looking for the Stud Boy holeshot and a clean sweep; however Mason grabbed the holeshot and raced Pihlaja bar-to-bar for the lead through the Pirtek rhythm section and over the AMSOIL finish line, but it was Taillefer who passed them both for the lead through the Air Force Fly away section. With two laps in the books, Mason launched over the triple for a huge pass and through the RAM corner to take the lead.
Rookie Pro Lite rider Nickolas Lorenz is quickly making a name for himself. He challenged lap after lap for a podium spot, making a last-second pass through the Pirtek rhythm section to pass Taillefer for his first Pro Lite podium finish. Pihlaja, who also made the pass on Taillefer, grabbed second on the box while Mason ran a perfect race, putting him in the top spot of the podium for his first win of the season. In true sportsman fashion, Taillefer gave a thumbs up to all podium finishers after some great Pro Lite racing action.
The Pro Open qualifiers featured more spectacular racing. Hibbert tangled with Todd, putting him into the LCQ. Lemieux ran a flawless race, along with teammate Tremblay, who both took first-place finishes in their qualifying rounds. Kamm ran a solid race in round one of qualifying, but found a last-place finish after some mechanical issues in round two if his heat, putting him in the LCQ, where he took the win.
In the Pro Open final, Ryan Springer took the Stud Boy hole shot as he rocketed out of the start and out to an early lead, followed by Ross Martin and Adam Renheim, while rookie Elias Ishoel grabbed a fourth-place start. After some tough luck in the heats, Hibbert was mid-pack, trying to chase down the leaders.
As the race took shape, Ishoel moved into third and challenged Martin for second, where he made the pass on lap seven and began to chase down Springer. After Springer bobbled through the Ziegler corner, he opened up the door for Ishoel to make his move and take the lead. From a last-place start, Tremblay ran down the field and challenged teammate Lemieux for the final podium spot, while Martin went on to take his second podium finish with a second-place finish. Ishoel landed his first-ever win in the Pro Open rankings, showing the Canterbury crowd he is here to stay.
Source: Amsoil Racing