Ice racing

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Volkswagen Beetle racing on ice Ice racing.jpg
Volkswagen Beetle racing on ice

Ice racing is a form of racing that uses cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, or other motorized vehicles. Ice racing takes place on frozen lakes or rivers, or on groomed frozen lots. As cold weather is a requirement for natural ice, it is usually found at higher latitudes in Canada, the northern United States, and in northern Europe, although limited indoor events are held in warmer climates, typically on ice hockey rinks (motorcycles and ATVs only). [1] Tracks in North America vary from 1/4 mile to several mile-long (~400 m to several kilometer-long) [2] circuits.

Contents

Track

Tracks used for ice racing include ovals and road courses. [3] Some tracks are dirt track racing tracks with the snow plowed off them. When there is no natural snow, an icy surface may be created by spraying the dirt surface with water when the temperature is below freezing. Artificial ice tracks (usually speed skating ovals) are used where it is not possible to construct natural ice tracks. Some tracks are made by plowing the snow off an area of a frozen lake. Spectators frequently park their cars around the outside of the track on a frozen lake. [4]

In the UK ice meetings have been staged at ice rinks. The longest running event, at Telford, features riders using conventional machines with spiked tires. In the late 1960s ice racing was staged at a number of rinks in Scotland but the machines used were rally based machines with all season tires.

Tires

Close-up of a studded tire Spikes-Rennmotorrad.jpg
Close-up of a studded tire

Ice racing tires are either studded or non-studded. [3] Studded tires have a stud such as a screw or bolt to provide better traction and increased speed. [4] Some studs are sharpened to increase penetration. [4] Tires cannot be purchased with studs, so the pit crew needs to attach the studs to the tire. [4] Through 2008, Menard's Racing in Wisconsin manufactured and sold studded racing tires for cars, and they were required in many ice-racing classes. Cars with studded tires are generally required to contain a roll cage and increased safety equipment since they achieve much more speed with the greater cornering abilities. [3]

The sanctioning body's rule book generally specifies the length and/or type of stud, often with the goal of controlling the level of damage done to the ice surface. Aggressive studs can cause enough damage to be a safety concern as they wear through the ice on successive laps, particularly during door-to-door auto racing.

Non-studded tires are standard production snow tires, as used on highway-use passenger cars in colder climates. Drivers often use winter tires. [3] Favorites among ice-racers include the Bridgestone Blizzaks and Nokian Hakkapeliittas.

Motorcycle ice racing

Motorcycle ice road racing Motorcycly speedway on ice.jpg
Motorcycle ice road racing
Motorcycle ice racing using studded tires Ice Racing.jpg
Motorcycle ice racing using studded tires

Ice racing includes a motorcycle class which is the equivalent of Speedway on ice. Bikes race anti-clockwise around oval tracks between 260 m (0.16 mi) and 425 m (0.264 mi) in length. The race structure and scoring is similar to Speedway.

The bikes bear a passing resemblance to those used for speedway, but have a longer wheelbase and a more rigid frame. The sport is divided into classes for full-rubber and studded tires. The studded tire category involves competitors riding on bikes with spikes up to 30 millimetres (1.2 in) in length screwed into each tread-less tyre, each bike has 90 spikes on the front tyre and 200–500 on the rear. The use of these spikes in this discipline necessitate the addition of special protective guards (similar to mudguards) over the wheels which extend almost to the ice surface. The spiked tyres produce a tremendous amount of traction and this means two-speed gearboxes are also required. As with speedway, the bikes do not have brakes. Czech made 4-stroke Jawa motorcycles have been the dominant force in this sport.

In the studded tyre class there is no broadsiding around the bends due to the grip produced by the spikes digging into the ice. Instead, riders lean their bikes into the bends at an angle where the handlebars just skim the track surface. Speeds approach 80 mph (130 km/h) on the straights, and 60 mph (97 km/h) on the bends. The safety barrier usually consists of straw bales or banked-up snow and ice around the outer edge of the track.

The riding style required for studded ice racing is different from that used in the other track racing disciplines. This means riders from this discipline rarely participate in Speedway or its other variants and vice versa.

The majority of Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme sanctioned team and individual meetings are held in Russia, Sweden and Finland, but events are also held in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary (since 2000), the Netherlands, and occasionally other countries. Countries that dominated and won the majority of titles in Individual Ice Racing World Championship (held since 1966) and Team Ice Racing World Championship (held since 1979) were the USSR and since 1991 Russia. [5] Canada's national touring series is sanctioned by the Canadian Motorcycle Association.

Automobile ice racing

Studded tires on autos causing limited visibility EmbarrassRiverIceRacingTilledaThunderRWDStudded.jpg
Studded tires on autos causing limited visibility
Automobile ice racing in the late 19th century. Motortavlingpaisen12219872344.jpg
Automobile ice racing in the late 19th century.

Automobile ice races have been most successful in France, where the Trophée Andros series, sponsored by an industrial jam (fruit preserver) manufacturer attracts ex-F1 drivers like Alain Prost or Olivier Panis, manufacturer-backed entries of sophisticated 4WD cars and international television coverage. The Trophée Andros races mainly use damped snow (that is not very different from ice regarding car handling) tracks in French ski resorts with a final race on artificial ice in Paris Stade de France. The 2006 trophy includes one round in Andorra. On several occasions a round also took place in Canada, in the Canadian Challenge, which is held yearly and is the most notable Ice Racing event in North America.

In the 1960s and 1970s, there were two major Ice Racing Championships, the North American Ice Racing Championship and the European Ice Racing Championship. The North American was held in Anchorage, Alaska and their champions include Earl Bennett and Chuck Higgins, while Mexican Formula One driver Pedro Rodríguez won his class and an exhibition race in 1970, and was 2nd overall.

Elsewhere, ice racing has proven to be a largely recreational pastime. There is no professional ice-racing sanctioning body in North America, [3] but there are clubs in several Canadian provinces (Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Saskatchewan) and American states (New York, Michigan, Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alaska [6] ). Some amateur and professional dirt track and paved track racers use ice racing to hone their skills or to practice for the summer season. [3] [4] Drivers often find that developing the car control skills needed on ice substantially improves their performance on a wet race track.

There is a new class in Canada called SS (street studs) where a car can run with the same modifications as a rubber to ice class, without the need for a roll bar. [7] This same SS classing, although referred to as Super Stud or Studded class, by some American Clubs (such as the Anchorage Alaska Sports Car Lions Club) require any car running studded tires to meet at least IT rules and requires a roll cage and full safety gear. [8] Some clubs even encourage people to ice-race their daily driver, and have strict no-contact rules to allow that safely. [9]

In Russia there is a rally raid event, called the Northern Forest run on ice and snow in the last days of February in the outskirts of the city of St Petersburg. Also, in Russia exist popular winter track racing, where pilots race on short ice oval track, usually hippodromes, covered with ice during winter. [10]

Conventional rallying also takes place on ice. Most notably, the tarmac of the Monte Carlo Rally is occasionally covered with snow and ice. The Sno Drift Rally in Michigan is another example of such events.

Race vehicle

There are many classes of racing vehicles. The racing vehicles are frequently divided into studded or non-studded tire classes. Nearly all dirt track racing vehicles could be raced on ice. Flying snow and ice powder limits visibility, so some vehicles are required to have a bright light, normally red or yellow, on the back of the car for greater visibility in the powder. [3] [4]

Non-studded cars are selected by their weight since non-studded cars cannot carry high speed through a corner and cars cannot get much power to the slippery surface. [3] Lightweight front-wheel drive cars are generally the quickest. [3]

Ice racing in film

Ice racing was featured in the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service with George Lazenby and Diana Rigg as they attempted to evade their pursuers. The track was in Switzerland. [3]

Motorcycle ice racing footage can be seen in the Bruce Brown documentary On Any Sunday .

Media

See also

Related Research Articles

Motorsport Sport primarily involving the use of motorized vehicles

Motorsport, motorsports or motor sport is a global term used to encompass the group of competitive sporting events which primarily involve the use of motorised vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. The terminology can also be used to describe forms of competition of two-wheeled motorised vehicles under the banner of motorcycle racing, and includes off-road racing such as motocross.

Race track Facility built for racing of animals, vehicles, or athletes

A race track is a facility built for racing of vehicles, athletes, or animals. A race track also may feature grandstands or concourses. Race tracks are also used in the study of animal locomotion. Some motorsport tracks are called speedways.

Supermoto Motorcycle racing on a circuit that alternates between track, motocross and road racing

Supermoto is a form of motorcycle racing held on race tracks that alternate between three kinds of track surfaces: the hard packed dirt of flat track, the irregular jumps and obstacles of motocross, and the paved tarmac of road racing. Supermoto was originally conceived by Gavin Trippe in 1979 as a segment of the TV show Wide World of Sports. It was something like an all-star game, in which the best riders from the three separate genres of motorcycle racing could temporarily leave their normal race class to come together and compete for the title of best all around racer. Today supermoto is a distinct genre of its own and riders in the other classes do not routinely cross over into supermoto.

Racing slick

A racing slick is a type of tyre that has a smooth tread used mostly in auto racing. The first production "slick tyre" was developed by M&H Tires in the early 1950s for use in drag racing. By eliminating any grooves cut into the tread, such tyres provide the largest possible contact patch to the road, and maximize traction for any given tyre dimension. Slick tyres are used on road or oval track racing, where steering and braking require maximum traction from each wheel, but are typically used on only the driven (powered) wheels in drag racing, where the only concern is maximum traction to put power to the ground.

Cycle sport Competitive physical activity using bicycles

Cycle sport is competitive physical activity using bicycles. There are several categories of bicycle racing including road bicycle racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway. Non-racing cycling sports include artistic cycling, cycle polo, freestyle BMX and mountain bike trials. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the world governing body for cycling and international competitive cycling events. The International Human Powered Vehicle Association is the governing body for human-powered vehicles that imposes far fewer restrictions on their design than does the UCI. The UltraMarathon Cycling Association is the governing body for many ultra-distance cycling races.

Tire tread

The tread of a tire or track refers to the rubber on its circumference that makes contact with the road or the ground. As tires are used, the tread is worn off, limiting its effectiveness in providing traction. A worn tire can often be retreaded.

Dirt track racing is a form of motorsport held on clay or dirt surfaced oval race tracks often used for thoroughbred horse racing. Dirt track racing started in the United States before World War I and became widespread during the 1920s and 1930s using both automobiles and motorcycles. Two different types of race cars dominate — open wheel racers in the Northeast and West and stock cars in the Midwest and South. While open wheel race cars are purpose-built racing vehicles, stock cars can be either purpose-built race cars or street vehicles that have been modified to varying degrees.

Cycle speedway Form of bicycle racing on short oval dirt tracks

Cycle speedway is a form of bicycle racing on short oval dirt tracks, usually outdoors, occasionally indoors, typically 70–90 metres long. Like motorcycle speedway, riders use machines without brakes or multiple gears but, unlike motor speedway, the object is not to slide bikes round the turns.

Types of motorcycles Types of motorcycles

There are many systems for classifying types of motorcycles, describing how the motorcycles are put to use, or the designer's intent, or some combination of the two. Six main categories are widely recognized: cruiser, sport, touring, standard, dual-purpose, and dirt bike. Sometimes sport touring motorcycles are recognized as a seventh category. Strong lines are sometimes drawn between motorcycles and their smaller cousins, mopeds, scooters, and underbones, but other classification schemes include these as types of motorcycles.

Doughnut (driving) Maneuver performed while driving a vehicle

A doughnut or donut is a manoeuvre performed while driving a vehicle. Performing this manoeuvre entails rotating the rear or front of the vehicle around the opposite set of wheels in a continuous motion, creating (ideally) a circular skid-mark pattern of rubber on a carriageway and possibly even causing the tires to emit smoke from friction.

Daytona 200

The Daytona 200 is an annual motorcycle road racing competition held in early spring at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. The 200-mile (320 km) race was founded in 1937 when it was sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). The original course used the beach itself before moving to a paved closed circuit in 1961. The Daytona 200 reached its zenith of worldwide popularity in the 1970s when the race attracted the largest crowds of any AMA race along with some of the top rated international motorcycle racers.

Truck racing

Truck racing is a form of motorsport road racing which involves modified versions of heavy tractor units on road racing or oval track circuits.

Motorcycle racing Racing sport using motorcycles

Motorcycle racing is the motorcycle sport of racing motorcycles. Major varieties include motorcycle road racing and off-road racing, both either on circuits or open courses, and track racing. Other categories include hill climbs, drag racing and land speed record trials.

Track racing Motorcycle racing on oval track

Track racing is a form of motorcycle racing where teams or individuals race opponents around an unpaved oval track. There are differing variants, with each variant racing on a different surface type.

Snow tire

Snow tires, also known as winter tires, are tires designed for use on snow and ice. Snow tires have a tread design with larger gaps than those on conventional tires, increasing traction on snow and ice. Such tires that have passed a specific winter traction performance test are entitled to display a "Three-Peak Mountain Snow Flake" symbol on their sidewalls. Tires designed for winter conditions are optimized to drive at temperatures below 7 °C (45 °F). Some snow tires have metal or ceramic studs that protrude from the tire to increase traction on hard-packed snow or ice. Studs abrade dry pavement, causing dust and creating wear in the wheel path. Regulations that require the use of snow tires or permit the use of studs vary by country in Asia and Europe, and by state or province in North America.

Ice speedway

Ice speedway is a developed form of motorcycle speedway racing, featuring racing on frozen surfaces. The sport uses bikes enhanced for the terrain. Participants can compete at international level.

Motorsport in Australia

Motorsport is a popular spectator sport in Australia, although there are relatively few competitors compared to other sports due to the high costs of competing. The oldest motorsport competition in Australia is the Alpine Rally which was first staged in 1921 followed by the Australian Grand Prix, first staged in 1928. The most widely watched motorsport category is Supercars, especially at the Bathurst 1000. Other classes in Australia include Australian GT, Formula 3 and Formula Ford, Superbikes, as well as various forms of speedway racing.

Indianapolis motorcycle Grand Prix

The Indianapolis Grand Prix is a motorcycling event held on the combined road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. From 2008 to 2015, it was held as part of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing season. The event was revived in 2020 with MotoAmerica.

Off-road tire

Off-road tires are a category of vehicle tires that use deep tread to provide more traction on unpaved surfaces such as loose dirt, mud, sand, or gravel. Compared to ice or snow tires, they lack studs but contain deeper and wider grooves meant to help the tread sink into mud or gravel surfaces.

The following is a glossary of terminology used in motorsport, along with explanations of their meanings.

References

  1. "International Championship Events". Icespeedway.com. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  2. "Weekend Warrior: Motorcycle Ice Racing - The Boys of Winter" Archived 2007-02-03 at the Wayback Machine Mitch Brown; Dirt Rider magazine; Retrieved February 1, 2007
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Markus, Frank. "Racing Fast 'n' Cheap: Ice Racing". Motor Trend . Retrieved 2008-09-30.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Scott Owens (April 2007), Ice Racing is HOT on Lake Speed, Fastrax Monthly
  5. "World Champions". Speedway FAQ. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  6. "Anchorage Alaska Sports Car Lions Club". aksportscarclub.org. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  7. "CASC Ontario - Home". Casc.on.ca. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  8. "Anchorage Alaska Sports Car Lions Club". aksportscarclub.org. Archived from the original on 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  9. "AMEC Getting Started". Icerace.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  10. Film about russian winter track racing [ permanent dead link ]