Steven Bradley, Winnipeg, Manitoba (January 25) Winnipeg Sports Car Club’s Birchwood Toyota Fire on Ice, Ice Racing series completed the second of 5 events in their 2015 season this past weekend at the Murdock Water Ski Pond. Weather was perfect for ice racing with temps only falling to about 10 below. The 1KM track was challenging – featuring hairpin corners at each end of the track, 3 S-turns on the front stretch and a long straight away on the back stretch.
On Saturday, 11 teams attended an open practice where the Studded and Rubber to Ice classes looked to find an advantage for Sunday’s race day. Peter Jakabek in the Studded class and Steve Leiding in the Rubber to Ice class topped their respective classes with the day’s fastest lap times. Some teams were able to find more grip as the day wore on, however other teams seemed to loose grip in each of the hairpin turns.
A few teams suffered some minor mechanical damage such as Marlene and Peter Jakabek, however a few hours in the shop overnight got them back in running order for Sunday’s race day.
On Sunday, 20 cars showed up for race day. 6 cars represented the Studded class, while 14 cars made up the Rubber to Ice class. Each class took to the track for 6 races – made up of 12 minutes before the white flag lap took place. This typically ended up in 15 laps for the Studded class and 12 for the Rubber to Ice class.
In the Studded class, it looked like Bill Langner in the #28 was going to be the class of the field – picking up the first race win half a lap ahead of second place Darin Wach. Langner was consistently turning 48 second lap times (average lap speed of 75km) and appeared to be the day’s dominant car. However a broken motor mount after the first race ended his day and Langner put his car back on the trailer. Darin Wach in his #99 took over the class leader board, running 51 second lap times, and won the remaining 5 races – despite loosing his turbo in the final couple segments.
In race 1, it didn’t take Bill Langner long to jump from fourth to first as he passed leader Darin Wach on lap 2 in the first hairpin turn. Larner was already lapping cars at lap 6 – putting the #06 of Mario Gagnon a lap down. Langner won convincingly – a half a lap in front of second place Darin Wach. Marlene Jakabek rounded out the top 3.
In race 2, Langner pulled himself from the rest of the day’s events due to a broken motor mount. This now put Darin Wach in control of the leader board in the remaining races. Wach used the pole position to set sail on the pack – lapping traffic in just 8 laps. Wach won race 2 by a half lap over Peter Jakabek in second and Marlene Jakabek in third.
In race 3, Peter Jakabek and Darin Wach battled hard for the point on the opening lap – racing side-by-side for much of the first lap. Jakabek opened the door for Wach after getting a little too sideways in hairpin turn 1. Wach took over the point and opened up a 3/4 lap lead before taking the checkers. Peter Jakabek finished second ahead of Marlene Jakabek in third.
In race 4, Wach and Jakabek continued their battle for top car. Wach took control of the race exiting hairpin turn 1 and never looked back. Wach earned the win half a lap over second place Peter Jakabek and third place Marlene Jakabek.
In race 5, Peter Jakabek put up a great challenge for Darin Wach. Jakebek led the first lap until Wach completed a pass in hairpin turn 1 to move to the point. On lap 10, Marlene Jakabek completed a pass on Peter Jakabek to move into the second position. Unfortunately, Marlene Jakebek surrendered her position when her car came to a stop on the back stretch with just 2 laps remaining. Jakebek’s day ended there with mechanical failure. Darin Wach earned the win ahead of Peter Jackabek in second and Tim Gordienko in third.
In race 6, Peter Jakabek took advantage of Darin Wach’s car loosing his turbo. Jakebek led the first 2 laps, however Wach eventually worked Jakebek over to take over the lead low on the back stretch. Despite some car trouble, Wach earned his fifth win of the day ahead of Peter Jakabek in second and Tim Gordienko in third.
In the Rubber to Ice class, leaders were consistently turning 1:02 minute lap times (average lap speed of 53km). Colin Mckee picked up 3 race wins, while Lee McRae earned 2 wins and rookie Alex Dixon collected his first ever race win.
In race 1, a 14 car pack got off to a bumpy start in the front stretch S-turns. Colin Mckee threaded the second row to make it three-wide – setting his eyes on the leaders. As the pack slid into the first hairpin turn, Colin Mckee got a good bite exiting the corner and took the lead from Andre Toupin down the back stretch. Back in traffic, Lee McRae took third spot from rookie Alex Dixon on lap 4 in the S-turns. McRae continued to move to the front after completing a pass on Andre Toupin on lap 6 hairpin corner 1. On lap 7, Bryce Stewart deposited his car into a snowbank exiting the S-turns which resulted in a hard shot in the rear from Mike Demchenko who had nowhere to go. Both cars continued on with no visible damage. As laps wore down, a battle for the lead was forming between Mckee and McRae and a 5-car battle for third was forming. Mckee was able to hold off a charging McRae to earn the win and Vasil Schindle won the battle for third.
In race 2, officials reset the field after Brian Harris needed help out of a snowbank in hairpin 1. Brett Sharples led early while Lee McRae was passing Alex Dixon for second. On lap 3 McRae and Dixon battled back and fourth for second – eventually McRae took inherited the spot in hairpin turn 2. McRae continued his charge to the front – passing Sharples for the lead on lap 5 on the back stretch. Dixon also got by Sharples a lap later to move into second place. Nothing more changed as McRae collected the win ahead of Dixon in second and Sharples in third.
In race 3, Colin Mckee used the pole position to open a big lead on the field as Steve Leiding settled into second and Andre Toupin in third. On lap 9, Vasil Schindle found himself on top of a snowbank entering hairpin corner 2. Schindle sat there for the remainder of the race as Mckee took the checkered flag ahead of Steven Leiding in second and Andre Toupin in third.
In race 4, rookie Alex Dixon used the pole to take control of the race early. On lap 2, Andre Toupin picked up 2 spots to move into second place and set his eyes on the leader. On lap 10, Toupin had caught up to the back bumper of Dixon and began working him over. Despite a few passing attempts, Dixon was able to fend off the pressure to earn his first ever win. Toupin finished in second ahead of Brett Sharples in third.
In race 5, Lee McRae used the front row to take over the point from pole sitter Steve Leiding. As McRae was checking out, Colin Mckee found himself up to third after surviving a small pileup entering hairpin turn 2. McRae went on to collect his second win of the day ahead of Steve Leiding in second and Mckee in third.
In race 6, Andre Toupin emerged from the first corner with the lead with Alex Dixon in second. On lap 5, Colin Mckee took second spot from Dixon at the start/finish line as a 3-way battle for the lead was forming. On lap 8, Mckee got by Toupin exiting hairpin turn 2 and took over the point, while McRae completed a pass on the next lap to take over second spot. Mckee was able to hold off a late charge from McRae to earn his third win of the day. McRae wrapped his day up with a second place finish ahead of Steve Leiding who got by Andre Toupin on the last lap to round out the top 3.
Winnipeg Sports Car Club is scheduled to resume their Birchwood Toyota Fire on Ice racing tour on Sunday, February 8 at Mazenod Road Pond in Winnipeg. Be sure to check out the great racing this local series has to offer.
For more information on the Winnipeg Sports Car Club, or how to get involved in racing, visit them online at www.wscc.mb.ca