Steven Bradley, Winnipeg, Manitoba (February 7) This past weekend the Winnipeg Sports Car Club held their second event of the 2016 touring schedule. While most sports fans were busy prepping for Superbowl 50, a group of hearty motorsports racers and their fans were battling through blizzard-like conditions in Winnipeg’s east end. A change in venues was made early in the week leading up to the event, as the ice at Murdock Water Ski Pond was not yet conductive for good racing.
The weekend served up a mixed bag of weather – keeping track prep staff on their toes, especially on Sunday. Saturday’s practice was run under mild conditions with wet snow late in the day, while Sunday served up cloudy, snowy and windy conditions – sometimes gusting up to 80KPH. Saturday’s mild conditions played havoc to a couple corners of the track as it began taking on water later in the event on Sunday. Unfortunately the last race of the day was called off due to water flooding the track in turns 1 – 3.
In the Studded division, Tim Gordienko was the lone competitor in the rear wheel drive class and competed in 5 of the 6 races. Al Marcoux and Jordan Sharples each collected 2 wins, while reigning class champ Bill Langner made his first appearance of the season to pick up his first win. Class rookie Matt Levielle also collected his first win after getting his car repaired from last week’s vicious hit in the rear.
In the Rubber to Ice division, Damon Surzyshyn topped the 4 car field – earning 3 wins in 5 races. Lee McRae collected the other 2 wins.
In Studded race 1, Jordan Sharples grabbed the early lead from the pole while Al Marcoux picked up 2 spots to secure second position. On lap 8, Marcoux got by Sharples in turn 4 after some reports of contact. Marcoux earned the win while Sharples finished second ahead of Peter Jakabek in third.
In Studded race 2, Marcoux was sent to the penalty box from the previous race’s contact with Sharples. Penalized drivers must wait for the entire field to pass by the start/finish line before they can join the field. Reigning studded class champ, Bill Langner used the pole to secure the point and was knocking off 40:48 second lap times in clean air. On lap 5, Sharples moved up 3 spots after getting by Jamie Gillespie for second position. On lap 7, Marcoux was recovering nicely from his penalty – passing Peter Jakabek and Jamie Gillespie to secure third position. Langner had built a significant lead, however a run in with the turn 3 snowbank reeled the second and third place cars in. Langner, Sharples and Marcoux raced around the track within a car length of each other over the remaining laps. On lap 13, Sharples dove inside Langner exiting turn 5 and moved to the point. The next lap, Marcoux also got by Langner entering turn 1 to steal second position. Sharples went on to collect his first win of the day while Marcoux finished in second ahead of Langner in third.
In Studded race 3, Jamie Gillespie grabbed the early lead after beating Alex Dixon to the first corner. Gillespie held the point for the opening 8 laps until Langner snuck by in turn 2. Sharples moved into the top 3 after passing Dixon inside the exit of turn 5. Previous race winner, Marcoux found himself stuck in the turn 2 snowbank early, but was pulled out and rejoined the race 8 laps down. Back at the front nothing more changed as Langner went on to collect his first checkered flag of the season ahead of Sharples in second and Gillespie in third.
In Studded race 4, all kinds of action broke out mid pack. While Marlene Jakabek found herself leading for the first time, most drivers were trying to avoid slow cars as they were getting caught in the turn 3 snowbank. On lap 3, Sharples and Langner bounced off each other in turn 3 after trying to check up for a few slow cars who had contacted the outer bank. Sharples was sent nose first into the outside snowbank and got hung up for the rest of the race. Langner was able to continue from deep in the field. Back at the front, Jakabek continued to hold the lead until lap 5 when Dixon outraced her to turn 1. On lap 6, Marcoux moved up to second and set his eyes on the leader. By lap 7, Marcoux had caught and passed Dixon for the lead low on the straight away. On lap 9, Marlene Jakabek gave up third position after a run in with the turn 5 bank. Marcoux went on to collect his second win of the day ahead of Dixon, while Peter Jakabek rounded out the top 3.
In Studded race 5, Langner was deemed responsible for the previous race’s incident involving Sharples and had to start from the penalty box. While Peter Jakabek secured the early lead, Sharples was picking off positions – moving into second by lap 2. On lap 5, Sharples completed a pass for the lead entering turn 1. Over the last 10 laps, Sharples built up a half lap lead and collected his second win of the day. Peter Jakabek finished second ahead of Marlene Jakabek in third.
In Studded race 6, Matt Levielle was handed the driving duties in the #55. Levielle secured the point from a front row starting spot. On lap 2, Langner made his way to the pits. Over the remainder of the race, Sharples and Marlene Jakabek found themselves lodged in snowbanks – leaving just 3 cars running. By lap 11, officials noticed a heavy amount of water flooding turns 1-3 and called the races off immediately. Levielle collected his first ever Studded division win ahead of Gillespie in second and Peter Jakabek in third.
In Rubber to Ice race 1, Lee McRae led the first 7 laps until Damon Surzyshyn completed a pass inside of turn 1 to take over the point. The 4 car field strung out over the next 7 laps and Surzyshyn took the first checkered flag of the day ahead of second place McRae and Mike Demchenko in third.
In Rubber to Ice race 2, leader Greg Eastwood found himself stuck on the first lap of turn 5, which handed the lead to Surzyshyn. The leader consistently turned 52:30 laps times in clean air and opened up some space between he and second place Demchenko. A costly run in with the outer turn 5 bank nearly cost Surzyshyn his lead, however, he was able to recover and stay ahead of the pack to collect his second consecutive win. Demchenko finished second ahead of McRae in third.
In Rubber to Ice race 3, McRae took early control of the lead from the pole while Demcenko snuck below Eastwood exiting turn 5 to take third position. The field raced for 14 laps and McRae easily collected the checkers a straight away ahead of Surzyshyn and Demchenko.
In Rubber to Ice race 4, Demchenko used a front row starting spot to secure the point and led for the first 4 laps until McRae passed him low on the front stretch. On laps 10 and 11, the field lost 2 cars after Eastwood found himself nose first in the turn 3 snowbank and Demchenko limped to the pits with mechanical failure. McRae collected his second win of the day ahead of Surzyshyn in second. Demchencko was scored in third despite pitting early.
In Rubber to Ice race 5, just 3 cars took to the track. The race saw 1 position change over 15 laps when Surzyshyn took the lead entering the first corner from a second position starting spot. Surzyshyn recored his third win of the day ahead of Demchenko in second and McRae in third.
The event was called off before the last Rubber division race could be run as large amounts of water were flooding the track in turns 1-3.
Photos from the event can be found on Facebook by clicking here.
The Winnipeg Sports Car Club returns to action on February 20 and 21 in Portage la Prairie. For more information on this event, the Winnipeg Sports Car Club or how to get involved in Ice Racing, visit them online at www.wscc.mb.ca
Be sure to stay tuned for all the local motorsports action this winter by visiting www.thedirtreport.com – Manitoba’s leader in local race news.
Rubber to Ice
Race 1 – Damon Surzyshyn, Lee McRae, Mike Demchenko, Greg Eastwood.
Race 2 – Damon Surzyshyn, Mike Demchenko, Lee McRae, Greg Eastwood (DNF).
Race 3 – Lee McRae, Damon Surzyshyn, Mike Demchenko, Greg Eastwood.
Race 4 – Lee McRae, Damon Surzyshyn, Mike Demchenko (DNF), Greg Eastwood (DNF).
Race 5 – Damon Surzyshyn, Mike Demchenko, Lee McRae.
Race 1 (FWD) – Al Marcoux, Jordan Sharples, Peter Jakabek, Jamie Gillespis, Alex Dixon, Bill Langner, Collin Mckee (DNF).
Race 1 (RWD) – Tim Gordienko.
Race 2 (FWD) – Jordan Sharples, Al Marcoux, Bill Langner, Peter Jakabek, Jamie Gillespis, Alex Dixon.
Race 2 (RWD) – Tim Gordienko.
Race 3 (FWD) – Bill Langner, Jordan Sharples, Jamie Gillespie, Alex Dixon, Peter Jakabek, Marlene Jakabek, Al Marcoux.
Race 3 (RWD) – Tim Gordienko.
Race 4 (FWD) – Al Marcoux, Alex Dixon, Peter Jakabek, Marlene Jakabek, Bill Langner, Bill Gillespie, Jordan Sharples (DNF).
Race 4 (RWD) – Tim Gordienko.
Race 5 (FWD) – Jordan Sharples, Peter Jakabek, Marlene Jakabek, Bill Langner, Matt Levielle, Jamie Gillespie.
Race 5 (RWD) – Tim Gordienko.
Race 6 (FWD) – Matt Levielle, Jamie Gillespie, Peter Jakabek, Jordan Sharples (DNF), Bill Langner (DNF), Marlene Jakabek (DNF).