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Flashpoint Snowbike Race Returns to McCall!

| 31 January 2014 6:01 pm

Flashpoint Championship Snowbike Race
McCall Winter Carnival at the McCall Golf Course

Story by Ron Dillon
Photos by Ed Hoffman
McCALL, ID, JAN. 25, 2014

Flashpoint, the world’s premier snowbike event, returned to the McCall Winter Carnival for the fifth time on Saturday, January 25, 2014, and was sponsored by Timbersled, The Battery Exchange, Rhino Rush Energy Shots, 2Moto, Mile High Powersports, ProMoto Billet, Fastway Performance, and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.

The A main event launches off the line at the fifth annual Flashpoint Championship Snowbike Race.

The A main event launches off the line at the fifth annual Flashpoint Championship Snowbike Race.

As always, anticipation for the event was huge, and more than 30,000 people were in town for the 49th annual McCall Winter Carnival, guaranteeing a great turnout to watch the race. Snowbikes have now been around for about eight years, and there are a number of different manufacturers of the kits, which fit most modern dirt bikes with a front ski and small track, allowing them to zip along on snow with incredible speed and agility.

A company located in Nampa, Idaho, called 2Moto, was the first to create kits, with Timbersled from Sandpoint, Idaho, following suit, and they were followed by Frozen Moto and then UFO; interestingly, all four of these manufacturers are based in Idaho. Since Flashpoint is the largest snowbike event in the world, it continues to try to answer these questions each year: “Who is the fastest?” and “Which brand is the best?”

Jimmy Jarrett (232) leads Allen Mangum (221), Sheldon Hodges (230), Austin Lahning (94), Ray Peck (53) and rest of the pack.

Jimmy Jarrett (232) leads Allen Mangum (221), Sheldon Hodges (230), Austin Lahning (94), Ray Peck (53) and rest of the pack.

The 2014 event marked a return to perfect, sunny, 35-degree weather, and more than a thousand spectators poured into the venue, which is located on the McCall Golf Course. A lack of snow was a concern leading right up to the event, but 15 inches, cool temperatures, and careful grooming provided a track that worked well and showed that snowbike racers are getting faster and faster every year.

A record 26 racers from across the western United States and Canada showed up to take a shot at snowbike racing glory. The revised, twisty, seven-eighths-mile track featured some rolling jumps and banked turns, which allowed for excellent spectator viewing from almost anywhere, all the way around the track.

Saturday’s competition consisted of a series of heat races and semifinals to determine who would race in the A, B and C main events later in the day.

Brock Hoyer (322) skirmishes with Derick Driggs (427).

Brock Hoyer (322) skirmishes with Derick Driggs (427).

Timbersled rider Derick Driggs had literally never been beaten in a snowbike race; he is that good. But he finally met his match in the form of Canadian hotshot Brock Hoyer, who raged unbeaten and untested all day and looked scary-fast. It can still be stated that Driggs is currently the fastest snowbike racer in the United States, but Hoyer is now the fastest on the planet.

Canadian racer Brock Hoyer (322) from Williams Lake, British Columbia, topped the A main event.

Canadian racer Brock Hoyer (322) from Williams Lake, British Columbia, topped the A main event.

Other impressive rides were turned in by well-known off-road racer Jimmy Jarrett, who just moved to Idaho from Oklahoma, practiced for one day, and hammered out a well-deserved third in the A main, behind Hoyer and Driggs, and legendary desert racer Destry Abbott, who flew in from Arizona and also made the A main before a first-lap crash beat him up and relegated him to eighth.

Another really cool thing about the A main was that the official starter was Kim Donaca, widow of legendary snowbike racer Shane Donaca, who passed away in 2012. This event was always one of Shane’s favorites, and Kim drove over all the way from Portland, Oregon, to catch up with old friends and cheer for local racers Richie Reynolds and Mark Olberding (both of whom rode well enough to make the A main).

Timbersled inventor and owner Allen Mangum once again showed that he knows how to ride as well as invent, as he rode fast enough to qualify for the A main and matched his fifth-place finish from last year.

As the sport of snowbiking continues to mature and develop, a new group of young riders are also starting to show up to compete. Canadian Austin Lahning, 15, rode smooth and smart to grab third in the hotly contested B main. Brandon Hannold, also 15, finished sixth in the same race, and 16-year-old Sheldon Hodges grabbed fifth in the C main. It is going to be fun to watch these kids mature and start pushing the older, more-experienced riders harder and harder every year.

Canadian Austin Lahning (94) from Saskatoon, British Columbia, placed third in the B main event. Photo by Jeff Reichmann

Canadian Austin Lahning (94) from Saskatoon, British Columbia, placed third in the B main event. Photo by Jeff Reichmann

Also of note: Although there were a number of crashes, there were no reported injuries. Clearly, snow is much better to crash on than dirt, and snowbiking is proving to be a pretty safe sport.

The event’s promoter, Ron Dillon, who also hosts Idaho’s largest motorcycle event, the Big Nasty Hillclimb, said that he remains committed to the Flashpoint event and will continue to hold it each year during the opening weekend of the Winter Carnival at the end of January.

Sheldon Hodges (230) from Nampa, Idaho, dices in the ice with Brock Hoyer (322).

Sheldon Hodges (230) from Nampa, Idaho, dices in the ice with Brock Hoyer (322).

Special thanks are in order to the City of McCall, McKenzie and the McCall Chamber, track groomer Greg Lawley, and Allan Morrison and his staff at the McCall Golf Course; he will also continue to offer a class for snowbikes at the Big Nasty Hillclimb in September and at the new X-12 Hillclimb in Snowville, Utah, at the end of April.

For more information on snowbiking and snowbike racing, visit www.flashpointsnowbike.com or www.bignastyhillclimb.com.

Flashpoint Championship Snowbike Race at the McCall Winter Carnival
McCall, Idaho
Results: January 25, 2014

A MAIN: 1. Brock Hoyer (Yam-Timbersled); 2. Derick Driggs (Hon-Timbersled); 3. Jimmy Jarrett (Yam-Timbersled); 4. Reagan Sieg (KTM-Timbersled); 5. Allen Mangum (KTM-Timbersled); 6. Richie Reynolds (Hbg-Timbersled); 7. Mark Olberding (KTM-Timbersled); 8. Destry Abbott (Kaw-Timbersled); 9. Chase Hadley (Kaw-Frozen Moto).

B MAIN: 1. Ty Oliver (Hon-Timbersled); 2. Ray Peck (KTM-Timbersled); 3. Austin Lahning (KTM-Timbersled); 4. Myles Lytle (KTM-2Moto); 5. Nathan Lyda (Suz-2Moto); 6. Brandon Hannold (Kaw-Timbersled); 7. Alex Hadley (Kaw-Frozen Moto); 8. Lynn Hodges (Hon-Timbersled).

C MAIN: 1. Colt Reisenauer (Suz-Timbersled); 2. Dan Shanahan (Kaw-Frozen Moto); 3. Don Grahm (KTM-Timbersled); 4. Jonathan Roberts (Hon-Timbersled); 5. Sheldon Hodges (Hon-Timbersled); 6. Randy Grimes (Hon-Timbersled); 7. Jeff Parker (Kaw-Frozen Moto); 8. Wayne Plumbtree (Hbg-Timbersled); 9. Ty Campbell (Yam-Frozen Moto).

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Category: Ice Racing, National, Off-Road, Regional

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