The return of ice racing has Thunder Bay fans excited

the Thunder Bay Autosport ClubThis year, 56 candles are being celebrated in the bay on Fort William First Nation.

According to club president Gary Adomko, this is the first regular season open to the public since the pandemic began.

Blowing snow, which reduced the visibility of the pilots, was the biggest challenge during the races on Sunday, when the temperature reached -27°C with a wind chill.

The first two weekends were milder with clear ice, which made the course easier to navigate, says Adomko, who also drives the ice car.

In this type of racing, you are sometimes quite free. You really learn a lot about your car, the handling of the car and your level of grip in every corner, it’s very different from anything else.he adds.

A performance that attracts people

According to Mr. Adomko, hundreds of racing fans and their families are attracted to the races every week.

Spectators can sit on a hill overlooking the track, either from the comfort of their cars or just steps from the starting line, cheering to the sounds of the engines echoing across the bay.

Tin Qing, an international student at Lakehead University, was among the fans braving the cold on Sunday.

He says the sport is unlike anything he’s ever seen before, and it’s his third time watching the races.

It’s amazing every time I come here. I’m from China and I’ve never seen this beforehe said.

And what drives most racing fans to the stands is what he loves most: speed.

It’s that need for speed that inspired Josh Rogerson to get behind the wheel for the first time on Sunday.

Mr. Rogerson is a big fan of summer racing Thunder City Speedway. Encouraged by his friends, he decided to prepare his car for winter racing.

Josh Rogerson tried ice skating for the first time on Sunday.

Photo: CBC/Sarah Law

I just like to go fast. I just like to compete. This is funnyhe said after the first test lap, which he called a success considering he didn’t crash into a snow bank.

Another driver, Anthony Sticka, made his debut when teammate Warren Kettering told him one weekend that his team needed a replacement driver.

I came and fell in love ever sinceSticca says.

Mr Sticca, who has been racing for several years, says running makes the winter cold more bearable because he has something to look forward to every Sunday.

Anthony Sticca next to a black car.

Anthony Sticca is one of the runners who come to enjoy the frozen lake in winter.

Photo: CBC/Sarah Law

Approaching a big turn, he describes rocking the car back and forth a bit so he can drift without losing control.

Everyone here is like a big family– he says and says that if there is a problem during the competition, his friends are always there for him.

Interesting sport

Ron Evans came for the first time in several years. He was delighted that so many people came to the event to support the sport despite the weather.

He says there is no such thing as a live sport, especially one so unique.

Competitions in the warmer months are on clay and are more predictable than on ice. Ice is unpredictable, it’s frozen water and things slide on ithe says.

It’s fun to watch them jump out of the snowdrifts and try to catch the icehe adds.

When asked if he would ever wear a helmet to try it out, the answer quickly disappeared.

Probably not my age. I still like to have a healthy bodyhe said.

The ice racing season runs from January to mid-March.

Competitions are held on Sunday afternoons. The next big event of the season is the Don Kettering Memorial Race on February 18-19, which will bring together runners from the United States and Canada.

With information from CBC’s Sarah Law

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