Central Frontenac Drag Races
by David Brison
were perfect for the first Snowmobile Drag Races in Sharbot Lake on
Saturday, March 10. The day
was bright and clear; the ice (which could have been dicey this late in
the season) was solid enough to support at least 2000 spectators and 134
race entrants, as well as their cars, trucks, trailers, and machines.
The Central Frontenac Race Committee had worked diligently to prepare
the course and attend to all of the behind-the-scene details that are
critical for a successful event.
overwhelming consensus from everyone (race organizers, spectators, and
participants), was simply, “Isn’t this wonderful!!” That comment was repeated often during the day – always
accompanied by a look of satisfaction, and wonderment that such an event
could be pulled off this late in the season, with such short lead-in
got a chance to mingle with the racers and watch them prepare their
machines. The noise, as
they tune up, is deafening, and is mixed with the smell of gas fumes,
and endless conversation about horsepower-to-weight ratios, blown
clutches, broken chains, getting left at the start, and how good someone
else’s machine is.
sights and sounds were a dream come true for many – a chance at last
to see drag racing in their own backyard.
of the racers themselves go from event to event. There was a large contingent from Quebec, and many from all
over Ontario. Gary Kyling,
from Montreal, was one of the premier racers.
He was fresh from victories at Rivičre-du-Loup, Quebec and
Bathurst, New Brunswick. “I
have been racing snowmobiles for 22 years.
For many years, I raced with my father. We were also partners in
a machine shop, but he is gone now.
This is an opportunity to be with him again and also to share the
experience with my own family. My
daughter Melia is here and will race in the kid’s event – I get to
spend the weekend with her.”
broke a chain in the 1000 open, but repaired it and finished first in
the King of the Ice race. Daughter
Melia, age 7 (“In two weeks I’ll be eight,”) was first in the
Kitty Kat race. Gary has five machines that he races.
The one he competed on is 300 lbs. with 250 horsepower.
He himself is considered heavy for the event at 190 lbs.
Carruthers and Jeff Babluck of “Just A Humpin! Pirate Racing” from
Ashton, Ontario were looking forward to the opportunity to race against
Gary. They had a new
machine which they thought could compete at his level.
It was to be the first time that the machine had raced on ice.
However, first they bent a runner, fixed that, then blew a clutch and
were unable to race.
were 36 categories, and approximately 275 separate races were run on the
awards ceremony took place at The Sharbot Lake Country Inn.
Dave and Cathy Saban, owners of the Inn were instrumental in
bringing the event to Sharbot Lake and donated the trophies for the
organizing committee for the event consisted of Barry Baily, Gary Parks,
Keith Howitt, Steve Hart, and Spencer Robinson.
Central Frontenac Councillor Frances Smith organized the event
for the municipal recreation committee.
“ We couldn’t have run it successfully without the help of
people from the Cloyne Recreation committee.
We also couldn’t have done it without the help of a large
number of volunteers who swept the start areas, helped with
registration, started and timed the events, and did numerous other
tasks,” Frances said.
looks as if the Drag Races will be an annual event. The committee has secured a February 23 date for next year.
King of the Ice
1st – Gary Kyling
2nd – Denis Langevin Gatineau,
King of the Trail
1st – Butch Douglas Trenton,
2nd - Wayne Parker Beamsville,
King of the Snow
1st – Jeff Hannafin Plainfield,
2nd – Scott
Conners residence not known
1st - Melia Kyling Montreal,
2nd – Celeste Bonter Marmora,
3rd – Anthony Lane Peterborough,