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Ice Racing! First Race Report Ever - Black Lake

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OBCCIIRS racing at Black Lake, March 3, 2013

The first-ever Optima Batteries ChumpCar International Ice Racing Series event took place on Sunday, March 3, 2013 on Black Lake, in upstate New York.

Many thanks to John Condren and Bob Rymarchuk for making it possible for this to happen. Local ice racers hadn’t yet had a chance to get out on the ice because the local clubs didn’t have an insurance policy in place, so ChumpCar stepped up and gave us a chance to hold a race.

This was late in the ice racing season, so it was touch-and-go whether we could get everything organized before the ice went away. Black Lake still had 18†of ice, well above the minimum, so we decided to give it a shot.

Twenty drivers showed up to drive in the first OBCCIIRS race. About half of the cars were “prepared†cars: Caged cars running on Menard ice racing tires. The rest were street cars running on street-legal snow tires.

We plowed a slightly shorter than usual road course (about 7/10ths of a mile long). In spite of overnight temperatures in the teens leading up to the race, there was still some slush on the ice surface. Unfortunately, the ice conditions did deteriorate as the day warmed up, and we had to call it after only three races.

In spite of the short day, the racers were happy to get out on the ice and race, and be part of a first for ChumpCar.

We also got a great welcome from local residents (apparently there isn’t much excitement in these parts in the winter, so the sight of a bunch of cars racing on the ice drew lots of interest.)

Next season, we hope to be able to run a full schedule of races at this lake and others in the general area.


Neon on ice - the new E36


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I find this incredibly cool and insane. I hate cold weather, but love racing. Racing on a frozen lake?? Who the heck thought of this?

Anyone got a seat for rent?

One of the reasons this is great as an entry-level motorsport is the "Open" classes. A typical race schedule would be a first race for the Prepared cars (cages, on ice tires), then a Street Tire race (un-caged cars on street snow tires), then an "Open" prepared race for the second driver sharing a car with the owner, then an "Open" Street Tire race. Then go back through this rotation as many times as you can before the sun sets. This allows friends, spouses, etc. to hop in a car and try it out. There are also people who rent ice racers. There are a few guys in this area who would do an arrive and drive if you wanted.

Of course, the other cool thing about ChumpCar is endurance racing on ice. The local clubs have occasionally held 1-hour "enduros" with a mandatory stop for driver change, so with our Chump long-stint bias, I expect we'll see some more of this enduro stuff in the future.

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