Major Snowmobile Events Coming to Keyes Peak

by Skip Schulz on December 11, 2013

While Keyes Peak is gearing up for the Downhill Ski Season, excitement is growing for two major Snowmobile events to come to this hill. That is the Wisconsin State Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb and the Keyes Peak Hillcross. Those events will take place on March 15th and 16th.  Both events will be sanctioned by the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers, commonly known as the MASTERS Racing Circuit.

The MASTERS has been sanctioning snowmobile events since the early 1990’s. Snowmobile Hillclimbs have been the ‘staple’ of snowmobile fans and competitors in the Rocky Mountain States for over 40 years; however this form of snowmobile competition has been growing in popularity in the Midwest for over 15 years.

“What has hurt snowmobile hillclimbs in the Midwest is how other forms of snowmobile competition have used the term ‘hillclimb,’ for events such as Uphill Drags and/or Hillcross. A true Snowmobile Hillclimb has a snowmobiler going around a series of gates as they try to make it to the top. Then at the top of the hill, we have a ‘timing shute,’ that the driver has to go through.  Most drivers don’t make it to the timing shute,” chuckled MASTERS Racing Circuit President Skip Schulz.

It will be at the Wisconsin State Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb at Keyes Peak that the MASTERS is going to be doing something they have never done at all of the hillclimbs they have sanctioned.

“The drivers are not only going to have to go around a series of gates to get up one hill, they then are going to have to come back down the hill, make a sharp turn, and go up another very steep hill,” stated Schulz.

The MASTERS expects up to 30 of the top Professional Snowmobile Hillclimbers in the Midwest States to compete. This includes the Circuit’s Top 3 Drivers, Travis Kaurala of Michigan, along with the Father-Son duo of Layne and Jordan Stank. Layne is from Michigan, while Jordan is from Wisconsin. Rumors are also flying that the top 2 Professional Snowmobile Hillclimbers over the past 20 years may make a comeback to compete at the Wisconsin State Championship Hillclimb.

“This winter we have 4 Hillclimbs, and each hill is totally different from the other. How we are going to set up the course at Keyes Peak is going to offer a challenge to the drivers that they simply have not had to do in the past,” commented Schulz.

The drivers that win their specific Pro Division class automatically qualify for the Pro Stock King of the Hill, or the Pro Mod King of the Hill. Then the driver that wins the King of the Hill ‘shoot-out win an additional $500.00. Those drivers also qualify for the World Championship Hillclimb in Jackson, Wyoming.

The Wisconsin State Championship Hillclimb will run on Saturday on one hill, with the Keyes Peak Hillcross running on Sunday on a different hill. 

Hillcross is a combination of an Uphill Drag and a Snow Cross Race.  3 drivers race side by side up the hill.  The hill will have jumps that the drivers will fly over.

The MASTERS had run Hillcross events in 2000 and 2001. It is due to numerous inquiries from drivers all over the Midwest asking the MASTERS to bring this form of snowmobile competition back that the MASTERS decided to run a 3 Hillcross race series.

With Keyes Peak having Snow-making capability, the MASTERS was excited to bring both a Snowmobile Hillclimb and Hillcross competition to the hill. Competition that will bring racers, race crews, and fans to the Florence area.

“This hill provides everything we need to put on a good show, and what makes Keyes Peak such an ideal location is that the fans are going to have great visibility of all the action,” commented Schulz.

“The fans may even have the chance to pick up a few snowmobile parts from the hill when the snow melts,” chuckled Schulz.

For more information about the MASTERS Racing Circuit, you can go to their website; www.mastersracing.net or call Schulz at 906-884-9101.

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