Ojibwa Casino’s bring motorcycle hillclimb back!

May 30, 2018

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The Ojibwa Casinos of Baraga and Marquette have teamed up with the Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS) Racing Circuit to bring back the motorcycle hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff in South Range (MI). The hillclimb will run on Saturday, July 7.

The motorcycle hillclimb was one of the most popular area events at Whealkate during the 1970’s. The hillclimb drew thousands of fans and racers from all over the Midwest.  Due to numerous changes in the ownership of the property, the hillclimb was discontinued.

““The MASTERS has run snowmobile hillclimbs at the bluff and have been approached many times to bring the motorcycles back,”” stated Jason Kleinschmidt, MASTERS Race Director. “When we secured the permission from Treist Forest Products of Spalding to run the WINTERNATIONALS Snowmobile Hillclimb this past March, we than approached them to see about hosting a motorcycle hillclimb.””

It was in early May that Jordan Treist and the MASTERS worked out a long range agreement to host both a snowmobile and a motorcycle hillclimb at Whealkate. Both organizations than worked on finding a date where there were not a lot of other motorcycle hillclimbs and other major events in the area.

“It’’s difficult to find any weekend in the summer that there is not another motorcycle hillclimb or even other events going on. Understanding that the past hillclimbs in South Range ran during the 4th of July weekend, we picked July 7,”” stated Jeremy Schmidt, MASTERS Chief Official.

With the title sponsorship secured from the Ojibwa Casino’s, the MASTERS now is working on obtaining local sponsorship. The sponsorship will go toward race insurance, trophies, racer purse, and other event expenses.

“Without the Ojibwa Casino’s title sponsorship, the hillclimbs would not happen. They not only are the title sponsor for the motorcycle hillclimb but have also agreed to be the title sponsor of the 2019 WINTERNATIONALS Snowmobile Hillclimb,”” Kleinschmidt stated.

The Snowmobile Hillclimb will be on February 23, 2019.

Treist Forest Products will be investing thousands of dollars in construction at the hill. This includes re-grading the hill, expanding the reserved, and different level parking lots. The work on the grounds will be designed for both the motorcycle and snowmobile hillclimb.

““This event will draw people to South Range and the entire Copper Country. We’’re excited to bring the motorcycles back to the (Whealkate) bluff!”” Kleinschmidt commented.

Business’s that have already signed on as sponsors include: Treist Forest Products of Spalding; Katalina Restaurant, Toucan’s Auto Repair, and Wildlife Refuge Cabins of South Range; Vollwerth’s Meats, Pat’s Motorsports Yamaha-Polaris of Greenland; and Bald Eagle Harley Davidson and Zambon’s KTM-Kawasaki of Marquette.

Tom Katalin is the first food vendor to agree to have a food stand at the event.

“The Village of South Range has been great to work with,” Kleinschmidt concluded.

The motorcycle hillclimb competition will begin at 11:00 am ET. Admission will be $10.00/person. People will have different options as to where to park. There will be limited special reserved parking right at the bottom of the hill, then parking where the fans can watch from their vehicle, and general parking.

The MASTERS-Ojibwa Casino Motorcycle Hillclimb at Whealkate Bluff in South Range, MI, on July 7, presented by Triest Forest Products, will follow these rules:

Ethel, regular gasoline, and approved race gas are the only acceptable propellants. Absolutely NO fuel usage will be allowed! This includes systems such as nitrous oxide injection. Nitrous bottles must be removed from the motorcycle. Any motorcycle competing in a rubber tire class (other than the Exhibition Class) that has such system on the motorcycle will be disqualified.

Safety Equipment Required – Kill switch (dead-man type 18” cord maximum) and one brake. All safety equipment must be in good working order.

NO chains, studded tires, bolted tires, metal paddles, rubber paddles of any kind will be allowed – Rubber Knobby Tires Only.

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