Wednesday, November 5, 2014 2:58:46 PM America/Denver
Wherever it is that you fall on the spectrum, it's hard not to appreciate the more intense and competitive events held around the world. According to the World Snowmobile Association, the most popular type of snowmobile racing is Snocross. As the name implies, this is a version of motocross using snowmobiles rather than motorcycles.
Snocross races take place on tracks made of ice and snow. They contain a mix of tight turns, banked corners, steep jumps, and obstacles. The jumps can be up to 30 feet tall, and riders can travel as much as 130 feet before landing. Racers may drive as fast as 60 miles per hour through the course.
The race starts with all the competitors lining up at the starting line. When the signal is given by the starter all racers try to get going as quickly as possible. The player with the best start time, or holeshot, most often goes on to win the race. Many racers consider the start the most important part of the entire race.
Once the race is underway, it can be very difficult for other racers to pass, so the leader can set the tempo of the race in many ways. Proper execution of each turn and jump ensures a racer maintains their position, and when the opportunity to pass does arise they have to be ready to jump on it. The winner of the race is the competitor who crosses the finish line first, although there are often other awards given for things like best jump or best holeshot.
Sometimes in the course of a race there is an accident or some other dangerous condition may arise. In these situations the race is stopped while the track is cleared, then the racers are lined up again in the order of position at the time of the stop. Racers involved in the stoppage line up at the rear.
Various races and governing bodies may have slightly different safety regulations. It is typical to require a helmet, gloves, goggles or other eye protection, boots, shin guards, elbow and knee pads, neck braces, and upper body protection. Hearing protection is also often required. Some also require bright orange sections of clothing for increased visibility.
The snowmobiles vary significantly depending on the class they are racing in. Modifications to the engine, snowmobile shocks, and many other parts are common. A good snowmobile suspension is extremely important for the jumps and turns in a snocross.