What started with promoting Snowmobile Hillclimbs in the Midwest in 1991, The Mid America Snow and Terrain Expert Racers (MASTERS) Racing Circuit continues to expand. For the 2013-2014 season, The MASTERS will bring back a Hillcross series to the Midwest. In addition to Hillcross, the MASTERS will also include a Snowmobile Grass Drag in the Summer/Fall of 2014, along with a Motorcycle Hillclimb.
The MASTERS will also make a return to the home of the 22 year circuit, Ontonagon. Also returning to the schedule will be a snowmobile Hillclimb at Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain, Michigan. New to this year’s schedule will be Snow Drags as a part of the Sagola Tip-UP Town on February 1 and the Wisconsin State Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb and Hillcross at Keyes Peak in Florence, Wisconsin.
The MASTERS will kick off the season with the UP Championship Snowmobile Snow Drag Race in Ontonagon on Saturday, December. This race is a part of Ontonagon’s Hometown Christmas Weekend celebration. It is sponsored by the Ontonagon County Economic Partnership, with grooming support from the North Country Snowmobile Club. The snowmobile drag strip has been ‘in the works’ for over 10 years, and will also host the circuit’s first professionally sanctioned Snowmobile Grass Drag. The date of the Grass Drags has not been set, as the MASTERS does not want to compete with other professionally sanctioned Snowmobile Grass Drags. In cast of a lack of snow to host the December 7 race, the race will be rescheduled for January 4.
The MASTERS will then hold it’s second Snow Drag as a part of the Sagola “Tip Up Town” on Saturday, February. Even though the snowmobile drag races will take place on Sawyer Lake, the races will take place on a groomed snow track. The Sagola Sportsman’s Club, who is sponsoring the races, had run snowmobile races as a part of “Tip Up Town’ for a number of years, however has not run any snowmobile races as a part of this popular event for the last couple years.
“The MASTERS is excited to bring snowmobile drag races back to ‘Tip Up Town!’ The Sagola Sportsman’s Club is an excellent organization and have made ‘Tip Up Town’ one of the biggest winter events in the Upper Peninsula for years…we’re just proud to now be a part of this,” commented MASTERS Racing Circuit President, Skip Schulz.
The Circuit’s major World Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb qualifier will once again take place at the Mid America Championship Hillclimb (MACH) in Caspian. This will be on February 15. The MASTERS will be dropping the spectator parking for this event to only $10/vehicle.
Then on March 1, the top Snowmobile Hillclimbers from all over the Midwest will take on the steep and challenging hill right next to the Kiwanis Ski Jump Club hill at Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain. The Tourism Association of Dickinson County has already joined in as a major sponsor for this Snowmobile Hillclimb. For the return of a Professional Snowmobile Hillclimb at Pine Mountain, the circuit and promoters have agreed to provide Free Spectator Parking for the hillclimb.
“This is one of the most challenging hills for our hillclimbers to compete at throughout the Midwest. It’s not just steep, but the drivers will have to get around a series of gates on ‘off camber’ terrain. I can assure the fans, this is going to be exciting!” replied Schulz.
The MASTERS will then go to Keyes Peak in Florence, Wisconsin for the first time. This will be on March 15 and 16. This will also be the first 2-day event for the MASTERS. On Saturday, the MASTERS will not only make it’s debut with a Hillclimb, this Hillclimb will be something that the Circuit has never done in it’s 20+ year history of promoting and/or sanctioning Snowmobile Hillclimbs.
“The drivers will have to go to the top of one hill, then come back down, make a hard left turn, and then go up a steep ‘shoot’ to the top. That last ‘hair-pin’ turn then a run through the woods to the top of the hill is going to be great for the fans!’ explained Schulz.
On Sunday, March 16, the MASTERS will make it’s return to sanctioning professional Snowmobile Hillcross. The Hillcross will take place on a different hill then where the Hillclimb takes place. Hillcross is a drag race up a hill, with a series of jumps on the hill.
The MASTERS is working with two possible sites for its’ March 29-30 event. That date has been set for an Uphill Snow Drag, and depending upon the location, will include either a Snowmobile Hillclimb or a Hillcross on one of the days.
The race that has had the highest number of drivers over the past 10 years has been the MASTERS Season-Ending Championship Up Hill Drags at Marquette Mountain of Marquette, Michigan. The popular uphill drags will take place on Saturday, April 5. This winter, the MASTERS is bringing back Hillcross to Marquette Mountain. The Hillcross will take place on Sunday, April 6. This two-day event is sponsored in part by the Marquette Country Convention and Visitors Bureau. In the past the Uphill Drags has brought Snowmobile Drag Racers from both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan, along with Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.
According to Schulz, the only question marks for the MASTERS ‘Winter” Schedule is a site for the Minnesota State Championship Snowmobile Hillclimb, and the location of the March 29-30 events.
While snowmobilers are making plans for this winter’s MASTERS season, the circuit is already planning to hold its’ first Motorcycle Hillclimb at the site of the MACH in Caspian. Schulz states that just like setting the date for the UP Championship Snowmobile Grass Drags in Ontonagon, the MACH Motorcycle Hillclimb date is dependent upon the schedule of other Motorcycle Hillclimbs.
“Our Circuit has always believed in ‘protecting’ the dates of other professionally sanctioned events, and will do our best to not compete with another scheduled snowmobile grass drag or motorcycle hillclimb,” concluded Schulz.
Schulz has stated that if another community would like to host a snowmobile grass drag or motorcycle hillclimb, the MASTERS would be interested.
For more information on the MASTERS Racing Circuit, go to www.mastersracing.net or call Schulz at (906) 884-9101.