For high-octane entertainment in the middle of a Burns Lake winter, nothing beats the annual Cold Smoke snowmobile drag racing event held at the Burns Lake Snowmobile Club (BLSC) racing grounds just north of the Rod and Gun Club on Babine Rd.
Once a year, sledders from across the province meet in Burns Lake to test their machines – and their nerve – as they launch super-charged machines down a 500 foot track in front of enthusiastic fans.
Last year, racers broke speeds of over 160 km/hr over a two day event.
This year, the racing will start and finish on the same day.
“We’re doing a different format this year,” Lana Miller, BLSC treasurer. “There won’t be as many heats, so it will be more like a ball tournament where you don’t necessarily race every other racer.”
The ladies and gentlemen categories may be removed as well to save time.
“Women can and do compete in the regular heats,” Miller said. “We were trying to promote more local and first-timers to come out, but we were only getting one or two entries in those categories.”
The club decided to go to a one day format to make it easier on the many out of town racers who travel from as far as Kitimat for the event. It’s also a little easier on the club volunteers.
The new one-day format should give an exciting edge to the day, with all placings being determined before the day is out. Crowds will still enjoy a warming tent and a fantastic BBQ provided by the Burns Lake Rotary Club, with proceeds going to local charitable projects.
Although Burns Lake hasn’t had the heavy snowfall it had last year, Miller is confident there will be enough snow on hand for racers, even if it doesn’t snow between now and race day on Feb. 1.
“We were up there on the weekend shovelling bleachers, and there’s lots of snow,” Miller said. “If it doesn’t snow, we’ll just haul snow over from other areas. We’ve done it before.”
The BLSC is a small, volunteer-run group with big plans for expanded trail networks and many opportunities for winter fun. They organize at least three long trail rides every year, like the annual Telkwa Pass run.
“The Telkwa Pass ride is a fun, family ride,” Miller said. “We don’t do anything up there you need to be a good rider to do. It’s a great opportunity to learn sledding skills.”
The Cold Smoke drag races start at 9:30 a.m. sharp, Feb. 1, 2014. For more information and a schedule of events, see page 12 & 13 of this issue.