Lancaster Grand Prix: Slip, Sliding Away – And A Tumble – In Vintage Snowmobiles

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Photos and Story By CHRIS JENSEN

LANCASTER – The motorized version of the ice capades was held over the weekend as almost 200 racers from New England and Canada brought vintage snowmobiles to race at the Lancaster Grand Prix.

Getting ready to roll

Ready to roll

Racers competed in almost two dozen classes, with the newest machines being 1990. The oldest class was for 1974 and earlier.

Nationally vintage racing has become popular in large part because it’s significantly less expensive than racing modern machines.

“It’s not like you have to have anything special, an average guy can just grab something out of his shed, out of his barn and come ride,” said Paul Croteau of Berlin, who brought a 1974 Yamaha GPX.

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The temperature early Saturday morning was in the single digits and working on vintage machinery provided some trying moments.

The event is organized by the Lancaster Snow Drifters snowmobile club. Monday morning club officials said they were still counting ticket sales but previous events have drawn about 3,000 spectators.

The event is seen as providing an economic boost to Lancaster, but officials couldn’t provide an estimate.

Last year’s event was cancelled because it was impossible to provide the ice track due to warm weather.

Four generations of the Pothier family from New Boston were competing and sometimes at least two generations were sprawled out on the snow fixing things. Photo by Chris Jensen

Four generations of the Pothier family from New Boston were competing and sometimes at least two generations were sprawled out on the snow fixing things.

Some of the older sleds were not the sleekest creations.

Some of the older sleds were not the sleekest creations.

 

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Good buddies

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Racers competed on an icy oval in vintage machines that couldn’t be newer than 1990 and some racers were considerably younger than their snowmobiles. While some were unmodified and might reach 45 miles per hour others were upgraded and said to reach almost 100 miles per hour.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes a vintage bus is the perfect companion to a vintage snowmobile.

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Vroom!

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