Thunder Bay Snocross Race Team Enters 5 Riders at Duluth National
By Scott A.Sumner
The Animal Race Team loaded up their 41 foot trailer with 5 Arctic Cat Sno Pro race sleds and made the 180 mile trip to the prestigous Amsoil Duluth National for their first experience in a WPSA National. The youthful family oriented team consists of three women racers - Kristy Parhiala, age 15, JC Hupe, age 16, and Shanna Hupe, age 21 as well as guy racers Jessie Pineault, age 13 and Jamie Clements, age 16. The team race the junior and women stock and pro classes.
JC Hupe raced in Pro women at the age of 16. The grade 12 student was the youngest to be in PRO Women and only was accepted to race in the highest level of sno cross racing after sending in three references and her points championship results from last year in the NWRA series based in NW Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In a field of 22 riders Shauna finished 2nd and a 1st in her qualifying heat races. "During the final I had a poor start and two sleds came in front of me. I tried to push them out of the way and ended up a lap down finishing 12 in the final and 6th overall in the points," smiles JC Hupe. "It was awesome in Duluth with much better competition. I love my sled a 2006 Sno Pro." Last season in the NWRA JC won every heat and final race to become series Pro Women champion.
Kristy Parhiala raced in women stock on her 2004 Sno Pro placing 10th overall in stock women which had 24 entries. "My first race experience was just last year but I have been snowmobiling since I was little. I love snowmobiling," smiles Kristy. "The track was good in Duluth as the snow wasnt as hard and you could land well." Jessie Pineault raced a 440 Fan Sno Pro in Junior finishing 1st in the first heat and 6th in the second heat, missing the final by 1 point.
Jamie Clements who is in Junior 16-17 races a 06 Sno Pro. "I qualified 1st and 3rd in the heats and had a bad start in the final but was 6th of 12 in the final out of 40 entries. It was good and a way more competition in Duluth." notes Jamie. Also on the team is Shanna Hupe who will race Women Stock and finds racing fun and not as serious as her sister.
To gain some valuable practice time the team traveled the weekend before to Red Lake to practice on some snow and sawdust as there was no snow at their track at home. The team will race at two additional WPSA National events this year, Canterbury and Lake Geneva and do 11 races in total with all NWRA events. "We are seeking sponsorship because of the costs involved in racing," states Lana Hupe, mother of two of the racers. "The Nwra has been very supportive of our racing and were with us in Duluth. We had a big roast beef dinner in the trailer at Duluth with 14 people there.The week before the race we all got the flu but somehow made all of our races."
In the NWRA series they race the following classes:
JC-Women's Class and Sport 500
Jamie-Sport 600 and Sport Open
Kristy-Women's Class and Junior 13-15
Shanna-Women's Class and Trail Sport