Prince Albert Winter Festival SnowMobile Drag Races

FTLComm - Prince Albert - February 22, 1999
We all see snow machines floating across the countryside but the average snow rider is a long way from the screaming missiles that were blasting their way up and down the course at Prince Albert's Winter Festival Sunday afternoon.

Though some of the machines looked pretty normal others were custom make contraptions like the one on the right and below. Notice that on the machine below the tuned exhaust system with one pipe per cylinder. In both pictures below you can see people covering their ears. Those pipes are to improve performance and have nothing to do with noise abatement. These things were not only loud enough to do damage but the sound level actually was painful.

These pictures were taken near six after a full day of racing.
This pit crew were working feverishly to get this machine ready for the coming heat while another machine nearby had a mechanic ripping off carburetors This picture clearly shows the exhaust system that otherwise the machine looked pretty much like a stock vehicle.
Drag racing has its rituals and procedures and this one is no different with the lights and technical equipment and various classes. Viewed from opposite sides of the strip these pictures above and below give you a sense of the situation but without the incredible sound. One of the officials explained to me that with hearing protection and their helmets the drivers were not troubled by the sound but everywhere from start to finish on the strip the sound was shocking.
The strip these machines were firing down was 660 feet and in that short distance the slowest machine was achieving 90 miles per hour and the high speed ones were well over 125 miles an hour. The green machine on the right was one of the fast ones as we see it coming up to the finish line.

The racing is on glare ice and you can see above people sweeping the shavings away from the prior run as the treads on these machines are studded and rear up like motorcycles at the start.