A.M.E.C. Ice Racing near Albany, NY
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This is a discussion on A.M.E.C. Ice Racing near Albany, NY within the Tri-State forums, part of the Regional Discussion category; The 2005 Bridgestone/Firestone Street Legal Unstudded Class Championship As some of you know, this past June A.M.E.C. voted in a ...

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    A.M.E.C. Ice Racing near Albany, NY


    The 2005 Bridgestone/Firestone Street Legal Unstudded Class Championship


    As some of you know, this past June A.M.E.C. voted in a new division of the popular Bridgestone Street Legal Unstudded class for 4WD and AWD cars called SLU-4. This was a result of my elderly 4WD Nissan Sentra wagon being able to outrun the quickest 2WD SLU cars regularly this past season. Prior to this past season when we ran studded winter tires, the best finish for an AWD car was a third back in 2001, followed by a single win for Jeff Denmeade in his 1.8 liter Impreza sedan in 2004. They were not considered a threat to a well driven FWD performance car back then. But on unstudded winter tires the AWD cars are clearly dominant, hence their own class for 2006.

    What is A.M.E.C. Ice racing and how does it work?

    This is contact-free wheel to wheel racing. Nextel Cup people with "rubbin's racin" attitudes are asked to stay home. Our Bridgestone sponsored Street legal classes are fastest growing and the most popular ice racing classes because people know they can come out to run their cars for just $45 a day and drive them to work the next day. OK let's be honest here, there's no guaranty out there, but incidences are quite rare. Here's a quote from the "Getting Started" page from our site that explains it pretty well:

    "This is by far the cheapest (and easiest) way to experience ice racing. You can click on the "rules" section on the mainpage for specific rules, but in a nutshell, the SL classes are for unmodified, street driven automobiles (not pickups or SUV's) that weigh less than 3,200 lbs. [3,400 lbs. for AWD's]. Street Legal Unstudded class cars use Bridgestone Blizzak studless winter tires. SLU classes have a very low traction coefficient, and therefore don't require roll cages or safety harnesses, (although they are highly recommended and perfectly OK to have).

    Other than a fire extinguisher and a Snell 95 or better helmet, all you need is an AMEC membership and a number on your doors! There are practice sessions each morning before the actual races. New racers often opt to start in the rear of the pack, to take their time learning the course and developing ice driving techniques. Each weekend, there is a different road course. Courses vary between 1 and 1.5 miles a lap. Although the SL class was originally considered a beginner's class, it has also proven to be a popular wintertime playground for experienced drivers too, from a variety of other forms of racing. The SL class is a gentleman's class, where guys and gals respect each other's cars, and drive accoordingly.

    If you want to go ice racing, and have the best possible chance of racing completely dent-free, the SL or SLU classes are where you belong. In fact in 2003, AMEC members have voted in a No-Contact rule, which immediately ejects any racer who is involved in any amount of car contact, with loss of all points for that race. This of course cannot guaranty you will not be bumped into, but in SL however, contact is quite remote. It is worth noting that there were several late model 2000 and up automobiles racing in SL this past season, all ending the season without a scratch. There is NO prize money in AMEC ice racing. The whole reason we do it, is for FUN".


    As a result of my post on the S.C.C.V. [Sports Car Club of Vermont] message board forums, we have aquired another new SLU-4 driver. Vermont's Jeff Collins will field a Mazda 323 GTX!

    I tend to think that this class will really take off nicely with so many newer AWD cars on the road today. I mean lets face it, the first generation WRX's are now past their leases and can be bought with high miles. They're out there folks, time to bring them out on the ice.

    Anyone want to tangle with a 90 h.p. Sentra?

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    It was a pleasure to meet and race with all of the new SLU-4 Class drivers this past Sunday at our first race of 2006. We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was warm enough to be completely confortable yet the track never got wet. The lack of wind and snowbanks coupled with the bright sun were the icing on the cake.



    Vermont's Jeff Collins brought out his beautiful [and rare] turbocharged AWD Mazda 323 GTX and had a great first outing racing on the ice with A.M.E.C.



    You'd be smiling too if you never ice raced before and finished second on your first day! Scott Chizek brought out his awesome 2002 WRX and WOW he ran good!



    All the way from Boston, Steve Clare made his ice racing debut with his '92 AWD Legacy wagon. Big smiles in the pits told the story: these guys are really enjoying the new Bridgestone SLU-4 class.



    Jim Nichol joined the fray with his newly aquired Impreza and said he will definatley be back for more!



    Connecticut's Dave Fazzino navigated his huge but potent Audi to the runner up spot in the third heat race! Big ole' Blizzaks are the way to go in this class.

    As predicted, Warren Elliot was very quick with his Audo Quattro Coupe. I said he'd go right to the front and he led several laps. I wish I snapped more pictures but that's all I took on Sunday.

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    Just got some new pics tonight. They are courtesy of a gentleman named Mark Long from Poughkeepsie, NY. Thanks Mark, we appreciate the pics!

    Mark attended this past Sunday's race to check out the action. He must have liked what he saw because he told me that he has ordered a set of studless tires and will be running with us instead of spectating next weekend!

    The welcome mat is out Mark!



    This is Scott Chizek's '02 WRX drag racing Warren Elliot's turbo Quattro Coupe down the front stretch!



    Three more SLU-4 cars coming at you here. Jeff Collins' 323 GTX, Eric Hobron's STi and a Legacy who's owner's name escapes me at the moment. I met so many new people Sunday!



    Huh? What's this thing doing out there? Certainly you can't race the big turbocharged monsters with one of these can you?



    It's not all traffic all of the time. There's a lot of room to run by yourself if you choose. It's all completely up to you to decide how you will drive your car. No one forces anyone into a tight pack. If you don't feel confident or comfortable, you can opt to start last and avoid the close racing. You are in control.

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    The second ice racing event of 2006 will be this Sunday at Caroga Lake. Take a look at the bottom of this page for directions. Spectating is free but you'll want to race when you see this specatacle.


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    Cool

    looks awesome and great pics
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    Wow! great pics! Mike competed in the RPI rallcross I was in this past september and he is one hell of a driver! Good luck this season! it looks like alot of fun!!

    I am a bit interested however, i'm running Blizzack LM-25's. I'm not too sure if those would be good for this type of racing.

    ~myke
    ::2004 JBP WRX::

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    Thanks for the compliments Myke.



    While your your LM 25's would not be my first choice for ice racing, they would work well enough on an AWD car to have a great day out on the ice with us.

    The WS 50's and the new Revo 1's are the tires of choice in the Street Legal Unstudded Classes.

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