Echo Lake to host vintage snowmobile races

WARRENSBURG Although sounds emanating from Echo Lake this Saturday may be familiar to motorized sports enthusiasts, sights on the frozen lake may prompt double-takes. For the first time ever, Echo Lake will be hosting competition sponsored by the Northern New York Vintage Snowsled Racing Association. The public is welcome to attend. Careening around an oval track Saturday Feb. 2 will be snowmobiles primarily from the 1970s, when various models looked like flying wedges, handheld vacuum cleaners on skis, or perhaps a miniature one-eyed Mini-Cooper. Remember a Rupp, a Scorpion, or a Snow-Jet? The event, open to the public for both racers and spectators, will feature race purses of up to $750, according to Dan Galusha of Warrensburg, a member of the association. He said that dozens of models, ranging from popular manufacturers to obscure and exotic brands will likely be driven in the races. This is an opportunity for snowmobile enthusiasts to take a step back in history, Galusha said. Its interesting to see the sleds that are 30 years old or more that are still around and running well. He predicted that 100 to 130 snowmobiles might be entered in the races, which are assigned to divisions of displacement, engine type, and age of rider. Admission is $5 but children under 10 are free of charge. The race events headquarters will be at Echo Lake Lodge, which will have a variety of food and drinks available. Spectators may view the races from the Lodges deck, or from the shores of the lake. Racers as young as 6 and as old as 65 have participated in the Vintage Snowsled groups races, Galusha said. While most racers attending are typically from New York State, others come from neighboring New England states, he said. These race events include socializing among snowmobile enthusiasts. Spectators are likely to hear about unusual models, technical tips and tales of snowmobiling in the good old days, Galusha said. Gates open at 7 a.m., and hot laps begin at 10 a.m. The Warrensburg Wrestling Club, a sponsor of the event, will be providing volunteers to help run the races.

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