The ice is a natural surface and the track committee has similar considerations other “off road” track officials do. They base their decision each day on a couple of factors.
- What is the ice surface available? Is there a lot of snow on the ice, is the ice rough in areas from frozen snow banks and are there other undulations in the ice? Is there better traction on one side of the track versus the other?
- The condition of the ice on the day of the race? Are there areas where the ice is unsafe because of ice fishing holes or springs? This can limit their layout options. Also, the surface of the ice can change day to day, is it slick, is it grippy, has it melted and refrozen (meaning it will be slicker as the day goes on)?
- They also need to consider the classes being run that day. Rough tracks are ok for race vehicles being trailered home, not so much for street legal vehicles who need to get to work on Monday or who don’t have oil pan protection or safety equipment like roll cages. Also, different tracks work better for fast, high grip Cheaters compared to Studs or Bare Rubber.
- They also consider variety, they try to set up different tracks throughout the season. Some drivers prefer tight, technical tracks and others prefer fast, open designs. We can’t please everyone, but we try to have a mix that appeals to most.
Also, it is worth mentioning that the track you practice on in the morning MAY be different then the one your class runs. Usually we change tracks because of ice condtions. Final track decisions are announced at the Driver’s Meeting each morning, so make sure you listen up. Here are some basic tracks that we run and that we base some of our more complicated tracks on: