MOULTONBOROUGH — The Lakes Region Ice Racing Club ran the first day of a weekend doubleheader, automobile, oval track ice racing Saturday on Berry Pond, featuring the largest ice racing event in the northeast, the 30th annual Latchkey Cup. Ice racers from the Milton and Jaffery clubs again joined the Lakes Region racers for the event which supports several local charities and scholarships.
Racing started on a nice winter morning with the hot laps and qualifying heats for the 4 divisions of cars: Juniors, 4 cylinders, V8 Stock, and the mighty winged Modifieds. After a mid-day lunch break and a chance for the fans to meet the drivers and check out the race cars on the front stretch, the racers prepared for the Latchkey's feature events.
First out was the Junior division (13-15 years old) driving their 4 cylinder racers. Cody Burns of Center Harbor, driving the borrowed #87, took the checkers followed by Moultonborough's Trevor Greene (32). Cahoon Racing sponsored the trophies for the Juniors.
The 4 Cylinder division took the ice next with veteran racer Tim Eldridge (75) of Center Ossipee driving to the win followed by 2013 Champion Tim Chase (40). The 4 Cylinder trophies were provided by Conway's Tree Services
The V8 Sock Division sponsored by SAL Post 33 took to ice next. A hard fought 20 lap race was won by Adam Cahoon (99) of Moultonborough followed closely by Matt Morrill (9) also of Moultonborough in the emotionally charged event.
The mighty Modified feature, sponsored by Ambrose Brothers Inc of Meredith, took to the track for the final event of the day. Mike Horsch of Moultonborough in his #2 modified, sporting a new wing for this year, lead the dusty race flag-to-flag. Jack Cook claimed the second spot.
The racers returned to the ice on Sunday morning for the regular weekly race sponsored this week by Horsch Garage Equipment. With a fresh longer track and a blustery clear day, the intrepid ice racers prepared to do battle. In the weekly races, the format changes to hot laps for each division, followed by the first 10 lap feature, then a break for intermission, followed by the second 10 lap feature for each division. The best combined finish determines the winner.
Cody Burns of Center Harbor in his #5 Scott Burns Landscaping pickup claimed the first place junior trophy with Garrett Poitras in his #16 Volvo station wagon taking second.
In the Stock division, Moutonborough's Matt Morrill (9) powered to both feature wins for a commanding overall win. Two second place finishes gave Alley Ripley (72) of Center Ossipee the second place trophy.
A large field contended for the 4 Cylinder trophies. Third and second place finishes in the rough and tumble races gave Matt Taylor (87) of Moultonborough the win and consistency rewarded Tom Boucher (25) with second place. After several years of trying, Derek Jeanson of Sandwich driving his #52 pickup earned his first checkered flag by winning the second feature with a smooth, fast drive.
The powerful winged modifieds dug deep groves in the ice turning it into clouds of ice dust, but the veteran ice races still put on a great show. A pair of 2nd place finishes gave DJ Mill of Wolfeboro Falls, driving the David's Race Cars/Haylex Excavation sprint car, the big trophy. Mike Horsch (2) picked up second place.
The Lakes Region Ice Racing Club races every Sunday at 12:30 on Berry or Lee Pond in Moultonboro from January through mid-March. Check the club's website at www.LakesRegionIceRacingClub.com or the Facebook page for the latest race/ice status, information about coming events, and for race photos.