CWSCC says Ice-X races are putting Stevens Point on the map
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT — For some Portage County natives, cross-country skiing doesn’t cut it when it comes to winter
Some locals like a more nuanced form of snowy-day outings … like high-octane rally racing on glossy ice on the Wisconsin River. The Ice-X racing series presented by Central Wisconsin Sports Car Club (CWSCC) is raging into the cold Wisconsin winter, with races taking place most weekends, as long as conditions allow.
The group’s most recent event took place on Feb. 2 on the Wisconsin River near Lakeside Bar in Stevens Point.
“Once the cold temperatures have allowed for a minimum of 12 inches of ice to accumulate, we check out the locations to ensure the safety in the area,” explained CWSCC Board Member Kirsten Miller, along with help from her fellow club members. “Typically, once we’ve hit that minimum ice depth, we will hold events every weekend until we deem the location no longer safe.”
Officials check for ice consistency, depth and open water before allowing racers on the courses. Other racing locations include Lake DuBay.
“Our club has two main locations, Lake DuBay and Lakeside,” Miller said. “At Lake DuBay, we utilize a public boat landing to enter the lake at the intersections of County Road DB and County Road C.”
The events started in Portage County in 2011. Races give both veteran and amateur drivers a chance to experience the thrill of competitive driving in a reasonably safe environment, compared to traditional rally racing. The only requirements to participate are a maintained vehicle, DOT certified helmet and a working seat belt.
With a low barrier to entry and a lack of objects to hit, the Ice-X events give gearheads an opportunity to let loose and race. The club also sees the rally runs as a way to sharpen winter driving skills.
“There are many valuable skills to be learned from driving on the ice,” Miller said. “These skills once learned and somewhat mastered, can be applied to everyday driving, especially in winter weather driving.”
Ice-X consists of solo-timed runs, where drivers race to beat timed laps. Competitors are separated into classes by drivetrain and tire type. There is also an “Unlimited Class” for vehicles with studded tires.
Miller said, “Ice-X is more of a grassroots level of racing, as opposed to professional level events.” The CWSCC feels the rallies are a fantastic way for aspiring motorists to enter the sport.
Ice-X, along with other CWSCC programs, offers Portage County residents diverse options to explore as future interests. Organizations like this help compose a well-balanced and inclusive environment for area inhabitants.
“Communities are made up of a variety of people, each with unique interests and hobbies,” Miller said. “For those community members who enjoy motorsports, we offer a fun and safe venue to experience car control, improve driver skills and connect with other community members with a similar interest.”
The Ice-X races have gained notoriety among racing circles around the region. Miller and her peers see the program as a symbol of the area’s automotive pride.
“Stevens Point has been put on the map, in the racing world,” Miller said. “We’ve even hosted an Ice-X event for a nationally known racing organization.” To learn more about upcoming Ice-X races and other CWSCC hosted events visit www.facebook.com/CWSCC.