The deep morning freeze did no deter the crowd and the riders who came from all around the province for last year’s Cold Smoke drag races in Burns Lake. This year

The deep morning freeze did no deter the crowd and the riders who came from all around the province for last year’s Cold Smoke drag races in Burns Lake. This year

Snowmobilers get ready for Cold Smoke

Snowmobilers can start getting ready for some excitement in Burns Lake in the middle of winter.

Snowmobilers can start getting ready for some excitement in Burns Lake in the middle of winter. The Cold Smoke snowmobile drag race is back.

The event will take place on Jan. 31, 2015 at the Burns Lake Snowmobile Club property, located approximately six kilometres up the Babine Lake Road.

The event will last all day, winding up just before dark. Gates will open at 7 a.m., with sled tech taking place from 8 to 9 a.m., drivers’ meeting at 9:15 a.m., and races starting immediately afterward.

Last year, approximately 40 competitors braved the -21 C temperatures down a 500 foot track in front of enthusiastic fans. This year, organizers are expecting approximately 50 competitors from across the province.

The different race classes ensure all sleds have a chance to compete. The King class includes the fastest sleds with turbo engines. According to Lana Miller, treasurer of the Burns Lake Snowmobile Club, the King class is the most popular class.

“Everyone likes to watch the big sleds,” she said.

Prizes for the King class include $1500 for the first place, $750 for the second and $500 for the third. Winners of all other classes will get 80 per cent of the registration from each class divided into first, second and third places.

Miller said the biggest challenges that racers face include waiting for the right time to get out of the gate “without red lighting,” as well as staying in control down the track.

Racers who are up to the challenge of the event can register on Friday Jan. 30 at the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce between 6 and 9 p.m. or Saturday Jan. 31 at the event’s location between 7 and 8 a.m. Racers need to be 16 or older to participate.

Burns Lake’s Cold Smoke drag races have been entertaining the community for over nine years. This year, organizers decided not to hold the dinner and dance party because of low attendance in 2014.

The Island Gospel youth group will be responsible for managing the gate and the parking, and the Burns Lake Rotary Club will be in charge of concession, serving breakfast at 7 a.m. The money raised during the races will go back into the Burns Lake Snowmobile Club.