Getting Started In Ice Racing

AMEC welcomes and seeks new racers every season. There are two
different paths to choose from, to get started in ice racing. The
traditional path is to prepare a race-only type of car, and now since the
beginning of the 2001 season, there is an additional alternative which is
called the "Street Legal" class. Both offer tremendous driving
excitement, and competition. I will start with a description of the
Street Legal (SL) and Street Legal 4 Wheel Drive [SL4] classes.

This is by far the cheapest (and easiest) way to
experience ice racing. You can click on the "rules" section on the main page for specific rules, but in a nutshell, the SL classes are for unmodified, street driven automobiles (not pickups or SUV's) that weigh less than 3,200 lbs. [2WD] and 3,400 lbs. for [4WD and AWD's]. SL cars use any model of the Bridgestone's studless Blizzak winter tires. Both SL and SL4 classes have a very low traction coefficient, and therefore don't require roll cages or safety harnesses, (although they are highly recommended and perfectly OK to have).

In addition to those non-studded classes, beginning in 2013 we will now have a spec tire Studded SL and a Studded SL4 classes. The basic rules are all the same except that the only tire that can be used is the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7.

Other than a fire extinguisher and
a Snell 2000 or better helmet, all you need is an AMEC membership and a
proper numbers on your car! Numbers are available only by contacting the club secretary and Chief Scorer. There are practice sessions each morning before the
actual races. New racers start in the rear of the pack, to
take their time learning the course and developing ice driving
techniques. Each weekend, there is a different road course. Courses vary
between 1 and 1.5 miles a lap. Although the SL class was originally considered a
beginner's class, it has also proven to be a popular wintertime
playground for experienced drivers too, from a variety of other forms of racing. The SL class is a gentleman's class, where guys and gals respect each other's cars, and drive accordingly.

 If you want to go ice
racing, and have the best possible chance of racing completely dent-free,
the SL or SL4 or SLS or SLS4 classes are where you belong. In fact in 2003, AMEC members have voted in a No-Contact rule, which  immediately ejects any racer who is involved in any amount of car contact, with loss of all points for that race. This of course
cannot guaranty you will not be bumped into, but in SL however,
contact is quite remote. It is worth noting that there are regularly many late model 2000 and up automobiles racing in SL every season, all ending the season
without a scratch. There is NO prize money in AMEC ice racing. The whole reason
we do it, is for FUN.

If you want to jump into ice racing with
both feet, and experience the fastest form of automobile ice racing, then
a Menard Class car is for you. The word "Menard" refers to the brand of
purpose-built ice racing tire (about $250 ea.) that is the standard of
the Super Modified, Modified Menard, and Open and SLM classes. This tire offers superior traction
capabilities, compared to the street snow tire used in the SL classes. This
allows for more horsepower to be used, and far greater speeds. That is why
the Menard class cars require a six-point full roll cage, and racing
seatbelt harnesses.

Although it is possible to drive a Menard class car
to and from a race, there is virtually no one who does so anymore.
Trailering is the name of the game here. It is typical to strip Menard
class cars of all unnecessary weight, including headlamps and other items,
which render the cars illegal to drive on the street. Car preparation is
a big part of the fun. There is great deal of satisfaction to be had, in
stripping out an ordinary automobile, and turning it into a high
performance race car.

Menard class cars get an extra race, at the end of
the day, called the Finale, where all Super Modified and Modified Menard Class cars run together. What
an exciting race that is! So, the next time you look at that old Honda or
Nissan Sentra  sitting idly in your neighbor's driveway or backyard, or perhaps that older Dirt Sprint Car that you used to watch go round and round at the local Dirt track, visualize
that it could be an AMEC ice racer (with YOU sitting behind the wheel and
blasting ice from the drive wheels). It might be a good time to knock on
that door, and make a deal on it! If you'd like to see an ice race for
yourself, we invite you to come out and see what you've been missing. It
is also possible to "experience" the ice races from the comfort of your
living room, by purchasing a copy of the first class "Ice Racing 2005"
videotape production of this years' races, available here:


The welcome mat is out,



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Street Legal
The fourth year of Street Legal Class racing crowned Phil LePore of Albany, NY as it's champion. Phil had run at the Pittsfield Ice Trials a few winters before and wanted more. He learned about A.M.E.C. Ice Racing through this website when some "SL News" articles posted on our message board caught his eye. He contacted  Mike Kamm, the author of those articles via email. After emailing questions back and forth and obtaining a copy of the "Ice Racing 2001" yearbook video, Phil was hooked on the idea of going ice racing. The rest they say, is history. Phil runs a '93 Nissan NX2000, which is identical to an SE-R mechanically, but in it's own unique hatchback body style. Phil too, will switched to the new SLU class for 2005, for it's level playing field and "no stud maintenance" features that only studless winter tires can provide.
Winning tires used: studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 2's and studless Hakkapeliitta Q's!
The 2005 SL and SLU Class Champions
Yes there were two champions for the 2005 season! The cost of staying competitive was becoming a problem in the studded Street Legal class. Competitors were finding that their studded tires were not holding up to the rigors of ice racing. After only a few short weekends many SL racers found their studs would not stay in their tires. Staying competitive meant starting the season with at least 6 to 8 new tires- every year and replacing them as needed. Worse yet, only those who hand studded their tires with expensive adheasives were able to win races. The majority of SL class racers were looking towards the impressive new modern studless winter tires to solve this problem.  A new SLU [Street Legal Unstudded] class was voted in and a sponsor was sought for the 2005 season. That's when Bridgestone Firestone LLC came on board with A.M.E.C. with their excellent Blizzak winter tires to bring us the 2005 Street Legal Unstudded Championship.



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The 2005 SL Class Champion
The studded SL class champion was Vermont's Josh Teresco [center] in his 1986 Saab 900. To his left is 3rd overall in class Dave Fazzino with his Isuzu I-Mark turbo, and on his right is runner up Mark Teetor and his AWD Subaru Legacy turbo. Josh's Saab is powered by a 2.0 liter 16-valve engine is rated at 130 h.p. This was the first non Japanese powered car to score a SL class championship. Josh got his Saab influence early in life from his Dad. His first exposure to ice racing was while he was waiting around at Darryl Carl's New Salem Saab dealership back in the early 80's. His Dad's car was being repaired there and Josh got interested in the ice racing Saabs he saw behind the shop. In the winter of 2000, Josh and friend Chris Rizzon went to Round Lake to watch their first ice races. A year later he learned of the formation of the new Street Legal Class and started his ice racing career in SL for the 2002 season. Only three short seasons later, Josh was crowned champion in the original studded division of the SL Class. Like every other SL Champion before him, Josh is not planning to run studs again next season. There seems to be a pattern here.


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The 2005 SLU Class Champion
Current A.M.E.C. Vice President Michael Kamm, was the first repeat champion in any of the Street Legal classes. For 2005, he chose the new Bridgestone Blizzak spec tire and ran in the new SLU class. He was joined by 36 other drivers for the new unstudded class! He alternated weekends between driving his tried and true black '93 Nissan SE-R and his daily driven '89 Nissan Sentra 4WD wagon with its 1.6 liter engine. Yes, 4WD cars have always been welcome in SL and for the first four seasons were never a threat to a well driven 2WD car. That all changed in 2005 with Mike's little red wagon and Bridgestone Blizzaks. For 2006 another new SL division was voted in. The new Bridgestone SLU-4 Class is where all 4WD and AWD cars will be run, and they will all use unstudded tires exclusively.

For even more information on the Street Legal class just click on this link;



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Menard Class Cars
 Starter Mike Glock drops the green
flag on one of the twenty minute D&E class heat races. D&E are two of the
six Menard classes, and they run together, but are scored for class
championship points separately. Many Menard class cars utilize lexan
windows, modified engines, and are stripped of all unnecessary weight.


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