Hayden and Hall in top form at CSRA season opener

Team Rockstar Energy Polaris Racing enjoyed a stellar weekend at the 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink CSRA Snowcross Championships season opener in Rouyn Noranda, Quebec this past weekend with Iain Hayden and Dylan Hall. Both riders claimed podium finishes, sending a strong message to the competition that they will once again be a force to be reckoned with in the Pro Open points chase.

 

While winter sports enthusiasts have had to deal with relatively mild temperatures and scarce snowfall in many regions of south/eastern Canada, Rouyn Noranda welcomed a huge number of pro, semi-pro, and amateur snowcross racers with plenty of the white stuff. And despite a frigid -15°C (5°F) – not counting the wind-chill factor – a throng of snowmobile racing fans also made the trek on both days to the town in the south-western area of La Belle Province near the Ontario border.

 

With an influx of top pro riders from Ontario, Quebec, and the USA, competition was tough and nasty! But that didn’t stop seven-time Pro-Open champ Iain Hayden from claiming his first final event win of the season on Sunday, after hammering down well-earned 1-2 finishes in his heat races.

 

Hayden had already shown his mettle on Saturday, by storming off the starting line on his explosive Polaris IQ 600 to deftly claim victory in his second Pro-Open heat race. He finished his first heat race in second place.

 

In the final on Saturday, Hayden stood head-and-shoulders above the competition. He nailed the holeshot and pulled the frontrunners and the rest of pack behind him for a number of laps, looking to be on his way to a sure-win. But sure-wins can vaporize for any number of reasons, and for Hayden the hand of fate struck him in the form of another rider who ran into him, flipping over Hayden’s Polaris. Undaunted, he managed to upright the sled, remount, and get back into the fray to still finish a noteworthy fourth. 

 

The start of the final on Sunday again saw an on-fire Hayden put his signature on the holeshot. This time the veteran executed a problem free race, leading wire to wire. Despite being pushed hard by fellow Rockstar Energy Polaris Racing (Huber Motorsports) rider Colby Crapo, who won the final on Saturday, Hayden proved to be just fast enough to keep the American behind him.

 

“I’m definitely pleased with how things turned out for the first event of the season. The power and reliability of the IQ600, needless to say, playing a big part in that. Being taken out of first place by another rider on Saturday didn’t exactly make my day, but that’s racing,” Hayden said. “Sunday was really sweet but no cakewalk, with Colby hounding me the entire race. Looks like he’s going to keep me on my toes this year, so I’m going to have to bring my ‘A’ game to the track every time out. I’m completely okay with that.” 

 

Dylan Hall, returning for his second year with the team, also stepped up to the plate to snare a podium finish on Sunday in the final event. He finished third behind Crapo, giving Rockstar Energy Polaris Racing an impressive 1-2-3 punch. In his heat races, Hall was on top of his game with 1-2 results. On Saturday he delivered 1-3 results in his heat races, but a bad start in the final saw him cross the finish line in a still noteworthy fifth place.

 

“Saturday’s heat races seemed a breeze for me, but the final was more of a hurricane thanks to my mediocre start. A good start in any race is usually crucial, but on a short, tight track that is even more so,” Hall said. “Passing was difficult and after picking off the privateers to get into fifth, I was unable to connect with the factory guys up front. I was determined to redeem myself on Sunday, and I’m happy to say it was mission accomplished with a podium finish.”

 

The Rockstar Energy Drink CSRA Canadian Snowcross Championships resume with the SCMX/CSRA National in St. Alexis Des-Mont, QC on January 22-23.  

Tags: csra, polaris, otsff, canada, snowcross, iain hayden

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