Trials and Tribulations in Lindsay for Hayden and Hall

Round 3 of the Rockstar Energy Drink CSRA Canadian Snowcross Championship, which was held at the Lindsay Fairgrounds in Lindsay, ON this past weekend, saw a mix of snow and freezing drizzle add to the winter racing atmosphere as Canada’s top drivers returned to action, after a two week break in the schedule.

 

For Team Rockstar Energy Polaris Racing’s Iain Hayden and Dylan Hall, it was a weekend of trials and tribulations in the Pro Open division that left them with zero points in Saturday’s final.

 

A poor start in Hayden’s first Saturday heat left him rounding turn one at the back of the pack. By the end of the race, however, he had manoeuvred his Polaris IQ 600 into a third place finish. The second heat was Hayden’s from the get-go. A lightening fast start produced the holeshot for him and he stayed up front till the checkered was waved.

 

Although he had the No.1 gate pick for the final, Hayden missed the start and as in his first heat, he was faced with a catch-up race from the back of the pack. This time he blitzed his way into third place in no time at all and was putting his sights on second place, when a mechanical issue forced him to park his sled on the sidelines.

 

On Sunday Hayden started his first heat in fourth place, which he parlayed into a second place finish by the end of the race. The second heat start went equally well – this time Hayden rounded turn one in second place, a position he would maintain until the finish line.

 

In the final, Hayden again was on the gas coming off the start line, diving into turn one in fourth place. With a mission to make up for the disastrous final the day before, Hayden quickly clawed his way into third, then second place, and a lap or so later he had control of first. Once at the head of the pack Hayden never looked back, taking a well-deserved win in the process.

 

“It was one of those weekends when anything that could go wrong kind of did, especially on Saturday. But the team rallied and we overcame the adversity on Sunday in the best way possible, with Dylan and I grabbing the top two podium positions in the final. It doesn’t get much better than that,” Hayden said.

 

Hayden’s teammate, Hall, meanwhile, claimed top-five heat finishes on Saturday with 4-3 results, ensuring a good gate pick for the final. A quick start in the final saw Hall in the upfront mix once again. While making a pass for third in the heat of battle, Hall was cross-jumped by another driver who in the process landed on Hall’s sled. Although Hall tried to get back into the fray, an ensuing fire nixed any further attempts to resume the race.

 

In Sunday’s heats, Hall delivered 3-4 results this time around, again having a decent gate pick for the final. An on-fire Hall shot out of the gate on his IQ like a man possessed, deftly nailing the holeshot and leading the pack for the first four laps. That’s when Hayden came calling, and after a bit of cat-and-mouse he managed to stick a pass on his teammate. From that point on, Hayden and Hall were on their way to a solid 1-2 finish for the team and redemption for the DNF cards both had been dealt the day before.

 

“Saturday’s final was a huge disappointment, because I know I was looking at a podium finish, only to get taken out by another guy. My sled was running really well and had lots more to give,” Hall said. “Sunday was okay, although I would have been much happier with the win. But if you’re gonna lose it might as well be to your teammate. I was very pleased that we finished ahead of everybody else.”

 

In the Pro Lite division, Jakob Rosko-Fong also had some starting line gremlins to deal with but in Saturday’s heat races he recorded respectable 2-4 results. A back of the pack start in the final saw him bogged down for a number of laps, with an 11th place at the finish line the eventual outcome.

 

Sunday’s results proved to be more consistent for Rosko-Fong. In his heat races he hammered down 4-4 finishes while in the final he capped the top five with fifth.

 

“It seems the team had a bit of a dark cloud hanging over us on Saturday, but at least I was able to get through all three of my races without any problems to speak of.  Starts were definitely an issue for me. Sunday things got sorted out and top five results were the proof in the pudding,” Rosko-Fong said.

 

Round 4 of the Rockstar Energy Drink CSRA Canadian Snowcross Championship takes place this weekend, February 14/15, with the running of the Royal Distributing Cup in Barrie, ON.

 

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

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