Where do I find those crazy ice racing tires?
Pryme Tire sells ice racing tires - they are available in 13", 14" and 15" diameters.
How much does it cost?
It costs $30 to join CNYIRA (annual membership fee), which you must do to race. It costs about $40 per race day, depending on which class you enter.
What special stuff do I need in and on my car?
If you want to use Menard tires, you need an approved roll cage.You need a yellow halogen foglight mounted on the back of the car. It must face backwards and be on any time you are racing. You also need a fire extinguisher mounted inside the car. See the rules for details. A four or five point safety harness is also a very good idea. Again, see the rules for details. If you are interested in trying this out with a road-legal winter car, the Street Tire classes may be the thing for you. See the rules for details.
Are there different classes for various cars?
You betcha. There are three different car classes for cars using custom ice racing tires (Super Mod, Modifies and Super Stock). Super Mod cars are the wild specials with tube frames and radical motors, and 4WD cars. Modified cars kinda look like regular cars, but are extremely modified. Super Stock cars are "stock". That is, allowed modifications are limited, and certain changes will move you up to Modified. There is also an Open class, which is intended to let car owners share the car with another driver. Open class drivers all compete against each other regardless of where their cars would normally be classed. "Street Tire" classes are for street-driven cars with street-legal studded or unstudded tires. The idea is to provide a place for people to try ice racing without having to invest in all sorts of racing equipment. Contact is discouraged in Street Tire classes. Street Tire classes and cars with purpose-built tires (such as Pryme) will run in separate groups.
What are the courses like?
Courses are somewhere between 1 and 2 miles in length. They include both right and left turns, and are designed to limit top speeds to about 70 mph for the fastest cars. If there is snow on the lake, the course is plowed. If there is no snow, the course is marked with really big orange traffic cones. There will be long straights, shorts straights, esses, hairpins and sweepers all in some sort of diabolical combination laid out by the event chairman, or whoever is driving the plow truck.
Where are the races held?
Races are held on lakes in central New York that have 12 or more inches of ice on them. In recent memory, races have been held on Oneida Lake, Sandy Pond, Waneta Lake and Honeoye Lake. Arrangements are usually made with a restaurant or tavern owner with lake access so that bathrooms, food and warm facilities are available.
What's the schedule on race days?
Good question! Generally, get there as early as possible to help out, to prep your car, and to maximize practice time. Here is a sample schedule, which should generally be like what you could expect at a typical race weekend, if it could be said that a typical race weekend exists for CNYIRA.
8:30 - 9:30 Registration (don't be late, you don't want to annoy the registrar!)Schedule repeats on Sunday
8:45 - 9:45 Tech inspection (tech closes at 10:55, don't be late)
9:30 - 10:00 Practice session
10:00 Driver's meeting (no meeting, no driving)
10:03 First races start (let the games begin)