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New Pro Open Rules: CSRA's Ken Avann Responds with His Opinion


(5/22/2017)

 Pro Open Snocross racing from 2016. Photo by ArcticInsider.com

Ken Avann, president of the Canadian Snowcross Racing Association (CSRA) was one of the principal architects of the controversial new stock-sled-based rule change for Pro Open machines this coming season. A looooooongtime racer and circuit owner, Avann has oodles of experience at all levels of the sport.

He shared with me his opinions on what he believes the new rule will or won’t accomplish.

I appreciate his time, effort and desire to improve the sport of snocross (even if I disagree about several of the projected outcomes of this new rule).

Here’s Ken’s perspective on the rule change and what it will accomplish:

 

I would like to put a positive spin on the new snocross rules by focusiing on what I think are the benefits. First, some background:

All ISR affiliates have agreed to eliminate the Pro Open class. Pro racers will now compete with Pro-Lite Limited Build race sleds. Changes permitted include Aftermarket Silencers, Shocks, Skis, and Handlebars. The sled can also be reinforced and strengthened with added material.

This change is similar to motocross racing where all competitors (Amateur and Pro) compete with limited-build production race bikes all within a few horsepower of each other.

I believe these are the benefits from the rule change:

1. All “Pro” racers will now compete on similar equipment permitting the team and racer with the most talent to win at any event in North America. The big dollar race teams no longer have a non-attainable advantage over the independent racer. 

2. Racing will be tighter, speeds will be slightly less and safer.

3. The change will encourage the OEM manufactures to build a better Limited Build race sled that all racers (Juniors, Sport, Pro-Lite & Pro) will benefit from.

4. The cost to race in the new Pro class will be far less than the former Pro Open class.

5. As Sport, Pro-Lite and Pro sleds are all similar, all parts are interchangeable reducing spare parts inventory.

6. The race sled will be cheaper, race fuel for lower compression engines will be less expensive, and at the end of the season the sled can be sold to a Trail Sport, Novice, or Transition racer.

7. As the cost to race is less, the larger sponsored teams and manufactures could support more racers or provide better contingency programs. 

8. Pro and Pro-Lite racers use the same sleds so racers could now race in either class as approved by the specific race circuit. 

 

Thanks for your consideration.

-Ken Avann, CSRA



Comments (17):

Jon carlson says:
5/22/2017 7:42:00 PM

The greatest arena racing was SNO PRO in the 70's! Everyone not in the show aspired to be in the show! JRC
Flintstone says:
5/22/2017 9:34:00 PM

I think Ac has the resources to over come this and Polaris and skidoo will regret spear heading this effort
Flintstone says:
5/22/2017 9:36:00 PM

And when you punch the numbers for last season we all know who actually won the championship
Mike F says:
5/22/2017 9:40:00 PM

No. Not even close.
Bill Nemanis says:
5/23/2017 11:18:00 AM

This is a mistake in my mind. The real draw for snowcross fans has always been the Pro Open class. Why does NASCAR have a sprint class series? Do you think that the fan base would enjoy watching just the infinity series cars. I thought the Pro Open class in snowcross was very competitive last year with new names arriving on the scene not only from the midwest but Europe as well. Can you imagine going to a NASCAR race to watch cars race with mufflers? Pro Open Snowcross is not only a visual experience but it's an audio one as well. Very disappointed!!!
Allen Teach says:
5/23/2017 12:33:00 PM

I guess to an old geezer like me that still has a passion for sleds and riding, the only three races that really stand out anymore are the Winnipeg, the Soo, and Iron Dog. Cat wins all these --- then all is well.
Mike F says:
5/23/2017 6:05:00 PM

@ Allen Teach. Cat won the Winnipeg, won the Iron Dog, and was 2nd and third at the Soo....and we are working on that...not perfect, but not bad!
Allen Teach says:
5/23/2017 6:48:00 PM

Yes, darn near perfect--all is well with Cat in the races that I feel really have an impact on the way normal people ride. March of 2016 I was able to ride on the Iron Dog trail near Rainy Pass Lodge, AK behind the sleds and dogs. Nice and rough but not snocross. Racing on terrain like that is really what its all about.
Tom says:
5/23/2017 7:20:00 PM

just curious, what other countries have Pro Open class ? Where else does snocross draw a crowd ??
Bobby Flame says:
5/24/2017 9:09:00 AM

Crowd sizes have dropped ever since the freestyle show was axed. Bring back the real talent in racing!
Wade Schroeder says:
5/25/2017 2:13:00 AM

I think the rule change will be good. Might be a drop off the first couple of years but down the road. I think the racing numbers will be up. It is getting so expensive to even do anything anymore for a hobby. Look at Dirt Track car racing in the Midwest. It use to be huge. But the old might buck put a end to that. A person can't afford to race. If you don't have state of the art equipment best stuff money can buy you might as well stay home.
Me being the Race Director for grass racing and assistant race director the past few years down near Rochester MN for the Great Southern Grass drags. Vintage has taken over then the new sleds. You can't afford to race a new sled. You got $20,000 in a sled before you even hang a different turbo on them. Who can afford to do that with the peanuts for money you win? We are trying to push that classic class racing. You can buy a stock ZRT SRX XCR FIII for $1200 all day long and go race. You can get close to or over 100 mph. With little money spent. Also racing now days is different then in the 70's. Young people are not interested in racing. They rather sit home and play video games and race on Mario Cart. Back in the 70's that is what people did was race on the weekends every cow poke town had a race of some kind going on. Times of changed I guess. The biggest thing that has put a damper on racing is the COST.
Brandon says:
5/25/2017 4:33:00 PM

Imo the srx xcr zrt and flll are more fun to ride then any new sled.
Cory says:
5/26/2017 7:45:00 AM

Sounds like its time to break out the participation trophies.... snooze
Chad Dyrdahl says:
5/26/2017 11:26:00 AM

As a fan, there is nothing like coming to a snocross race and watching Pro Open, that I will miss.

However, if I was an up and coming semi pro driver, I would be happier than hell with this rule change. This rule change means you can do your homework in a two stall garage, show up to the races with a 24' trailer with a couple friends and know that if you did your prep work testing and training, you now have a shot at competing with the pros, if you have the talent.

Even if you don't have the talent, just riding with the pros will exponentially make you a better rider, and prolong your future in the sport. Case and point, I blew a belt one time and it took forever to change it because it was wrapped up in both clutches. Kirk Hibbert was leading the race and I got going just before he got around to me again. I pulled over and let him by, but proceeded to follow him. I learned more about lake racing in those few laps than I did the previous 7 races I had been in that year. Can you imagine what a semi-pro will learn being on nearly the same equipment as Tucker if he jumps up to the Pro class?

This could possibly be big for snocross, or it could be a flop, only time will tell. I'm predicting we may find a few new super stars who just need a chance, on equal equipment.
Hammer and LumberHead says:
5/26/2017 5:28:00 PM

Here is our two cents! With the value of our Canadian Dollar dropping like a concrete barrel over Niagara Falls these days, that about all that it is worth. Why do we have to make the pro series class more affordable??? Isn't that what "Stock" classes are for, the guys that can't afford the cost of running the Pro Series???? As far as we are concerned, make it unlimited and let's see what the engine and chassis builders come up with. I can't speak for the rest of the fans but we have just as much fun watching the vintage sleds as the pro seris sleds in all forms of sled racing. Run what ya brung to full out modzillas! Let'em rip!


Hammer and LumberHead says:
5/26/2017 5:28:00 PM

Here is our two cents! With the value of our Canadian Dollar dropping like a concrete barrel over Niagara Falls these days, that about all that it is worth. Why do we have to make the pro series class more affordable??? Isn't that what "Stock" classes are for, the guys that can't afford the cost of running the Pro Series???? As far as we are concerned, make it unlimited and let's see what the engine and chassis builders come up with. I can't speak for the rest of the fans but we have just as much fun watching the vintage sleds as the pro seris sleds in all forms of sled racing. Run what ya brung to full out modzillas! Let'em rip!


67gta says:
5/28/2017 4:04:00 PM

Run the 600s for semi pro, and let the big boys hang on to an 8. They can be on similar chassis , but there has to be be some kind of a step up to race pro open.

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