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HomeATV and UTVFirst Time: Alex Fortune's First-Ever Race in His Arctic Cat Wildcat

First Time: Alex Fortune’s First-Ever Race in His Arctic Cat Wildcat

Alex Fortune races his Arctic Cat Wildcat at ERX


By Alex Fortune

I had an opportunity to attend the Beatercross event at ERX Motorsports in Elk River, Minn. Instead of just watching, I decided to have a go at racing my Arctic Cat Wildcat X in the UTV class.

I showed up late, but event coordinator Katie got me set to race just in time for hot laps. I got strapped in and headed out to the track, butterflies floating in my stomach. I used the first lap to get a feel for the track then the second lap to dig into it deeper to find some lines that I thought would work in the race.

It only took a couple of practice laps to realize that the other guys in my class were pretty serious about this. I returned to the pits where Jeremy Houle of Speedwerx made some suggestions on set-up. We got the Wildcat dialed in and ready for the heats.

Beatercross at ERX utilizes an open start… no gate, no rubber band, just our machines lined up like a snocross race waiting for the flag.

Alex Fortune races his Arctic Cat Wildcat at ERX

I was pretty nervous but finished in second place in both heats, which gave me some confidence going into the final. Unfortunately, for the start of the final I was caught asleep at the wheel and got a poor start.

In fourth place after the start, I quickly passed into third and remain there the rest of the race. The two competitors in front of me had some different, faster lines than me. I would catch them in the rough sections and through the whoops on each lap but wasn’t able to make a pass in the corner.

Alex Fortune races his Arctic Cat Wildcat at ERX

I was amazed at how my Wildcat X swallowed up the bumps and jumps of the course. I was able to flat foot it across the whoops just fine and once I learned better throttle control, I was able to pitch the Wildcat just the way I needed it for a smooth landing to charge into the next obstacle. The stock suspension is very good and I cannot wait to see what my Elka shocks will do for me.  

Speedwerx had clutched my machine, created a fuel map and added their L2 competition exhaust, all of which were spot-on. Lots of usable power where I needed it especially compared to the stock setup that seemed more sporadic. I’m convinced these guys have the hottest setup out there for the wildcat!  

The biggest thing I fought was the learning curve of driving as I am very new to this. This was the first time I’d ever been on a track, whereas the competitors who out drove me were much more experienced. Watching the go pro videos I had helped me to look at my strengths and weaknesses and gave me some insight about where I need to focus on improving.

Alex Fortune races his Arctic Cat Wildcat at ERX

Overall the experience at ERX was amazing! They have a great staff and facility. If anyone ever gets a chance to race or even go out and watch I highly recommend it. They showed this Iowa guy one heck of a great time! I will return on July 25 for Round Four of the Beatercross series.

I also hope to race the GBC Heartland challenge as well as any of the remaining Iowa ATV harescramble series races.

I also want to thank my sponsors: Storm Lake Honda and Arctic Cat, Speedwerx, Twenty 7 promotions, Elka suspension, Twice production graphics, Team Autodrive Inc.,, Upper Iowa Tool & Die and innovations and And special thanks to Jeff Zak and Jeremy Houle for helping me get my Wildcat set-up for the first of many races.

Below is a video of Alex’s heat race (you can forward to the 3-min. mark, which is when the race starts).



  1. Awesome! good to see someone from Iowa doin some cool stuff! and keeping the rzr’s honest at the same time!Good luck too you! Wish I could afford two motorized habbits but being a sledhead at heart gotta stick with that one.Hope isoc comes back to ERX for 2013-14!!


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