Team Press: Top Five Finish For Hayden at ISOC Season Opener

Kimster Team Press

In anticipation of Round 1 of the CSRA Pro Open Snowcross Championship series this weekend, Team Rockstar Energy Polaris Racing spent two weeks of intense sled testing at Planet X in Aurora, MN and then headed to Duluth to take in the ISOC season opener on November 26/27.

“Testing went very smoothly. Everything went perfect. It couldn’t have gone better,” said team manager Adam Robinson. “We dotted our i’s and crossed our t’s in an effort to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming season. We made huge gains at the Planet X facility and Ian and Lee had their race face back on within a few days of being in the saddle.”

Although Lee Butler was in attendance at the testing sessions, he was unable to race in Duluth due to other commitments, leaving his teammate Iain Hayden to represent the Rockstar/Polaris team colours in the volatile ISOC Pro Open class on his own.

In Saturday’s Pro Open qualifiers, Hayden put the potent 2012 Polaris IQ 600 sled through the paces, convincingly nailing down second place in the first heat and fourth in the second. In the first heat, he was running the same lap times as winner Ross Martin, also Polaris mounted.

In fact, Hayden’s lap times were as fast as the leaders and in some cases faster as he shot around the Spirit Mountain circuit racing for position.

In the final, he banged handlebars with some of the best snowcross racers in the world, including Martin, Robbie Malinoski, Tucker Hibbert, Quebec’s Tim Tremblay, and Sweden’s Johan Lidman, to take the checkered flag in fifth place.

In the first round of qualifying on Sunday, Hayden again kept pace with the front-runners, locking in another second place finish. His second qualifier unfortunately was not in keeping with the critical mass he had been building since the previous day.

Early in the heat, he was unable to avoid slamming into the sled in front of him to then get rammed from behind. With his sled reduced to scrap, a shaken up Hayden was forced to call it a day and count his blessings that his season didn’t come to an end right then and there.

“I was the middle of the sandwich. I had nowhere to go and got squished,” said Hayden. “I got banged up a bit, but considering the severity of the crash, I got off lightly. It could have been a lot worse.”

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