Winnipeg, Manitoba December 13, 2011
The second round of the ACSS began Saturday on Blackjack Mountain in Ironwood, Michigan. The course presented difficult conditions with repeated melting and refreezing of the track—due to unseasonably warm daytime temps. The sugary base made throttling at exactly the right time a critical skill and according to Derek Ellis, “its one crazy course requiring intelligent maneuvering to avoid a crash”.
In Saturday’s Pro-Lite qualifying Narsa (#271) took a 1st and 4th in his rounds, Ellis (#106) brought back two 2nd place spots and Watkinson had a little tougher go of things with a 5th and 6th respectively. An exciting display of Ski-Doo’s power was showcased by Petter Narsa (#271) and Derek Ellis (#106) during the Pro- Lite main as both teammates ran side by side through most of the race; with Narsa passing Ellis to finish 2nd, and Ellis coming in on his heels to take 3rd—placing both Team Jimmy John’s riders on Saturday’s Pro-Lite podium.
Sunday’s Pro-Lite gave Ellis a 3rd in round one and 1st in round 2. Narsa bested his friend, with a 1st and 1st respectively. Watkinson had a better day also with a 3rd and a 5th– taking all three Jimmy John’s boys to the main. Sunday’s Pro Lite main was not so smart and easy. It started with a hard bottleneck in turn one, pushing both Ellis and Narsa off their mark. Swedish superstar, Narsa took a hit from another rider resulting in a rollover—righting the sled and getting back to business was a heavy task and Narsa finished a hard luck 13th. Ellis experienced much of the same difficulty in turn one and was unable to make up the distance leaving him in 10th. Watkinson— who snuck past the earlier fray, took the team to a 6th place in the final.
Pro Open athlete, Mathieu Morin (#14) took a 3rd and a 1st in qualifying during Saturday’s Pro-Open rounds— ending with a 5th place finish in the Pro-Open final. On Sunday, Morin took a 4th and a 2nd in Pro-Open qualifying. In the main event, he took a strong start running in 5th when he violently crashed on Ironwood’s now infamous nasty downhill section. The stunning crash left him with a broken ski and unable to finish the race—with the good news of no personal injuries and looking for redemption at Canterbury.
Racing resumes Jan. 6-7 at Canterbury Park Racetrack outside of Minneapolis, Minn. at the Canterbury Nationals, presented by Jimmy John’s. Until then, catch the NBC Sports (VERSUS) broadcast of the Duluth National Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. ET.
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