BENNINGTON — A professional snowmobile racing circuit will make a two-day stop in town this winter.
East Coast Snocross will host the race at Willow Park on East Road on Feb. 27 and 28 as part of its multi-state racing tour.
Organizers expect between 3,000 and 5,000 attendees, according to series owner Kurt Gagne.
Snocross has visited North Adams, Mass., the past two years in a row. Gagne said the race won't visit the Berkshires this year, but he's excited to try out a new venue in southern Vermont.
"We think Willow Park will be a really great spot," Gagne, a Clarksburg, Mass., resident who last year purchased a friend's ownership of the company, said Thursday. "The Range in North Adams was good, but it rained one year and we were under water. Last year it was really cold and windy and it's hard there to get out of the weather."
Gagne said the park was attractive for its pavilion and the fact that cleared snow is dumped there. Natural snow will be supplemented with man-made snow for the race.
Gagne said the weekend will have something for everyone, from snowmobile rides to vendors, and most importantly, great views for spectators.
Snowmobiling is very popular in the area, he noted, with many riders taking their vehicles up to trails in Woodford and other surrounding communities. Banners advertising the races are expected to go up in town within the next week to entice local riders to stop in, he said.
Snocross features high-power snowmobiles that race through a course of tight turns, steep jumps and high banked corners. Racers travel upwards of 60 miles per hour and hit 30-foot-high jumps and as a result travel over 100 feet through the air.
The season kicks of in January at the Clinton County Fairgrounds in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Bennington is the fifth of eight rounds.
In addition to watching the races, attendees will also get the chance to explore new snowmobiles — a demonstration trailer from South Side Sports in North Adams will be on site, Gagne said. And those who sign up for a trail class will get to try out an 800cc snowmobile — a real behemoth of a machine.
And young ones under 10 years old can try out a smaller machine with a 120cc engine, Gagne said.
For more information, visit www.eastcoastsnocross.com. Anyone looking to sponsor an event or class, or secure vendor space, call 844-327-7669.
Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979