Ice racing is a type of motorsport and is exactly what it sounds like – racing on ice! But ice racing is a bit different in the sense that not just cars take part in this motorsport. Motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs (all terrain vehicles), and pretty much any other type of motorized vehicle can race in ice racing. Tracks are typically oval shaped.
Even though any motor vehicle can ice race, motorcycles seem to be the most popular. Motorcycles are modified with a stiffer frame and longer wheelbases. Bikes can race in a full rubber class or a studded tire class. Studs are inserted into the wheels and provide the driver added traction. Other materials are required for the stud class such as mud guards. The studs can “kick up” high amounts of ice so mud flaps are required for driver safety. There are many differences between racing with studded tires and rubber. Both types do not use brakes, but the handling and control of the bikes are very different depending on the tire. Studded tires have more traction which does not allow for any sort of “drift”. This requires stud drivers to lower the angle of their bike to corner. Often times drivers handle bars will touch the ice. Because of the vast differences between both types of ice racing, it is uncommon to see a stud driver compete in the rubber tire class and vice versa.
While ice racing with cars is not a “professional motorsport” here in North America, there are many clubs in Canada and it is not a dying “activity”. Many racers around the world use ice racing as practice. Drivers find practicing on ice greatly increases their skills on pavement or dirt. Due to the slipper nature of ice, if you can perfect your game on ice, how hard could pavement or dirt be?