Sports

Bonnechere Cup starts Friday

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

Ryan Paulsen / Daily Observer
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Matt Schultz sets off on his victory lap after winning his third career Bonnechere Cup at the Castle Building Centres Sports Oval in Eganville in 2016. The 43rd edition of the epic snowmobile races gets underway Friday.

Ryan Paulsen / Daily Observer
Matt Schultz sets off on his victory lap after winning his third career Bonnechere Cup at the Castle Building Centres Sports Oval in Eganville in 2016. The 43rd edition of the epic snowmobile races gets underway Friday.

EGANVILLE - Start your engines!

This weekend, Feb. 17-19, the Eganville Sno-Drifters will be hosting the 43rd annual Bonnechere Cup, where more than 100 of the best racers in the sport of snowmobile racing will be gathering at the Castle Building Centre Ice Oval to show what they are made of, as they push machines and themselves to their limits.

Darin Van Hoof, race director, said the weekend should be a great one for race fans, if not so much for the racers. Mild, above freezing weather is predicted for Eganville and the Ottawa Valley, with highs possibly reaching 7 C by Sunday.

"That's not so good for the track," he said. Members of the Sno-Drifters snowmobile club have been working on the track since Jan. 13, to make sure the ice surface is ready. With all of the snow, it has been a challenge to do it, and now with warm temperatures coming in, all they can do is cross their fingers.

"Nothing we can do about the weather," Van Hoof said, noting last year's races had to deal with rain.

The Bonnechere Cup is being held over three days starting Friday. Weather permitting, hot lapping will occur around 1 p.m., and at 7 p.m. a torchlight parade will head through Eganville, as drivers riding on ATVs will hold road flares aloft as they drive through the village.

Races begin in earnest 10 a.m. Saturday and 12 noon Sunday, with the opening ceremonies on the hard core racing on Feb. 19. On both days, the next generation of racers will have their chance to take to the track with the running of kids races.

Everything wraps up around 4 p.m. Sunday, when the Bonnechere Cup is presented to the champion. Sunday is also Military Appreciation Day, where those with military ID will be admitted for half the admission price of $20.

Entertainment will be offered at the Sno-Drifters Clubhouse on Friday and Saturday nights.

Prices are $30 for a weekend pass, $20 for a day pass and $6 a day for youth 11 and under.

SUhler@postmedia.com