This past weekend marked the inaugural running of the Lexus Sport Cup, a new class that has recently joined the Minden Ice Racing Championships. Battling limited traction on a track constructed of glare ice surrounded by snowbanks at the Minden Fairgrounds, drivers encounter rapidly changing conditions and poor visibility.
Russ Bond is an experienced racecar driver who just recently jumped on the ice racing bandwagon with his own IS 300. “Rear-wheel drive, a limited slip differential, and a bullet-proof motor, I figured it would make a great ice racer!” says Bond. “People kept asking me how to get involved after they saw how much fun we were having and things just snowballed.” The owner of a program called kartSTART, which teaches kids how to drive in a safe, supportive environment, Bond is also a serial entrepreneur. So when he took his Lexus ice racing for the first time, he immediately saw an opportunity to bring racing buddies along for the ride.
From there, Bond set his sights on finding as many IS 300s as he could for friends who had raised their hands, which started as a small task but soon took on a life of its own. “I thought we were going to have five people the first season, but before we knew it we had 15,” exclaimed Bond enthusiastically. Garnering enough interest for a whole new class, the challenge then became finding enough cars, leading Bond on a massive search for 2001–2005 Lexus IS 300s which included autoTRADER.ca. “Every seller is unique, but what I did like about the autoTRADER.ca experience was safe, easy access to sellers, along with pictures and details of the vehicles they had for sale,” says Bond, “autoTRADER.ca became a valuable resource to find the cars we needed in a short amount of time.”
Despite bitterly frigid temperatures and gusting winds, a full field of cars participated in four heats last Sunday. Vying for points, prize money, and a trophy, each driver and vehicle must abide by CASC rules. Vehicles must pass inspection, feature two front seats and the spec tire for the series – a Hankook ipikeRS with Bruno Wessel or Wipertec studs.
Toronto resident Jordan Redlin has experience road racing and was immediately on board when he heard about the series. “Racing a car on ice offers valuable lessons in driving dynamics and is a great way to get to know a car since you can crack the tires loose and get sideways at any time in any gear,” said Redlin, “It’s also a testament to the quality of these cars since some have close to 500,000 km and have no issues taking a severe beating.”
Running in conjunction with the CASC (Canadian Automobile Sport Club) Ice Racing Championships in Minden, ON, over the course of six consecutive Sundays, the field consists exclusively of Lexus IS 300 models from 2001 to 2005. Other classes feature cars from a vast spectrum of makes, models, and vintages.
Visit LexusSportCup.com for more information.