Vaughan, ON, March 5, 2012
Top three overall finishes for Hayden and Butler in Sudbury
Iain Hayden's and Lee Butler's outing to Sudbury, ON, this past weekend, to campaign a round of the CSRA Provincial Pro Open Championship, saw the Team Rockstar Energy Polaris Racing snowcross aces do double duty. On Saturday they wore two hats: one as sled testers, the other as competitors in the provincial points chase.
"When we do the regionals, we try to take advantage of the events and do sled testing under racing conditions. We're already focusing on some of the things we will have to apply for the 2013 season," team owner Andre Laurin said.
"We did a lot of testing on Saturday, with different variations that will help us towards that end. While we learned a lot we needless to say had to pay for that knowledge at the finish line, but we made up for it on Sunday. "
Although Hayden and Butler played no role up front in the final on Saturday, they still managed to pilot their Polaris IQ 600 sleds into top-five finishes. Hayden snagged third, followed by Butler in fourth.
In the qualifying heats, the teammates had no trouble assuring a starting positing for the final. Hayden had logged impressive 2-2 resultsâ€”Butler held up his end with 3-4.
While every race is important and you want to finish at the head of the pack, it's equally important to get the testing done and a provincial lends itself well to that purpose. When you're battling for position in a race you tend to demand more from your sled than when you're on a track by yourself testing for the sake of testing," Hayden said.
"But with a sled like the IQ 600, and our top-notch technicians doing their magic in the paddock, I never had any doubts that I would finish in the points. I'd have to say we had a successful weekend in both the testing and racing aspects."
On Sunday, with the testing sessions behind him, Hayden showed championship form by taking a convincing win in the final. In his qualifiers, he duplicated his 2-2 results from the previous day.
Butler stepped up to the plate with 3-4 finishes in his qualifying heats to then grab third place in the final.
"When you're testing under racing conditions you really don't know what's going to happen. You hope for the best. Worst case scenario is that you're going to DNF, but it's still a learning experience for driver and crew," Butler said.
"Best case scenario is you're going to finish in the top-five. This weekend was a good indication of the reliability of the IQ, the quality aftermarket products supplied by our sponsors, and the work done by our mechanics."
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