Stefan Haas Ontario Region's Ice series Midnen report

Haas flips for ice racing Stefan Haas of Etobicoke, Ontario, leads his class in the Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs - Ontario Region's Ice Race Series following his first weekend of 2002 competition at Minden Fairgrounds (Minden, Ontario), ...

Haas flips for ice racing

Stefan Haas of Etobicoke, Ontario, leads his class in the Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs - Ontario Region's Ice Race Series following his first weekend of 2002 competition at Minden Fairgrounds (Minden, Ontario), February 2-3. Haas, who races Formula 125 karts in the summer, drives the CanadianKarting.ca car in the stud division.

In four races held over the weekend, Haas won twice and finished second twice. He also added some extra excitement to the already action-packed show when he flipped his car on Sunday afternoon, then continued racing to finish second.

For the stud cars, racing began three weeks behind schedule this year as the ice has not been thick and hard enough for the spiked tires. Needless to say, Haas and his competitors were itching to go Saturday morning. Things started well as he placed second in a qualifying heat, giving him a front-row start for the first points race of the weekend on the front row. Two races were held on Saturday afternoon and Haas, class champion for the past two years, won both of them.

On Sunday, Haas was beaten to the finish line by Tony McGrath in both races and it appears that the two will be fighting tooth and nail for the 2002 championship. In the last race of the weekend, however, Haas flipped his car while chasing McGrath, who was leading. The car skidded on its roof, but came to rest right-side up and the unfazed driver sprinted away to rejoin the race. With some damaged bodywork and the wheels out of alignment, Haas managed to haul the CanadianKarting.ca car back to second place.

McGrath, with a much more powerful engine, is very fast on the straights, but the added weight of the bigger engine makes the car less nimble in the turns. Haas was driving the corners very aggressively, skimming the snowbanks inside the corners, and started the corner at the end of the straight as usual, but the tires seemed to find extra grip sending the car into the bank and inducing the roll.

"The front wheel bit into the bank and flipped me," Haas recalled. "When I was upside down, I just kept thinking 'go back on the wheels, go back on the wheels' and when it landed right-side up, I took off!

"The wing got ripped off and the bodywork is a bit messed up, so I'll be busy doing repairs every night," he added, but he expects to be back in action next weekend.

-sh/mj-

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Series Kart , General