Two Eighty-Six Sno Series, an eastern North Dakota and Minnesota youth snowmobile racing circuit, will be hosting their first youth snowmobile race in Perham on Jan. 16 and 17 at the Pioneer Grounds.
Racing will start at 1 p.m. Jan. 16 and at 10 a.m. Jan. 17. For riders up to the age of 17-years-old, said Two Eighty-Six Sno Series owner Sandi Blessum of Aneta, N.D.
Two Eighty-Six Sno Series is a family-run racing circuit created by Blessum her husband Chad Blessum, and their two children.
“We started our racing circuit about three years ago,” Blessum said.
The circuit has races scheduled in the towns of Aneta and Finley in North Dakota and Fertile, Crookston, Goodridge and Perham in Minnesota.
Blessum said there are 18 different classes for riders to race is based on age and skill level. Some classes are for the smaller smaller snowmobiles, some known as 120s or 200s.
“Then we have classes for big sleds, too.” Blessum said.
According to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, only about 8% of snowmobile racers are under the age of 18. Some at the Perham event may be new to the sport.
“You could have a rider showing up that’s 16 years old who’s never raced before and we’re not just going to throw them in the older class.
“We make it fair and we make it safe,” Blessum said.
Each class has its own rule set based on the age and skill level of the class, Blessum said. She said rules can be found on the Two Eighty-Six Sno Series’ website, 286snoseries.com. All riders are required to wear safety equipment such as mouth guards, neck support, helmets, and chest protection, among other safety gear.
Blessum said light towers will be at the Pioneer Grounds to allow for riders to ride after dark.
Riders should register to race prior to racing day using the registration tab on the website and will need to bring their own safety equipment and sleds, Blessum said.
The idea to start their own racing circuit came from a friend, Blessum said. The name Two Eighty-Six Sno Series comes from the combination of her’s and the family friend’s children’s snowmobile racing numbers.
Perham’s Pioneer Grounds is located at 1251 First Ave N, Perham by Arvig Park.
According to a news release from the Perham Area Chamber of Commerce, registration for rides will take place between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 16, and from 8-9:30 a.m. on Jan. 17. Gate admission is $5 a day per person. Spectators may start entering to watch at 1 p.m. on Jan. 16, and at 10 a.m. on Jan. 17.