Motorcycles to race on ice at city's arena

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Motorcycle ice racing is coming to James Brown Arena.

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Jared Mees (right) and Brian McKenna battle for position in the 2010 World Championship Ice Racing Series. Motorcycle ice racing comes to James Brown Arena on Saturday.
Jared Mees (right) and Brian McKenna battle for position in the 2010 World Championship Ice Racing Series. Motorcycle ice racing comes to James Brown Arena on Saturday.

Racers will compete Saturday on lightweight, high-horsepower motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles around an oval track during the two-hour event, according to Katie Wells, the director of marketing for the Augusta Entertainment Complex.

The Augusta event is one of 14 legs of the 35th annual World Championship Ice Racing Series. Athletes accumulate points throughout the circuit, which runs Nov. 13 to March 25, and the world champion is announced at the final race.

Most of the bikes have 4-valve, 4-stroke cylinder engines, which propel racers from zero to 60 mph in less than three seconds.

With such high-intensity machines racing together on an ice track, it makes for a thrilling and, at times, dangerous show, said competitor Mandy Brodil of North Carolina.

Brodil was named world champion in 2004 before she took a five-year leave from the sport because of an injury and then starting a family.

Now that she is back in the game, Brodil, 29, said she plans to reclaim her title.

"This year I'm going for the championship," she said. "And it's going to be a brutal season. It's very intense. This year everyone is bumping and taking people out (on the track)."

Brodil said in her 14 years of racing, she has established herself as one of the most successful women in the sport.

Of the field of more than 50 racers, about two-thirds are returning professionals, and one-third are local amateurs who try their hand at the event.

"People who ride dirt think they can come out and do ice, but that's not the case at all," Brodil said.

No rules govern the engines for ATVs racing on ice, Wells said. The only rule affecting the quads, or ATVs, is that they can not be wider than 50 inches at any point.

This makes it so that there could be a 1200cc Harley-Davidson v-twin, a 4-cylinder, 1,000cc Kawasaki and a 350cc Yamaha all racing together.

It's a fight Brodil said she is ready for.

"It's like a short burst of adrenaline," she said.

"It's four or six laps, but there's so much that goes on in that amount of time in trying to gain track positions and trying to keep people behind you.

"It's intense."

If you go

WHAT: The 35th annual World Championship Ice Racing Series

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: James Brown Arena

TICKETS: $25 VIP, $18 adults, $10 children in advance -- all tickets increase $2 day of show; James Brown Arena Box Office, (877) 428-4849 or www.georgialinatix.com


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