Winter has officially arrived. And while the mountains are getting slammed with powder, the lakes and rivers are freezing into the perfect surface for a race track. Yes, you read that right— a race track. Every winter the reservoir alongside the city of Georgetown, Colorado freezes over and the racers head for the ice.
If you have driven west on I-70 on a Saturday or Sunday winter morning, you have probably caught a glimpse of the action. Every weekend nearly 100 racers flock to Georgetown to race for glory on the frozen track. 303 Magazine spoke with Lisa Lannerd, the President of Our Gang Ice Racing, the organization that outs on the races every winter season, to get the inside scoop on a life of racing on ice.
303 Magazine: How did you get involved in ice racing?
Lisa Lannerd: I was born into it. My parents started racing in the late ’70s when they were dating. After they were married and had my sister and me, we started coming up to watch them race every weekend. I started racing as soon as I turned 16.
303: Where do the majority of competitors live?
303: When does the season start?
LL: Saturday the 14th was the first race of the season. We had around 100 people enter the races on the opening weekend. We know we are in for a great winter season of racing.
303: Is it the same course every year?
LL: The race course changes every year due to climate and the ice itself. We construct the course based on the conditions of the ice every year. If there is a lot of snow or waves frozen into the ice, the course will work its way around to avoid these types of obstacles. Each year we try to construct the best path possible.
303: What does it take to become a racer?
LL: If you want to get involved, there are two steps to become a racer. One, you must have a 4WD drive or AWD car. Our Gang Racing is a 4WD and AWD only club. Second, you have to register online. And that’s all it takes
There are two beginner-level classes, one for racing with studded tires and one for bare rubber on Sunday. All you have to do is show up with $20, your valid driver’s license and insurance, and you are eligible to race in the beginner class.
Every type of car is welcome, from giant lifted 4WD drive trucks to speedy Subarus.
303: Any advice for first-time drivers?
LL: Watch the other drivers to get an idea for what works and what doesn’t. Finesse is going to get you a lot farther then mashing down the gas pedal. It’s all about controlling the car on the ice, not just the acceleration. And most importantly not letting the car control you.
303: Do you have a favorite racing memory?
LL: It’s so hard to pick only one memory. The best part of the race is the community. It’s the time with my family, husband and friends, racing around the ice and having the best time doing it.
Find more information at Our Gang Racing. Races are every Saturday and Sunday for as long as the ice will hold.
All photography by Austin Cope.