GREAT WINTER EVENT
SNOWMOBILE RACE IN THE HEART OF THE TOWN
VINTAGE TO GREAT RACE
In 2016 I organised the very first Vintage Snowmobile Race in Sonka. Back then, there were 20 riders and 200 spectators. The 2017 Sonka Village Race had 75 riders and 2,000 spectators. The 2018 The Vintage Race is relocated to Lainaanranta, with 125 riders and 10,000 spectators for the one-day event.
Lainaanranta Race becomes the Snowmobile Race, involving children, women, veterans and riders riding snowmobiles from 1970–2019 on the track. Over 200 riders and over 10,000 spectators are expected to attend the event.
Our mission is to make the Snowmobile Race a winter event for all, offering something for everyone, where you can come as a rider or enjoy spectating the event. Before the day’s first start from Saarituvat, the snowmobile rally arrives as a snowmobile parade, to which all town folk are welcome.
The Snowmobile Race is a free-of-charge public event that is mainly organised using sponsorship from local enterprises.
The event is hosted by Juha Mäntykenttä and Jarkko Ylläsjärvi
Welcome to Rovaniemi’s great winter event, the snowmobile race for everyone!
SNOWMOBILE RACE AREA MAP
Snowmobile Race 2019 is organised right in front of the town centre in the picturesque Lainaanranta river area, next to the Lumberjack’s Candle Bridge.
The area map shows local services for the entire race area. People arriving by car should park their vehicles in town parking areas. Koskipuisto is reserved as the parking area for competitors.
SNOWMOBILE RACE PARTNERS
The following 2019 Snowmobile Race partners made the race come true:
FROM THE WILDS INTO THE CITY – VINTAGE TO SNOWMOBILE RACE
I searched for a wedge-shaped Polaris 650 for quite some time. Even though, with the exception of one race, I always raced using a Lynx snowmobile, a few years racing as a factory rider or with strong support from Seppo Koivisto, I was always fascinated in riding a wedge-shaped snowmobile. The reason is pretty clear; in 1982, my father won the Finnish Championship race at Kultahippu in Ivalo when a call was received by the reception desk telling that I had just been born. My father sold these wedge-shaped Polaris snowmobiles in Rovaniemi, Sodankylä and Ivalo. Many school days turned into business trips with my father.
On weekends I travelled to races with my father and his friends all over Finland, sometimes even visiting Sweden and Norway as well. My father was my hero and his snowmobile was the wedge-shaped Polaris. In hindsight, I wondered why a three-cylinder snowmobile wasn’t used, instead of smaller engines. This is something I also regret myself.
My 18th birthday was on 18 April 1998. On the very same day, I won the Finnish Junior Championship title. I was riding a Lynx snowmobile. It was quite a fun coincidence that shows how important snowmobile riding is for me and my family. I retired from my racing career in 2000. A memorable moment from that winter season was a podium placing at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium, together with Tomi Ahmasalo and Janne Tapio.
Around half a decade ago, I managed to find a suitable snowmobile from Sweden. I travelled with Ville Ylianttila to fetch the snowmobile and bring it to Rovaniemi. Jaakko Karvo and Tuomo Tuisku starting tuning the snowmobile. In the end of 2015, I was lying on the floor at home and created the event website Sonka Burkar Cup 2016. This was a race for old snowmobiles in the wilds of Sonka on Tuomo Tuisku’s land that also used to be the venue for some tough snowcross training.
The first races were organised and I became once more enthusiastic about snowmobile riding. In 2017, the popularity of the races among riders increased and the venue had to be changed to the fields owned by Pekka Kuoksa in Sonka. The races were also increasingly popular with spectators.
The Sonka races attracted around 2,000 spectators! Because of its popularity, the event was awarded the coveted prize of Sports Event of the Year in the City of Rovaniemi in 2018.
It was time to move on. While out jogging one day, I realised that the Lainaanranta shore was perfect as a stage for the vintage races for next year. The Lainaanranta Race of 2018 was an enormous success. Now we decided to make the event even bigger – Snowmobile Race 2019 is a huge winter event!
We have put an enormous amount of effort into the races and a great competition awaits. Much thanks go to partners, authorities, riders, volunteers, and of course the spectators.