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Ice Racing: How Loud Is It?

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On a sunny mid afternoon this past Saturday, February 20th we attended the Winnipeg Sports Car Club's ice racing event in Portage la Prairie. The event was held at the city's Island Park just a stone's throw from the new PCU Centre.

The venue was a natural setting, well - as natural as racing cars on slippery ice can be.  During the the event  spectators stood up on an embankment which was at least 4-5 meters above the ice surface and back another 20+ meters. The view allowed everyone to see the entire track (see photos).

s-turn-Ice Racing in PlaP
Cars winding through a right/left S-turn on the frozen Island Lake in Portage la Prairie.

Based on previous experience Red River Co-Op Speedway (dirt oval) we were expecting insane noise levels worthy of ear protection. Luckily, or sadly depending on your desire for post event ear ringing, we were barely able to record levels over 80 dB and never reaching the 85 dB mark along the course. The added hearing safety factors of racing on ice were not lost on us; snowbanks along the course made for natural deflectors of the ice racers' revving engines. The ice did not allow for the squealing and chirping of tires skidding across pavement, and finally the natural grand stands we stood on top of deflected the sound away beneath us.

"...we were barely able to record levels over 80 dB..."

In considering why the cars were not nearly as loud as expected, we noted the ice racing cars were smaller, sporting 4 cylinder engines vs the dirt track's oversize V8 cylinder motors. Of course the fact that there were numerous vehicles sounding almost civil tipped us off to the fact that their exhaust systems must actually have working mufflers vs the dirt trackers straight pipes.

So with little threat to your hearing, all you have to worry about at WSCC ice racing is keeping warm!


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