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Feb. 13, 2006 – Snowmobile Report

February 13, 2006
Filed under Features

BRP to sponsor zero-tolerance ride
BRP Inc. will again host its 2007 Very Important Customer (VIC) Ride & Customer Appreciation Event. It will take place on March 10-11 in Munising, Mich.
Ski-Doo will unveil its 2007 lineup to the public during the weekend and offer demo rides. The event also will include a Zero Tolerance Fun Run poker-run style event, with $50,000 in prizes. The top prize is a Steve Martin-replica snowmobile. Martin is a professional Ski-Doo snocross racer.
Participants must register for the event in advance and bring their own sleds (any brand) for the fun run. All riders must adhere to the strict Zero Tolerance requirements on alcohol consumption for the event.
Riders can register online at www.ski-doo2007.com or download a registration form at the same address and bring the form to the event for in-person registration or fax it to BRP at 715/847-6869.
The Michigan Snowmobile Association and the Munising Visitors Bureau will help run the event.
Wanderscheid Wins At Eagle River
P.J. Wanderscheid, on-line sales manager for Country Cat, an Arctic Cat dealership in Sauk Centre, Minn., has a new accomplishment to add to his resume: world champion. Wanderscheid won his third world championship at the Eagle River World Championship Snowmobile Derby in Eagle River, Wis., on Jan. 15. Wanderscheid passed race leader Terry Wahl, Polaris, on lap 23 of the 25-lap race.
In addition to the title, Wanderscheid also won a Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle.
His e-commerce pet project, catbargains.com, was emblazoned on his race jacket. But has it driven any sales??“Not everyone puts two and two together,” Wanderscheid said. On-line sales, while going well, have not had a noticeable spike since he won the world championship. “I’ve just had people passing notes along and their regards,”?he said.
Wanderscheid said the on-line business has been going so well that he’s hired two more employees to help with the workload — and free him up to race.
Wanderscheid’s success is played out throughout the dealership, as well. Numerous trophies are on display, his race hoods and jerseys adorn the walls. “It kind of creates an atmosphere,” said Dave Wanderscheid, Country Cat’s co-owner and P.J.’s brother.
“If I get a customer who maybe didn’t know us through the racing, if he comes in and wants to buy something (the racing element) really helps close the sale,” Dave Wanderscheid said. “If they know who he is and follow oval racing, they’re usually impressed.
“Literally, people want to be a part of that team, and by purchasing, they feel they’re participating,” he said. “It creates a lot of loyalty. That’s the biggest thing, and then it’s another form of advertising.”
Mark Wanderscheid, co-owner, lends credibility to the service department he manages, as he’s P.J.’s main mechanic, Dave Wanderscheid said.
The dealership sells about 160 new ATVs annually and 180 new and used snowmobiles.
Snowmobile Spotting
Sports enthusiasts in the right places will be able to see snowmobiles outside their normal element. A snowmobile demonstration was scheduled to take place as part of Super Bowl XL activities. The demonstrations were slated for Saturday, Feb. 4, with the Winter Experience events in the Motown Winter Blast party. Also, snowmobiles also will be used at the winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, to provide thermal mapping of cross-country ski trails. The snowmobiles, shown in an official image as a Polaris 2-Up, will pull a special thermometer unit on skis. It will be pulled behind a snowmobile at about 6 mph, and make temperature readings every 3 meters. The information gathered will be used to predict course conditions.
Morgan wins Winter X
Blair Morgan, 30, of Prince Albert, Sask., won the snocross event at the ESPN Winter X Games. This is the fifth time Morgan has won gold at this annual event. Morgan rides for Ski-Doo and the Blair Morgan Racing Team. He’s the first athlete in Winter X history to win five gold medals in one discipline. Polaris driver Levi LaVallee finished second. He is sponsored by clutch maker Team Industries. Ross Martin, Polaris, took third. psb

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