Snocross event coming to valley

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RUMFORD – For the first time, Black Mountain will host one in a series of Northeast snowmobile races known as Rock Maple Racing.

“This is one of the activities we’re looking at to make us more autonomous,” said Craig Zurhorst, marketing and development manager for Black Mountain of Maine.

Snowmobilers from throughout New England and upstate New York will descend on the mountain Dec. 15 and 16, about 10 days before the mountain’s ski season begins.

“This will provide us with a good revenue stream to kick off the season,” Zurhorst said.

This will be the first snocross race held at the mountain, he said. Snocross is similar to motocross, except it is held on snow. Many years ago, uphill snowmobile races were held at Black Mountain, Zurhorst said.

He said Brad Adley, a local businessman and newly elected selectman, was one of the people instrumental in bringing the races to the River Valley.

Adley could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

The local race is part of a series that takes place in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. A five-race series, known as the East series, runs in combination with the central series in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. The seven-race West series competes in New York and Pennsylvania.

Rock Maple Racing is the eastern affiliate of the World Powersports Association, which is the national sanctioning body for snocross racing, according to a statement by Rock Maple Racing.

Other Maine venues for snocross are in Carrabassett Valley and Skowhegan.

The Black Mountain race will take place at the foot of the mountain behind the newly constructed lodge. Zurhorst said spectators will have great views of the race.

The local race will be sandwiched between the first race on Dec. 1 and 2 in New Hampshire, and the third race in Malone, N.Y., Zurhorst said.

Local people as well as those from all over the Northeast are expected to compete in one of the many classes offered. Zurhorst said racing classes are broken down to gender, age, power of the machine, and whether the racer is professional or amateur.

Additional details will be announced later in the year, and more information is available at www.rockmaple.com.

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