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Tanuyak takes senior flag

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, May 9, 2012

B.J. Tanuyak held off a determined run by Leo Kaludjak to take the checkered flag and the $6,000 top prize in the senior men's division of the Qaqurnaq Racing Club's annual racing event in Rankin Inlet this past month.

NNSL photo/graphic

Leo Kaludjak runs the bank on his way to a secondplace finish behind B.J. Tanuyak in the senior men's class of the Qaqurnaq Racing Club's annual event in Rankin Inlet this past month. - photo courtesy of Eddy Sandy

Christopher Tanuyak finished third in the senior division.

The Qaqurnaq event featured racing action in three categories, with senior (19 and older), junior (18 and under) and veteran (40 and older) racers taking to the track.

Ross Tatty who won a prize of $4,000 - took top spot in the veteran's category, with Bobby Oolooyuk placing second and Kevin Issaluk finishing third.

In the junior division, Brandon Oolooyuk took top spot with $4,000, while Darren Tanuyak took second and K.J. Putulik third.

Tatty, who also helps organize and co-ordinate the annual races, said this year's event went smoothly.

He said while there were a few accidents, none resulted in any major injuries to the riders.

"The weather finally co-operated for the race for the first time in the past few years," said Tatty.

"This used to be a true cross-country event when it first started.

"But now we run on a shorter track so the spectators can watch the whole race better.

"We were back home in Johnson's Cove this year, after having to run last year's event at Itivia due to snow conditions."

The track for the 2012 event was 3.2 km in length, with the veterans running 10 laps, the juniors 15 and the senior men's 20.

A total of 23 racers vied for the checkered flag in the senior men's division this year.

Tatty said when the race first started, it was common to have 40 or 50 racers in the senior division.

He said between 20 to 25 has been the norm for the past four years, however.

"We allow them to run up to 600 cc and, with the snow right and good all-around conditions, the machines will reach between 95 to 100 mph on the longest straightaway.

"I've been taking care of the races for the past eight years now, and I do it simply for my love of racing.

"We always try to set the track with the driver's safety as our top priority.

"We had great crowds out for the races this year, counting more than 100 cars and trucks at one time before we gave up trying to count them all, and that didn't include all the ATVs and snowmobiles."

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