Elk River, MN - After a long and successful run with Arctic Cat, national snocross race team Carlson Motorsports will make the switch to Polaris for the 2012 winter racing season. The two-year agreement and change to Roseau red comes on the heels of a season that saw first year Swedish pro Johan Lidman capture the International Series of Champions (ISOC) Pro Privateer of the Year Award and in the process, gain the knowledge and experience to make a serious podium challenge this winter.
Once again joining Lidman in the Sportech Racing hauler will be rising star Andrew Carlson, who aboard Polaris will now compete in the newly formed ISOC Pro-Lite division. Carlson, who was a Semi-Pro rookie last season, showed incredible poise and speed in a class stacked with talent. With the top five Semi-Pro riders from last season now having to advance to the Pro Open class, the podium window is wide open for Carlson who returns with a year of high-level national experience and a behind-the-scenes team deep with talent and championship caliber equipment.
"It was a tough decision to make," Carlson Motorsports Team Owner Chris Carlson said, referring to the move to Polaris after 10 years with Arctic Cat. "Arctic Cat has been a tremendous company to race for and I have the utmost level of respect for their organization and the people who work there. But this was the right move for the team at the right time. Polaris recognized we're a team on the rise and by joining together with them (Polaris), we have the pieces in place to reach our goals. Our whole team is excited about the change and we're already impressed with the level of professionalism we've seen with Polaris Racing, and it's only July."
Led by long-time snowmobile racing veteran Tom Rager, who serves as the Polaris Racing Director, the Roseau brand has been a dominant force in snocross since introducing the race specific IQ competition snowmobile in 2006. Along with that race-winning sled, Rager and Polaris have assembled an evolving stable of talented riders and the organization is excited to have Lidman and Carlson on board for the coming season.
"Bringing them (Carlson Motorsports) on board not only gives us two top caliber racers but perhaps more importantly, the Carlson team is viewed as one of the most respected and well run teams in the business," Rager said. "Chris (Carlson) is a stand up owner, who does exactly what he says and comes to every race ready to compete. The entire Polaris organization is proud to have him and his team on board."
Along with the move to Polaris, the Carlson Motorsports team will work with legendary Polaris engine developer and tuner Rich Felegy. With an undisputed resume for building wicked fast, yet incredibly durable performance engines, Felegy will focus on engine development, testing, and calibration for the Carlson Motorsports Polaris Team. Felegy is fully committed to the team, and will be working at the race shop and at the team's ERX Motor Park test facility in Elk River throughout the season.
"The first race at Duluth is still three months away, but we feel like we've already got some powerful momentum with the team," said Carlson. "The switch to Polaris . the opportunity to work with Felegy . and having both our riders returning better prepared and more focused than ever before has all the makings for a perfect storm."