I-500 Snowmobile Race returns to Sault Ste. Marie, ends with photo finish
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (WLUC) - The International 500 Snowmobiling Race returned to Sault Ste. Marie Saturday.
Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Quentin Messer Jr. said this event affects more than just Sault Ste. Marie residents.
“This event is important not only for the Soo, but for all of Michigan,” Messer Jr. said. “This is an international race, it’s the most prestigious snowmobiling race and tourism is economic development, this is bringing millions of dollars into the Soo and into the State of Michigan.”
Chairman of the International 500 Rick Federau said the I-500 is a test of endurance for snowmobilers.
“The I-500 is the world’s fastest, longest, toughest endurance race in the world, bar none, it’s just awesome, 500 grueling miles, every lap’s a mile,” Federau said. “It’s just hard riding and it is going to be a fast day, I was just on the track. Track looks good. We’re ready to rock.”
Federau said racers across North America participated in this race.
“We get riders here from as far away as Alaska, we have riders coming in out of Louisiana, throughout the Midwest and, of course, the East Coast,” Federau said. “Internationally, we got teams coming from Canada, we’ve had teams from other places before, but right now the flavors seem to be the United States and Canada.”
Federau also said these riders train physically all year long for what is ultimately a battle between man and machine.
Tommie Bauer won the race with a last-lap pass by the closest margin in the event’s 54-year history, just 0.0001 seconds.
Read more about the race, including results, here.
Copyright 2023 WLUC. All rights reserved.