‘Flying Canadian’ burns up U.S. tracks

In just his third season as a Kitty Cat racer, and his first full one, Curtis Boivin certainly burned up the tracks on the Minnesota KC Pro racing circuit.
Boivin, six, of Fort Frances, is part of the Lil’ Twister racing team that includes his father, Alan, and mother, Carol.
The trio has spent the past few years travelling to the oval ice tracks (with 100 to 150-foot straight-aways) in northern Minnesota and North Dakota, racing with two different sleds–a stock and Formula I model.
Beginning at the tender age of four, and with just three races under his belt in his first year in the amateur class, Boivin began the ’98-’99 season with a “fresh new” stock race sled and immediately began winning races.
After a big win in Chisholm at the World Series, he quickly graduated from the amateur class to finish fifth in the overall stock points for the season.
And while the youngster picks up a wealth of experience along the way, seemingly getting better with each race, he also brings home a plethora of trophies to fill the living room cabinet.
All told, Boivin competed in 13 different days of racing this past year, racking up several wins along the way and bringing home more than 50 trophies.
Part of Boivin’s success, said his dad, is his “track sense” and strong dedication to the sport. That, combined with the quality of his machines, and with sponsorship help of Pinewood Sports, has seen him make his move up in the points standings.
“Oh, for sure, he gets better with every race and hopefully he’ll improve even more with each race [next year],” said the older Boivin, who used to drag race snowmachines along with his wife in the early 1990s.
Nicknamed the “Flying Canadian” by his American counterparts, Boivin wrapped up a successful campaign, which included logging more than 3,000 miles and hitting every scheduled event on the KC Pro East circuit.
He finished second overall in the points standings for the stock class, second in improved stock, and third in Formula I.
He also placed a very respectable fourth in the Roetin Cup series, an award for the top five drivers for “points accumulation” in both the stock and Formula I classes at five designated Roetin races throughout the season (both east and west drivers compete for the cup).
With his son having achieved great success on the Kitty Cat circuit, designated for drivers aged four to 10, Alan Boivin would like to see more drivers from north of the border take part.
There’s an amateur class for young beginners, the popular stock class (reaching speeds of 14 mph), the improved stock class (speeds upwards of 20 mph), and the Formula I class–the fastest class on the circuit–reaching speeds of 30-plus mph.
Next season will see the circuit expand to a 120 class that will include the SkiDoo Mini Z and the all-new Polaris XCR 120 and the Arctic Cat Z 120.
All drivers must wear an approved helmet, eye protection, and a chest protector, noted Alan Boivin, adding all machines have a tether cord that kills the engine if the driver falls off.
The elder Boivin also said he would like to see a race hosted here in Fort Frances. The idea would be to try to increase interest and attract new members onto the circuit.
He admitted it would have to fit in with the KC Pro schedule, and they would have to round up the necessary sponsors, but said it’s not out of the realm of possibility for this area given the great interest in winter racing.
Still, he admitted the sport is a costly one, with the initial investment of the machines, gas, maintenance, and hotels during the course of the season.
But he said the investment is well worth the rewards.
“All the money spent pays off when the checkered flag goes up and you look at their faces when they go up and get their trophies,” Boivin said, adding the young drivers usually mix racing and fun together.
“They are very competitive on the race track but off of it, they go out and play with each other on the sidelines,” he noted. “KC Pro is geared for family fun, [stressing] safety and good sportsmanship.”