For the second consecutive year, Bunke Racing’s Taylor Bunke, Aaron Christensen and Gabe Bunke co-drove to win the Soo I-500. Christian Brothers Racing fielded the teams that finished in second and third place in 49th annual 500-mile enduro race that took place on Feb. 4 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
It was the fifth Soo win in the past six years for Gabe Bunke and Christensen. The winning team ran a race-prepped Polaris 600R Race Sled. After qualifying sixth, Team Bunke ran near the front almost all day before Christensen led for the final 55 laps. The team won by 11 seconds and was one of just two sleds to complete all 500 laps.
“The new 600R body style was good,” said Gabe Bunke. “I think we found some speed over our previous package, and the new motor and pipe setup seemed to be working pretty good.”
The team had limited access to the one-mile ice oval track during practice and qualifying, as race officials tried to save the ice surface for race day.
Gabe Bunke now has seven Soo wins at age 40. His son, Taylor, already has two victories at age 21. Christensen, 36, is a five-time Soo winner.
Here are the top 10 finishing teams:
1. Bunke Racing
2. Christian Brothers Racing
3. Christian Brothers Racing
4. Wuppet Wace Team
5. Tommie Bauer Racing
6. Piche Performance
7. LMB Speedshop
8. DL Racing [Team 2]
9. DL Racing [Team 1]
10. Mayer Racing
For full results, visit www.i-500.com.
Bunke Racing’s next race is the three-day USXC I-500, starting Wed., Feb. 8, in Winnipeg.