Gerard, ‘The King’ Karpik and Randy (L-R) dominated cross-country racing. David was the chief mechanic. In 1978, Gerard earned the first of what would turn out to be four consecutive major cross-country titles that season. Unprecedented! They were unstoppable.
January of 1979
Ski-Doo’s ad read: “Same old sweet song! Every time Gerard Karpik mounts his Ski-Doo, the record books are re-written.” January 13th, 1979, Karpik had 8 wins in 9 races. The 1979 ICCSF High Point Championship was his before the season even ended.
FAST, Inc. (Fast Action Support Team) was formed as a suspension and power-systems development support company.
Bombardier/Ski-Doo contracted with FAST, Inc., to design and develop two new concept race chassis with long travel suspensions for European racing. The result won both the European and Swedish Sno-X Championships along with yielding the company its first significant in-house production contract to build 50 replica stock class racers.
Company moves into its headquarters building in Eveleth, MN. During this time, the team developed the revolutionary and patented long travel “coupling and mass centralization technologies” that continue to improve the function of nearly every snowmobile built to this day.
M-10 was launched! Gone are the days of the leaf spring suspensions.
January 13, 1994:
Date of Induction to Snowmobile Hall of Fame
Gerard Karpik, Racing Career: 1970-1984, Cross-Country, Oval and Ski-Cross
"One of the most respected and successful racers to emerge from the ICCSF cross-country racing scene of the 1970’s, Gerard Karpik posted a surprise win at the famous Heartland Grand Prix Cross-Country in February of 1975 aboard a dark horse Mercury Sno Twister to begin a racing career that helped define the profile of terrain racing for the rest of the decade.
A crack mechanic and racer tuner, Karpik prepared Mercury, Yamaha, and Ski-Doo oval racing sleds with Ed Schubitzke before attracting Bombardier factory attention and a support ride in 1977 aboard the Ski-Doo Cross Country RV. Known for meticulous set-up and preparation, Karpik’s conistent running and skilled driving put his Ski-Doo sleds across the finish line for an unprecedented four wins in a row in the 1978 season.
As cross-country racing exploded in popularity during the late 1970’s, Karpik was soon known as “The King” as he posted his second consecutive four-in-a-row winning streak in 1979 en route to the High-Point title and Ski-Doo’s first cross-country championship. Karpik repeated as High-Point Champion in 1980 and remained a top competitor in snocross, cross-country, and oval until his retirement in 1984 after winning the Pro Stock title at Eagle River in his final racing appearance."
TeamFAST’s revolutionary snowmobile - the Blade was introduced featuring highly innovative performance characteristics and a 25% weight reduction. Approximately 240 Blades were produced. The economy, lack of snow and other factors worked against the momentum. Efforts were refocused on the M-10, future M-20 and bringing other suspension products to market.
Assault Shocks, Dive-tek & Tri-Tek Shock Systems offered.
TeamFAST, Inc. began offering Assault shocks which featured an air/emulsion gas design that uses a large air chamber inside a flexible rubber membrane providing more air volume and a progressive damping that’s not overly aggressive. Other systems now offered for the REV chassis provides riders with a thrilling ride at max comfort. These products allow riders to quicken their pace when trails roughen and rid them of the majority of aches and pains they’d receive from their stock shock and spring packages.
M-20 Airwave is introduced. The ultimate rear suspension is developed. The Assault big shaft shock is designed to asymmetrically dampen while its huge volume Air Spring is being displaced over 8 inches. This large spring displacement provides for low air pressure and softness during small bump-low energy events while delivering the firmness required in stopping bottoming of high energy big bump events.
We take great pride in our heritage and the company we have developed. TeamFAST, Inc., now in its 32nd year with nearly 30,000 rear suspensions traversing the trails, the company continues to influence the industry and thrill our riders.