Celebrating Drag Racing Under the Lights

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The Grand Prix Ski-Doo of Valcourt, presented by La Capitale General Insurance, which will be held the weekend of February 18-20, 2011, disclosed this week modifications to its original Friday night drag racing program, which was announced last December. However, these changes will not affect the long-standing snocross and ice oval competitions held all weekend long on the Yvon Duhamel Grand Prix of Valcourt racetrack.

Introduced last month as a new feature for this year’s 29th running of the Grand Prix of Valcourt, the inaugural professional snowmobile drag racing competition has been postponed until 2012.

To make up for this unfortunate last minute cancellation, organizers have decided to stage its Celebrating Drag Racing Under the Lights program, a two-stage snowmobile drag racing show that should appeal to all fans of the sport as a participant and as a spectator for the Pro Max competition.

The festive event will be open to all as admission will be free for everyone passing through the turnstiles after 3:00 p.m. The action on the drag strip will start at 3:00 p.m. and conclude under the lights around 9:00 p.m. Competition aside, several activities are planned for the evening with crowd entertainers, fireworks and bonfires. Fans will also be able to join the party at the Winter Patio with entertainment with a live DJ.

“This organization has a duty to produce a highly professional event and on this point, there is no compromise on the planning and security issues. For these reasons, we had to cancel the original drag racing program announced last December,” said Linsay Roberge, Director of the Grand Prix Ski-Doo of Valcourt, presented by La Capitale General Insurance. “We are already working on a new plan to bring professional snowmobile drag racing competition to the 2012 Grand Prix of Valcourt. It is obvious that we are upset by the turn of events and sorry for all those who were expecting to attend their first professional drag competition in Valcourt. However for this year, we are offering fans a chance to test their skills and their snowmobiles on a professional drag strip and to attend an Xtreme Pro Max drag racing competition.”

The first stage of the Friday night program, scheduled to take place from 3 to 7:00 p.m., will allow snowmobile owners aged 18 and over, to test their machine on a 600-foot long, professional two-lane snow-covered track of which the first 50 feet is covered with sand in order to optimized their take off.

The friendly confrontation, run two-wide each time, is in fact a radar-run where each contestant will find out the top speed his or her machine has reached. The goal of this event is to offer registered amateur racers the opportunity to run at least once in their lifetime at the Grand Prix Ski-Doo of Valcourt. The total number of contestants is restricted due to time limitation.

To be eligible to run in this friendly competition, contestants, who must be aged 18 and over, have to register either on-line on the Grand Prix of Valcourt website starting January 24, 2011, or at the track on Friday, February 18 from noon to 3:00 p.m., if there are still places available. The cost to register for the event will be announced on the Grand Prix of Valcourt website.

The second stage of the Friday night show, to run from 7:30 to around 9:00 p.m., will present high-speed Xtreme drag competition. The Pro Max class, featuring snow sleds powered by supercharged engines, can reach speeds up to 300 km/h (185 mph).

This invitation only event, making its debut at the great Quebec annual winter motorsports classic, will enable hard-core race fans to witness the fastest machines of the drag racing world. Among the drivers invited so far by the Grand Prix are André Giroux who will be riding his Wop Drag, and Alain Daunais aboard his Fred Jet snowmobile.

Both sleds are powered by 400 hp engines. Raymond Morissette will be riding his 515 hp G-Force sled, Stéphane Beauregard will compete on his BRP 1200 450 hp turbo engine while Alain Tusser will bring his 600 hp OSP. There will be a lot of horsepower on track on Friday night for these exciting races. Fans attending the event will be able walk around the paddocks to examine these powerful sleds between 3 and 6:00 p.m. and talk to the drivers and crews.

General Admission and Trackside Suite Tickets Still On Sales

Tickets for the 29th running of the Grand Prix de Valcourt, presented by La Capitale General Insurance are available by contacting the ticket office at 1-450-532-3443 or at 1-866-532-7543. Trackside Suite passes, offering an incredible view of all the action on Circuit Yvon Duhamel in the comfort of a heated building, are also still available. To learn more about the weekend festivities, schedule and ticket packages, fans can log online at www.grandprixvalcourt.com.

There will also be fun and games for the whole family including slides for the kids at the Grand Prix site, and spectators will be able test-drive free of charge Ski-Doo snowmobiles. Some of the new 2012 Ski-Doo models will also be on display.

Furthermore, the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Museum will open its door free of charge to those attending the Grand Prix, and there will be a gathering of privately owned antique snowmobiles on the Museum grounds. Starting from the Arena at 11 o’clock on Saturday morning, there will be snowmobile and ATV parade through the streets of Valcourt.

Event organizers have also scheduled a Saturday night concert featuring Quebec rock star Éric Lapointe on February 19 at 8:30 p.m. at the Valcourt Arena. Tickets are currently on sale at $25 each, taxes included and can be ordered by calling the Grand Prix ticket office at 450-532-3443 or at 1-866-532-7543.

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