To ensure fans attending the Grand Prix Ski-Doo of Valcourt presented by FOX the weekend of February 15-17 anticipate the most competitive daily and final events, organizers of the 31st edition of the Great Quebec Winter Classic are already announcing the participation of some of the superstars that will take part in this year’s competition.
Included in the list are the winners of the last seven of eight Sunday ice oval Grand Finales and the champions of the last two Grand Prix Pro Snocross competitions. Jacques Villeneuve, one of the icons of snowmobile ice racing, will take part in his 29th Grand Prix of Valcourt. A three-time Eagle River World Champion, Villeneuve has also scored three victories on the famed Yvon Duhamel oval track, his last win coming in 2006. Villeneuve is vying for his fourth career Valcourt title, but opposition will be stiff.
Over the years the competition has always been fierce in Valcourt, and this year will be no exception with three-time Valcourt grand winner and defending event champion Dustin Wahl, from Greenbush, Minnesota and 2011 Valcourt champion Nicholas Van Strydonk of Tomahawk, Wisconsin already committed to the 2013 event. The 27-year old Wahl has three ice oval Eagle River World titles on his resume, his last big win coming in 2009, while Van Strydonk won his only Eagle River World Title in 2012 at the age of 21.
Both drivers are in their prime compared to the 59-year old Villeneuve. On the home front, Sabrina Blanchet of Quebec City continues to impress. The 15-year old athlete picked up where she left off last year at Eagle River after winning the 380 Champ class when she captured the Semi Pro Champ title and two Junior World victories. She will compete in five classes in Valcourt.
In snocross action, the Quebec-based SCMX Series riders, as well of those from the Ontario CSRA Series and the American East Coast Snocross Series (ECS), will once again face tough opposition in Valcourt from some of the superstars of the American National ISOC Championship Series. Quebec rider Tim Tremblay and his Scheuring Speedsports teammate Robbie Malinoski will spearhead the ISOC attack.
Tremblay, the 2012 ISOC defending Pro Class Champion and the 2011 Snocross Grand Finale Valcourt winner, will try to regain his Valcourt title from Minnesotan Malinoski who beat him at the finish in last year’s event. Malinoski is looking for his third Valcourt title. His first win came in 2005 when he interrupted Canadian Blair Morgan’s six-win Valcourt streak.
“Valcourt is one of the must-attend event of the season for all ice oval racers. Each year, most of the top riders head to the snowmobile Capital of the World in order to try to add their names to the prestigious list of winners. There is no doubt that more riders will add their names to this year’s event,” said Marie-Pier Lemay, General Manager of the Grand Prix. “Since the introduction of snocross competition on the Grand Prix program in 1999, the organizing committee has always been looking to invite the best athletes in this category. Each year, we get a positive response from the best of the best. To add to the prestige of the Grand Prix is the fact that in the last few years, management from the SCMX, CSRA and ECS Series have included Valcourt as part of their regular schedule in the Pro Open and Pro Lite classes, enabling us to welcome the best riders from each series. New this year, as the highlight of Friday race action, Valcourt will host the final leg of the SCMX/ECS Pro Open and Pro Lite Triple Crown Championship Series, where the top riders from the Plattsburgh, NY and Louiseville, QC events take each other on.”
For three days, Valcourt showcases the world’s best ice oval track snowmobile racers, as well as the top professional snocross riders in North America. Also on the program for the Grand Prix weekend are the exciting motorcycle, ATV and UTV Side-by-Side ice racing competitions and new this year, the Revstar STR stock-car Saturday competition. Fans are invited to attend free of charge on Friday after 3:00 p.m. and watch the Snowmobile Drag Racing Under the Lights competition. Also on the bill is the Saturday afternoon Freestyle Snocross competition. There is also plenty of fun and games for the whole family, including live rock bands, slides and snowmobile rides for kids.
Tickets for the February 15-17, 2013 Grand Prix of Valcourt presented by FOX are currently on sale at the ticket offices at 1-866-532-7543 Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or at www.grandprixvalcourt.com/en/. Until February 13, 2013 inclusively, fans can save $10 by purchasing a three-day heated trackside G Suite pass for just $90, taxes included. Fans of the great outdoors can also benefit from this special offer with a savings of 20% off the regular price for three-day general admission tickets at $45 instead of $55. Accompanied by an adult, children under 12 are admitted free on the Grand Prix site. However, all guests, including children, must hold a valid ticket to enter the trackside suites.
To learn more on the weekend’s activities, go to grandprixvalcourt.com