Nicholas Van Strydonk of Tomahawk, Wisconsin repeated as the grand winner of the 29th running of the Grand Prix Ski-Doo of Valcourt presented by La Capitale General Insurance.
The final race of the day on Circuit Yvon Duhamel’s ice oval track featured the 12 best racers in the Pro Champ 440 class that made it through the qualifying rounds on Sunday. The race produced two leaders with 17-year old Travis MacDonald from Winnipeg leading the first five before being passed by Van Strydonk who led the rest of the way.
Joel Diamond of Lapeer, Michigan was the third man on the podium. Jason Lavallée of Drummondville was the top Quebec rider with a seven-place finish.
Jacques Villeneuve easily qualified for the Valcourt grand finale finishing fourth in his first qualifying heat race and second in the next two. Still hampered by his rib injuries, the Quebec rider did not push his snowmobile to the limit, but he made sure he garnered enough points to make it to the finale without having to run the last chance qualifying race. Unfortunately, the three-time Valcourt winner retired with a mechanical failure on lap 10 of 15 while running fifth.
On the infield snocross track, Tim Tremblay of Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc, QC was the other grand winner in Valcourt as he dominated the Pro Open field, crossing the finish line with an eight-second lead over Robbie Malinoski of Aurora, Minnesota.
For the Ski-Doo factory-backed driver, it was his second win in as many days. Emil Ahman of Sweden finished third. Danny Poirier of Saint-Théodore d’Acton, QC, who was down in eighth place on the opening lap, drove through the field to finish fourth ahead of Iain Hayden of Holland Center, ON and local ace Kaven Benoît from the nearby town of Notre-Dame du Bon-Conseil.
The two-wheeled machine were back in action for a second day in-a-row and they put in quite a show for the crowd on a sunny Sunday afternoon on the ice oval track with Karl Daigle of Sherbrooke, Québec winning again in a carbon copy of the Saturday race.
Samuel Desbiens of L’Ange-Gardien (QC) took second place again ahead of Maxime Sylvestre of Berthierville. The 10-lap event was red flagged twice because of off-course excursions with the first stoppage costly for Desbiens who led the first six laps. At the first restart, Daigle quickly got off the mark to take the lead and run to the checkered flag.
The second finale of day was held on the snocross track, an 11-lap affair in the Semi Pro Super Stock 600 class. From the start, Dylan Hall of Ayr, Ontario quickly took the lead, but by lap six he was being challenged by Pierre-Vincent Fillion of Desbiens, QC who was moving up the field. On the following lap, Fillion moved pass the CSRA points leader on the front bump straight to go on and win the event, thus depriving Hall of a second win in as many days. Jeremy VanDolder of Annan, Ontario finished third
Next year, the Grand Prix Ski-Doo of Valcourt presented by La Capitale General Insurance will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its annual event February 17-19, 2012. It’s an event that Xtreme race fans will not want to miss.