Press Release –
Nicholas Van Strydonk of Tomahawk, Wisconsin won today the 28th Grand Prix of Valcourt, presented by La Capitale General Insurance.
It was his first career Pro Champ Grand Prix win on Sunday at Valcourt’s Circuit Yvon Duhamel. 2010 World Champion Matt Schultz of Wausau, WI led the first four of the 15-lap affair, but he had to relinquish the lead to Jacques Villeneuve following a mechanical breakdown.
The Saint-Cuthbert driver led the next seven laps pursued by two-time defending champion Dustin Wahl from Greenbush, Minnesota. Entering corner four on lap 12, Wahl and Villeneuve touched, and they both went off-course. Wahl got up after the incident as did Villeneuve, but the latter was taken to the hospital for a precautionary check-up.
Following the race stoppage, Van Strydonk inherited the lead on the restart and led the final five laps to the checkered flag, followed by Travis MacDonald of Lackport, Manitoba.
His teammate Brian Bewcik from Winnipeg finished third ahead of Nick Lagoy from Morrisonville, NY. Jason Lavallée of Drummondville was the top Quebec finisher with a fifth place.
Sunday schedule began early with Saturday’s postponed Pro Champ finale because of the freezing rain with Dustin Wahl, Jacques Villeneuve, Matt Schultz, and Nicholas Van Strydonk, all winners in the heat qualifying races on Saturday, on the front row for the start of the race with eight other drivers also vying for the win.
Villeneuve took the lead on lap two but a red flag stopped the race when Félipe Roy-Lalonde of St-Jude, QC went off course in corner one. On the restart, Van Strydonk went first, and a few laps later Wahl passed Villeneuve for second, then Strydonk on his way to his first Pro Champ finale win of the weekend. 2010 World Champion Matt Schultz finished fourth, followed by Nick Lagoy.
In the other Sunday Grand Finale, Brett Turcotte of Clearwater, British Colombia took an easy win in the Snocross Pro Open race held Sunday to write his name in Valcourt Grand Prix record book.
Turcotte crossed the finish line ahead of Quebec riders Mathieu Morin of Val d’Or, Dave Allard of St-Félicien, and Dave Asselin of La Doré. However, Mathieu’s second place finish gave him enough points to win the final leg of the Triple Crown with 420 points to 370 for Bobby Lepage of St. Johnsville, NY who finished eight in the race.
Back to the ice oval Eastern Pro Tour championship. Winner at Valcourt in 2008 and 2009, Serge Ouellet of Lachute, QC made it three in-a-row in 2010 winning the 10-lap Pro Formula 500 class race to stretch his lead in the championship standings over Dustin Gehrke of Morrisonville, NY who finished fifth in the race. Ouellet won his fifth class race of the season over Ontario riders Rob Sheppard of Mindemoya and Ben Harris from Douglas. Andrew Spencer of Rome, NY finished fourth.
Maxime Sylvestre of Joliette, QC, won the motocross 450cc 12-lap race ahead of Karl Daigle of Sherbrooke, QC. Starting second, Sylvestre moved past Daigle for lead on lap 10 to win Sunday’s feature motocross race. Daniel Desbiens from L’Ange Gardien, QC finished third. Desbiens caused a red flag on lap three when he went off course in corner two of the ice oval track. Starting at the back of the field, he went by five other riders on the restart lap, to move into third place but was unable to catch the leaders.
In ATV action, Richard Pelchat of Saint Romuald, QC led from the green to win ahead of Jean-François Thériault of St-Côme. Thériault challenged Pelchat at the start of the race, but was no match for the winner who crossed the finish line with a fairly good lead at the end of 10 laps. Jasmin Plante of Notre-Dame du Bon Conseil moved past Marc-Antoine Auger of Laurier Station with two laps to go to finish third.
Lincoln Lemieux of St. Johnsbury, Vermont won Sunday’s Camoplast Snocross Championship Semi-Pro Super Stock 600 class 12-lap race. The American rider won over Pierre-Vincent Fillion of Desbiens, QC. Fillion’s second place finish moved him into first place of the Semi Pro Super Stock 600 class ahead of Donovan Asselin who finished eighth in the race. Dex Savage of Chibougamau, QC took third place ahead of Chris Ackerman from Jericho, Vermont and Franky Paré of Roberval, QC.
The 29th edition of the Grand Prix de Valcourt will be held February 18-19 and 20, 2011.