LOUISEVILLE, Quebec (Feb. 4, 2013) – Idaho native Derek Ellis has raced snowmobiles in more different places than he cares to count. The veteran athlete who now lives in West Fargo, ND, but calls Massachusetts home this winter headed north to Quebec last weekend, and brought home the big trophy for his efforts.
Ellis (Jess Racing/Arctic Cat) grabbed the holeshot in Sunday’s Pro Open final and kept a strong field of racers from both sides of the border behind him to earn top honors. Defending champion Danny Poirier (Bailey/Hulten Polaris) chased Ellis the entire distance but settled for second, while teammate Corin Todd finished third.
After a strong performance the previous week in Aspen at the prestigious Winter X Games, Ellis was geared up for success as East Coast snocross (ECS) Pro and Pro Lite teams headed for Canada.
“I tried some new things on my sled that were based off the setup I used in Aspen,” Ellis said. “I had contact with another rider on Saturday that hurt the front end, so we didn’t get the results we were hoping for that day. On Sunday the sled launched off the line hard, and once I got out front it stayed under me the whole race. It feels great to finally win one. I have to thank Carl Jess, Ziggy, this entire team and our great sponsors for making it happen. I’m pretty stoked for the rest of our season.”
Saturday’s Pro final delivered some great entertainment for the enthusiastic Louiseville fans. Lincoln Lemieux, one of the hottest riders on tour this season, piloted his Ski-Doo to victory with red-hot Corin Todd second and Quebec native Maxime Taillefer third. The top three riders blasted around the challenging Louiseville track in tight formation lap after lap.
In Pro Lite action, Mike Pilotte continued his 2013 hot streak in fine fashion. The lanky athlete from Fall River, Mass., claimed every qualifying heat he entered and won both finals. On Saturday, veteran racer Jake daSilva (daSilva Motorsports/Ski-Doo) notched his best finish of the season in second, while Plattsburgh winner Montana Jess (Jess Racing/Arctic Cat) filled out the podium. Jesse James Bonaduce (Miksen Racing/Ski-Doo) followed Pilotte across the line in second Sunday, with daSilva’s Ski-Doo right there in third.
“I think Sunday’s final was the best effort I’ve had since I started racing snocross,” Pilotte said. “I grabbed the holeshot and led the entire race. It was fun battling with Jesse, as well. Jake, Jesse and I all get along well off the track; we’ve been striving to go 1-2-3 like this for a long while and finally did it. Earning another win feels awesome, but it wouldn’t be possible without Team Southside and Polaris. I couldn’t be any happier.”
Along with points races for Pro and Pro Lite, Saturday also featured Round 2 qualifying for the 2013 Triple Crown. Lincoln Lemieux (Pro) and Montana Jess (Pro Lite) were winners in their respective classes, with the Final slated to be held during the famed Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt in two weeks. Corin Todd leads in points going into Valcourt, while Mike Pilotte leads in Pro Lite.
Other big winners over the weekend in Louiseville include Steffanie Lemieux-Bell (Pro Women Sat.); Lucas Dubois (Sport Stock 1); Hunter Patenaude (Sport Stock 2); Patrick Brodeur (Pro Vet/Plus 35); David Tremblay (Pro Vet/Plus 30); Todd Smith (Vet/Plus 40); and Pier-Oliver Tremblay (Jr. 14-17 Saturday). Congratulations and thanks to all ECS riders who ventured north to compete in Canada.
ECS officials would like to thank promoter Jerome Gerber and SCM for hosting last weekend’s event. The track was large despite warm weather conditions the previous week. Even in Quebec, this winter has been a challenge for anyone attempting to build a snocross track.
East Coast Snocross, presented by AMSOIL and Woody’s Traction, is the eastern affiliate of International Series of Champions (ISOC), the national sanctioning body for snocross. ECS strives to maintain a regional circuit intended to keep grass-roots snocross racing healthy in this part of the Snowbelt while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow’s factory-backed Pro teams.
For full results from Louiseville or for more information, go to www.eastcoastsnocross.com.