After winning the Pro Champ race Saturday, Dustin Wahl took top honors for the class winning the Pro Champ feature Sunday. Wahl also was the defending champion from the race event last year. But the final didn’t come all rosy.
During the second round of Sunday’s Pro Champ qualifying, Wahl was ejected from his sled in a turn 1 battle and sent to the bales. Though landing hard on the ice, he walked off the track under his own power. His sled was rebuilt in time for round three qualifying. He won his round three heat, but was short on points to qualify for the feature. He only advanced to the final after winning the LCQ.
In the final, two successive first-lap crashes caused two restarts. Jacques Villeneuve had the holeshot the first two times the race went green, but the red flag flew before a lap was in the books negating his starts. Three times wasn’t the charm. On the third start, Wahl took the lead from VanStrydonk and pulled away using a low, inside line. He quickly built a big lead. Villeneuve stole second from VanStrydonk but made no other progress. He was in position to finish second, but he broke down 100 yards from the finish. VanStrydonk inherited second and Joel Diamond, after coming through the LCQ, finished third.
- Nick VanStrydonk was powerful off the start, winning almost every holeshot in his heats Saturday and Sunday. He finished second to Wahl in Pro Champ Saturday and played runner-up to Wahl again Sunday.
- Travis MacDonald, at 15 years old and running Pro Champ for the first time at Valcourt, campaigned successfully all weekend. He was competitive against teammate and 2009 Eagle River World Champion Brian Bewcyk. He qualified for the final and finished sixth. MacDonald was presented as the youngest-ever qualifier at the Grand Prix.
- The Pro Stock 600 winner Craig House was affected by an injury. He was unable to put weight on his weakened appendage, but he raced a hard-fought battle with Malcolm Chartier. Mason Hamilton went into the wall on lap three, bringing out the red flag. From his last-place restart position, he battled back to third, his running order when he crashed.
- The final was off to a rocky start. Near the end of what would have been lap 1, Bewcyk was the victim of tight-pack contact. He wrecked on the inside snowbank after some contact from behind and brought out the first red flag. Without a lap in the books, there was a restart. Heading into turn three after the first restart, No. 66 Jason Lavallée wrecked through the outside wall. After the third restart, and with two fewer sleds than the original start, the 15-lap final ran flag-to-flag.
- In addition to his impressive starts in the Pro Champ feature, Grand Prix de Valcourt legend Jacques Villeveuve won a qualifying heat to the delight of the crowd. Unfortunately, the mob was unable to gesture their approval with wild applause after he broke on the final lap and coasted to a stop 100 yards from the finish. He remained the hero driver of Quebec after tossing Villeneuve artifacts over the fence and made a broken heart gesture while getting towed off his home track.
- All weekend long there were special tributes to Ski-Doo celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Look for features on the anniversary celebration soon on snowgosite.wpengine.com.
Dustin Wahl 74 Greenbush MN Wahl Polaris
Nicholas Van Strydonk 113 Tomahawk WI Polaris
Joel Diamond 2 Lapeer MI Ski-doo
Malcolm Chartier 33 Marine City MI Ski-doo
Mitch Diamond 65 Lapeer MI Ski-doo
Travis MacDonald 8 Lackport Man Ski-doo
Brandon Johnson 22 Holt MN Wahl Polaris
Jacques Villeneuve 96DNF St-Cuthbert QC Ski-doo
Jeff DeJong 16DNF Pembroke ON Gifford/Ski-doo
Jason Lavallée 66DNF Drummondville QC Ski-doo
Felipe Roy-Lalonde 71DNF St-Jude QC Ski-doo
Brian Bewcyk 39DNF Winnipeg MN Ski-doo
Pro stock 600
Craig House 11 Brant Lake NY Ski-doo
Malcolm Chartier33 Marine City MI Ski-doo
Mason Hamilton 37 Diamond Point NY Ski-doo
Mitch Diamond 65 Lapeer MI Ski-doo
Curtis Weatherdon113 Barry’s Bay ON Ski-doo
Erik Frigon19 Pownal ME Yamaha
Pro Formula 500
Serge Ouellet 14 Lachute QC Polaris
Dustin Gehrke 131 Morrisonville NY Ski-doo
Luc Lauzon 17 Rivière-Beaudette QC Polaris
Kevin Coulson 43 Milford Bay ON Arctic Cat
Hubert Côté 27 St-Jean Richelieu QC Polaris
Stephen Gorham 91 South Portland ME Yamaha
Rob Sheppard 330 Mindemoya ON Polaris
Olivier Paiement152 Ile Bizard QC Ski-doo
Anthony Pettinelli177 Rome NY TRC/Ski-doo
Serge Desilets 66 St-Nicéphore QC Polaris
Brad Moore 24DNS Winchester ON Polaris
David Pettinelli 63 Rome NY Chaparral
Jocelyn Lesieur 72 Shawinigan QC Chaparral
Anthony Pettinelli177 Rome NY Chaparral
David Jr Pettinelli961 DNF Rome NY Chaparral
Tony Pettinelli 176DNS Rome NY Chaparral
Gaston Ferland 12 DNS Québec QC Ski-doo
Éric Champigny 221 DNS Bonsecour QC Ski-doo