SledAddicts presents a special messgae from the organizers of the GRAND PRIX SKI-DOO DE VALCOURT
GRAND PRIX SKI-DOO DE VALCOURT RACING VENUE READY A MONTH AHEAD OF TIME, OUTSTANDING TRACK CONDITIONS EXPECTED FOR THE UPCOMING GRAND PRIX SKI-DOO DE VALCOURT
Valcourt, January 29, 2009 – The drivers lining up on the oval or the snocross course starting lines at the upcoming Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt, February 20, 21 and 22, will probably encounter the very best conditions ever seen at Canada’s most popular motorsport winter event, if of course Mother Nature remains as co-operative has she’s been so far this year. In fact, as the organizers were explaining this week, the ice covering the oval at circuit Yvon Duhamel is already 31 centimeters thick (over a foot) and the snocross course is virtually ready, built with the equivalent of 1,200 truckloads of snow. According to the site co-ordinator, the entire racing program on ice and snow could have been held this coming weekend.
‘’As for temperature conditions, it’s the perfect winter season. We are miles away from last year as the thermometer was showing 55o F 13o Celsius) on January 11. We had to wait three more days to finally start building the track and the snocross course”, explains Arsène Malenfant, in charge of site security and planning. But I must add that improving our equipment and being able to count on the ever-increasing knowledge of those assigned to the task of fabricating snow and ice, are key factors in this year’s readiness. As it is now, whatever happens, we can guarantee optimal conditions to the drivers”, added the volunteer who also says that the Grand Prix team devote time and energy to their courses in order to provide at the same time the very best conditions to the participants, and a high quality spectacle to the spectators.
A few years ago, the organizers decided not to trust anymore the snowfalls, neither to bring in loads of snow by truck, finding these solutions uncertain and/or expensive. “Artificial snow is the solution. It’s also white, clean and it improves the quality of the show. The sleds just look great over pure white snow, says Mr. Malenfant who can count on the water supply of a pond right next to the track, to feed the snow cannons is use now. This year, we have already pumped 10,000 cubic meters of water for the snocross course. And we are planning to still shoot over the equivalent of 375 truck loads of snow before we’re completely satisfied.”
For the oval, where the organizers expect that the iced surface will be an additional seven centimetres ticker by the time the drivers take their first green flag on February 20, it is the safety improvements done before the 2008 edition that make them proud. “Between corner 1 and 2, we enlarged the track. Previously, it was 50 feet (15,2 meters) wide; we are now at 85 feet (25,9 meters). Since last winter, there is also a kind of iced run-off area, 10 feet (3 meters) wide on the outside. It’s an area between the end of the racing course and the hay bails wall also covered by a canvas to maintain them together, in order to retain the sleds. After realizing these improvements last year, we didn’t have any major incident in this area”, concluded Mr Malenfant.
A reminder for those who wish to have a preview of the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt snocross feature: starting today, it’s the 13th Winter X-Games weekend in Aspen, Colorado. The ISOC Amsoil Championship Snocross Series professional drivers expected at the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt in a month are testing on the Buttermilk Mountain course this Thursday afternoon. They will do the same tomorrow, before their first round heats tomorrow night and their final race, Saturday night. Both Friday and Saturday evening, at 9:00 p.m., the snocross program will be airing on ESPN. The Winter X-Games presentation on the tube is also an opportunity to see in action the snowmobile freestylers also on the program for Valcourt.
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There are only three days (February 1, 2009) remaining to purchase tickets for the 27th Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt at discounted prices. They currently range from $8.00 for general admission on Friday, to $120.00 for a weekend access to a heated trackside suite. General admission tickets are at $45.00 for the entire weekend and $20.00 daily, for both Saturday and Sunday. All prices in Canadian currencies include taxes. As of February 2, the ticket prices will increase. One’s can order now at the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt ticket office opened from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday at 1 866 532-7543. Packages including accommodations are also offered. More details are available at www.grandprixvalcourt.com
Located a short 25 miles northwest of Sherbrooke, Québec, Valcourt is one and a half hour away from Montréal and less than two and a half hours away from Plattsburg, New York, Burlington or Montpelier, Vermont and Laconia, New Hampshire.