2012 TrackChaser Report #62--Autodrome St. Valere, QC
This past weekend Pam and I left Friday morning with a destination of Quebec, Canada. We stopped in Plattsburgh, NY for an early dinner at the 99 Restaurant (a favorite northeastern chain of ours), then headed to Drummondville for the night. We got there so much earlier than expected, we had time to get in an hour walk before heading over to Tim Horton's for a late bowl of soup and bagel, then back to the hotel to watch the Olympics.
Saturday we were up early, making the remaining portion of the drive to St-Valere. We knew the location of the track, the Autodrome St.-Valere, because we were there last October, only to be rained out less than a half hour before race time. This time the weather was beautiful. Admission was $15 but they were so happy that we came from Pennsylvania to see their track that they wouldn't take our money, despite trying several times to pay for our passes. Will White had pioneered TrackChasing at this track, having been there in 2010, its second year of operation. Over the past winter, the town council of St.-Valere made an attempt to shut down the track.
Joining us at the track on this day were both Mike Knappenberger and Rick Young. The track is a quarter mile D-shaped and sandy-surfaced oval. There was a great turnout of both cars and fans. Why in the world would they want to shut down a successful business that offers entertainment for so many locals, and also brings other people into the town? Crazy!
There were only two Modifieds, but there were 10 of the Sportsman-Modifieds. The myriad of classes also included 21 Four Cylinder Stocks (120 hp and less), 8 Four Cylinder Stocks (120+ hp), 10 Six Cylinder Stocks, 10 Eight Cylinder Stocks, 12 Ladies Four Cylinder Stocks, 5 Pick Up Trucks, 8 Pro Stocks, and 5 Super Fours. Let's see, that's 10 classes and a total of 91 cars, an average of 9.1 cars per class.
The format for the races was confusing. The largest class, the Four Cylinder Stocks under 120 hp had two heats and a feature. Half of the cars competed in each heat. The Sportsman-Modifieds also had two heats and a feature, but all ten cars competed in each of the two heats. The other eight classes ran two features and no heats. So there was a total of 22 races, of which all but four were features.
Racing got started a half hour late. The track was very sandy and soft, and it got really torn up every couple of races. They did their best to roll the track, but there was no way to keep it from getting rough and rutted, especially turn four, which is a very tight turn compared to the other turns. Surprisingly, the water seemed to penetrate the sandy quite well which kept it from getting too dusty. Still, the racing was generally good, especially in the lower powered classes. I thought the ten Sportsman Modifieds were going to be wild, but they had too much power and wrecked a lot.
The Quebec hot dogs were excellent as always, but with just one food truck vendor brought in for the day, the lines got long. With a top class, a permanent facility, and a more or less once per month schedule, this track certainly deserves to be in the National Speedway Directory. The ten race schedule includes seven at Autodrome St.-Valere and three at East Broughton. An event scheduled for Pointe Du Lac in June was canceled. It had been on my preliminary schedule.
There are no lights at the track so the races are always held during the day. With as many races as they have, it's no wonder they have to start mid-morning. We watched three hours of racing, before heading out for our Saturday evening destination.
Guy & Pam Smith 2012 Summary
2012 New Tracks--Guy 41 / Pam 36
2012 Events--Guy 59 / Pam 36
2012 Total Tracks--Guy 62 / Pam 39
2012 Additional Non Classified Tracks--Guy 6 /
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,459 / Pam 823
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