[TrackChasers] #448-- Stadiaume St-Guillaume- St-Guillaume, PQ
- Lucky Gordy. He went to St-Guillaume several years ago and saw races in his first shot.
I was there when it was a dirt track- no races. I was there when it was an ice track- no
races. I had to laugh out loud when I received the e-mail last Thursday, proclaiming
that they would be holding grass track racing at the Stadiaume. I just had to go.
After the 2-1/2 hour race at Trois-Rivieres in the morning, I backtracked to
St-Guillaume, stopping for lunch at Wendy's in Drummondville on the way.
The races were supposed to begin at 1:00 and I arrived about 20 minutes before that. The
woman selling tickets at the entrance looked genuinely happy to see me and handed over a
free ticket when she realized I was a TrackChaser. However, she asked if I was Mr. Smith
Sure enough, the 1/3 mile oval was completely covered with grass! There's a small,
wooden, covered grandstand with a bar underneath it. Hanging on the wall inside are some
photos from the Jacques Lalancette Benefit Modified race held back in the early 90's,
which was won by Frank Cozze. No air was getting into the stands and it was really hot.
I don't think they had 100 fans. The cars pitted in the infield.
How many times have you seen a racing program with 3 classes, and all 3 classes have the
same number of cars? Unfortunately, in this case the magic number was a meager 5. The
real surprise was the DIRT style Sportsmen cars running on the grass, along with
Semi-Pros and 4 Cylinders.
Starting time came and went, then the announcer stated (in French, of course) that the
races would begin at 2:00 instead of 1:00. Well, it was after 2:30 when they finally got
Pre race warmups gave a taste of how they'd have to really feather the throttle to keep
from sliding straight ahead in the corners. The car tires catapaulted hunks of turf
skyward as they rounded the turns, quickly creating a lane of tilled dirt in the middle
of the track.
By feature time they were getting more used to the conditions. The Sportsmen feature was
actually not bad for a 5 car race, with a 4 car battle up front. They ran 8 lap heats
and 12 lap features. Within an hour of the first heat starting I was on my way out.
I'm just curious, if anyone knows the answer to this. Is marijuana legal in Canada? The
reason I ask is that it was being consumed in the stands at both Coaticook and
St-Guillaume. At St-Guillaume there were some fans in front of me passing it around
amongst each other, even while the 50-50 person was selling them tickets.
Anyway, it was kind of fun to see something unique being tried, even if there were few
competitors and fans. Maybe they'll do a little better on September 2.