First Time for Everything

Saturday, February 18, 2017

(February 18, 2017) - For the first time in the history of the TLR Cup Tour, we partnered with the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt to bring the Tour to Quebec. The long-standing race celebrated 35 years last weekend and a good showing of drivers made the long haul from the Midwest to compete for Round 7 points. 

When not hosting the Grand Prix, the big half-mile track is used for research and development by BRP. It doesn't take long to realize the town bleeds yellow, and that's because the plant that manufactures Ski-Doo and Can-Am products is situated right in the center of it. Regardless of any Ski-Doo ties, the Grand Prix staff and facility is extremely welcoming and accommodating to racers going for glory on all sled makes.

TLR Cup Tour points racing didn't happen until Saturday, which gave drivers time to figure out the "egg-shaped" track on Friday. Unlike most of the true oval tracks on the Tour's schedule, the Circuit Yvon Duhamel, the track's official name, gets tricky in corners three and four. With a slight incline going into three and what some drivers dubbed "corners five and six," the track forced drivers to develop a good strategy and get smart about their race lines.  

Matt Schulz took an early taking to it on Friday, as he won the day's 10-lap feature. Gunnar Sterne finished behind him and Cardell Potter took the third spot. On Saturday it was down to business, with three qualifying rounds to seed drivers for the 15-lap TLR Cup Tour final. As the track got rougher, more race lines opened up and a good handful of drivers got wins in their heat races.

When the green flag lifted for the final, Jordan Wahl was first through the corner and would lead the first part of the race until a blown belt led to an early retirement. There to assume the lead was Gunnar Sterne, with Cardell Potter hot on his trail. Potter closed with each lap but when the checkered waved, Sterne remained out front and earned his fifth TLR Cup Tour win of the season. Schulz took the final podium spot. In the TLR Cup Outlaw 600 final it was Tim Hibbard who took the win.  

As a severe winter storm blew in Sunday afternoon, the Pro Champ final was cancelled after racers voted on the matter. Next on the schedule is Round 8 at another new venue for the Tour in Tomahawk, Wisc. next weekend. After that, the season finale will go down in Beausejour, Manitoba. 

If you can't make it to the races yourself, be sure to catch all the action live and for free on Ditch Banger TV. 

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