Morin, Poirier Split Pro in Bangor
Bangor, ME (Jan. 15, 2015) — Veteran snowmobile racers Mathieu Morin and Danny Poirier earned final round victories last weekend, as East Coast Snocross (ECS) opened its 2015 season with the inaugural Paul Bunyan International at historic Bass Park in Bangor, Maine.
Morin, of Val-d'Or, QC, snuck past his Ingles Performance/Ski-doo teammate Poirier on the final lap Sunday to notch his first win of the young season. Poirier powered to victory in Saturday's grueling 13-lap final with a wire-to-wire dominant performance.
"Saturday didn't turn out the way I wanted," Morin said after Sunday's big win. "I tried to get by Danny in the final corner, but went in too hot and crashed. After a disappointing sixth place finish, I was determined to do better on Sunday. Starting in the back row was tough, but I got a strong start and this time pulled off that last-lap pass. I owe a big thanks to my mechanic, Sebastien Fortier, Robin Ingles, and all of our sponsors for helping to salvage my weekend. I'm happy we got things turned around."
Series newcomer Johan Dahlgren (Team Southside/Polaris) of Sweden followed Poirier across the line in second on Saturday, with SCM regular Donovan Asselin filling out the podium in third. Poirier settled for second Sunday, with Dahlgren capping a solid debut in third. Jake daSilva (daSilva Racing/Ski-doo) and Quebec veteran Dave Asselin completed the top five.
"I'm happy to get a new season started with a win in Maine," Poirier said. "The new Ski-doo is a fast machine, but we're still working to make it faster. We're hoping to carry this momentum into Round 2, and push hard for more wins. We're working to repeat our success of last season."
In Pro-Lite action at Bangor, longtime veteran Matt Boron swept the finals with strong performances all weekend. Kevin Kelly, another of the talented SCM regulars, finished second, while Vermont veteran Wade Acker was rock-solid in third. On Sunday, Janathan Lebel (SCM) and rising star Cody Paolella (Wallingford, CT) filled out the podium in second and third respectively.
Sport Super Stock is the class a lot of observers follow to see who is making a name for themselves. In Bangor, it was a well-known female racer from Quebec leading the way, as Jennifer Pare crossed over from Women's classes to run with the boys. Pare held off Sam Caouette and Heath Bell for top honors Saturday, and rode on to sweep her Pro Women finals. Caouette rode to victory on Sunday, with Bell a close second and Dalton Jacquier third to fill out the podium.
Along with the season-opening points races for all classes, teams in the Pro Open, Pro Lite and Sport classes also competed in first-round qualifying for the 2015 Triple Crown. In the premier Pro Open class, Morin led fellow Quebec natives Donovan Asselin and Lucas Brunelle across the line in a hotly-contested 10-lap heat Saturday. In Pro Lite, Wade Acker powered his way to victory over Cody Paolella and Joe Bishop.
With a high number of entries, two heats were run in Sport class Triple Crown qualifying. Sam Caouette led Nick Zielinski and Dominic Babineau across the line in Heat 1, while Maxime Tremblay won Heat 2 with Jennifer Pare and Keven Hebert second and third respectively. Yes, the SCM riders have their "eyes on the prize" in this year's high-stakes Triple Crown Series international rivalry.
Other big winners over the weekend in Bangor include Bruce Gaspardi Jr. (Plus 25 Sat. and Sun.); Janathan Lebel (Plus 35 Sat. and Sun.); Sam Caouette (Sport 600); Michael Newman (Jr. 16-17 Sat. and Sun.); and Rachel Serra (Jr. 14-15 Sunday). Congratulations to all of our Final round winners on a job well done.
East Coast Snocross would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Eastern Maine Community College Foundation for all the hard work leading up to last weekend's event. Rarely does a host go the extra mile like these folks and their large group of sponsors did in recent weeks. We were proud to race in Bangor, and hope this event can become an annual stop on the series schedule.
ECS would also like to thank the riders from Quebec-based SCM circuit for supporting this event. Your presence enhanced the competition and gave our fans a thrilling weekend. We look forward to joining you all again in Louiseville, QC, for Round 2 qualifying of the Triple Crown on Jan. 24-25. ECS teams will now gear up for Round 2 this coming weekend, Jan. 17-18, at the Schaghticoke Fairgrounds in Schaghticoke, New York.
East Coast Snocross, presented by AMSOIL, Woody's Traction and FXR, is the eastern regional affiliate of ISOC. ECS strives to maintain a healthy level of competition in grassroots snocross, while also cultivating new talent for tomorrow's factory-backed national teams.
Action photography by Josh Sullivan of Papperazzi Imaging & Films