Husqvarna Canada’s Giroux & Chainé Win St-Raymond 500
May 13, 2011 – Saint John, NB – In the first official race of the 2011 season for the Feeding Performance Husqvarna Canada race team, off-road legend Guy Giroux, joined rising star Philippe Chainé, to nail the Overall Win at the St-Raymond 500 team race in Quebec. Giroux and Chainé waged war against 52 other teams en route to establishing an impressive 12 minute gap over 2nd place during the 2 day, 500km race.
Guy Giroux & Philippe Chainé
The St-Raymond race saw the riders attacking a 10km loop that featured a wicked fast combination of grass track and sand sections. With each rider piloting separate machines over the two day event, and only trading the transponder between shifts, Giroux was able to put Husky's all new 2011 TC 449 to the test while Chainé stormed the course on his TXC250.
"Saturday morning was cool and rainy," said Giroux, "I got my old gore-tex kit out of the closest and I was ready to go out first. Our plan was to change riders every hour to save some time on the other teams. I went out and had a blast. The track was just awesome, really fast grass section, whooped out sand section, everything that I like! Plus the bike was feeling super good, really stable and smooth; I was pulling major slides all over every corner. Phil got out there and was flying too but he was a bit underpowered for the fast soft grass. He was riding steady only 20 seconds off of my times. By the end of Day 1 we had an 8 minute lead."
After completing 27 laps of the 10km course on Saturday, Giroux and Chainé set a blistering pace early on Day 2. In the first lap on Sunday, Giroux once again confirmed his well earned reputation as a fierce competitor by posting one of his fastest laps of the weekend; more than 30 seconds quicker than his fastest time the day before.
Chainé was also on the gas and churning out impressive lap times throughout the day.When the checkers flew, the pair had pounded through another 23 laps on their way to taking the overall victory and establishing an impressive 12 minute gap over 2nd.
"I did my 5 laps and gave Phil the lead," said Giroux. "Phil was also 30 seconds faster than the day before, but Sam was the most impressive; shaving more than a minute off his time. Same for Karine, the sun was making her smile and fly." Giroux hammered through his final shift on the TC449 and posted his fastest times of the weekend in the final 3 laps.
While Giroux and Chainé were leading the charge, Husky Canada's star female rider, Karine Geoffrion, was working her way through the pack on her TXC250. Karine was teamed up with 14 year old wonder kid, Samuel Rousseau, and his Husqvarna CR150. While most teams consisted of 3 riders, Karine and Sam soldiered their way through the weekend together and posted a solid 4th in class and an impressive 10th overall. Geoffrion has already established herself as one of the best female racers in the country and it looks like young Rousseau is well on his way to making his own mark in the sport.
In its first year of competition in 2010, the new FP Husqvarna team enjoyed an enormous amount of success. In addition to over 20 podiums in Regional races across the country, including almost 10 Wins, the new Husqvarna Canada team has finished its debut in the Canadian Enduro Championship with 10 Pro Class Podiums and the Top Pro Junior Award.
With a victory to kick off its first official race of 2011, the Husqvarna Canada squad is definitely fired up for another great racing season!
We are very grateful to our many amazing sponsors that provide us with the outstanding support that has allowed us to help raise the bar in Canadian off-road racing. Without them, none of it would be possible.
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