Home Truck News Rodeo du Camion finishes 41st run, to return again - Truck News

Rodeo du Camion finishes 41st run, to return again – Truck News

The 41st running of the Rodeo du Camion looked like a massive success on Aug. 5-6. There were a couple of hundred racing trucks, quite a few from the U.S., many more trucks in the show n’ shine area than ever before, and a big spectator crowd despite the $75 weekend entry price. As always, there were people from overseas on the hill, including a couple from England who have attended the last 10 events. The day started as always with a parade of trucks around the town, which took more than an hour to complete.

Better yet, this will not be the last Rodeo. Rumours had been rife, claiming that the little town of Notre Dame du Nord, Que., would no longer tolerate the massive disruption that the racing weekend presents. That seemed to fly in the face of logic because the popular event brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars to the town and the region.

Rodeo du Camion
Joe Lemerise lifts off the ground ahead of a run. (Photo: Rolf Lockwood)

The town’s population of about 1,500 swells to 50,000-plus during this event and has done so for many years. So maybe it was no surprise in the end when the head of the Rodeo organization stopped racing on Sunday afternoon to walk onto the track and announce the good news, that the event will be back next year. That met a resounding cheer from the crowd.

There was an aspect of the affair that didn’t please the paying fans, however. The new and tall fencing erected between spectators and the track – obviously for safety reasons, though there haven’t been incidents where such a fence would have helped — was the source of many complaints. It was hard to see through when looking at an angle, as in when trying to see what happened at the finish line if you were down low on the hill. Or in reverse, spectators higher on the track couldn’t see the start very well. At an angle the fence became something of a wall.

start lights at Rodeo du Camion
(Photo: Rolf Lockwood)

We had to wait several days to get the final list of winners in the three horsepower classes, A, B, and C in both bobtail and loaded categories. Most of the A-class racing machines are big-power rigs made for racing. Some in the B class are the same, but others among them go to normal work on Monday. Almost all C-class trucks have day jobs, so when a driveline disintegrates – as happens a little less often than in the high-horse groups – it can be more than just annoying.

The star of the show was undoubtedly Michael Jeanson of Bonsecours, Que., with his dominant Kenworth T800, Number 1925. He won both Bobtail and Loaded A-class categories and never lost a heat all weekend. Almost as good was the racer who finished 2nd in both categories, Phillipe Adam, in a Kenworth W900. The final race between the two was a tight one, Adam seeming to get the better launch but being overtaken by Jeanson a little more than halfway up the track.

One of this year’s other highlights was the lone woman racer, Chanelle ‘ChaCha’ Beaudin, who was mighty quick in her Peterbilt up that 12% hill. From Mont-Laurier, Que., she finished 4th in the C class Bobtail competition and seemed to have a lot of fun in the process, as did the crowd in supporting her. The only other woman that I can remember on the Rodeo track, whose name I forget from many years back, drove an old Volvo with an automatic transmission, which did not make her very popular.

Finishing ahead of Beaudin in the C class was Neal Dams of Hamilton, Mich., who won the Bobtail racing category on Saturday and came in 3rd on Sunday.

Joe Lemerise in his ‘GI Joe’ Kenworth provided some extra excitement on Saturday morning in his first run in the ‘B Loaded’ category — his wheel lift put him a little offline and he roared past your intrepid reporter with just a foot or two to spare. No flinching here, the camera just kept clicking. A regular competitor and a crowd favourite with one of the best-looking trucks on the course, he ultimately finished 2nd in that category, 3rd in the Bobtail competition. 

Rodeo du Camion
A tall security fence has been added to separate spectators from the spectacle. (Photo: Rolf Lockwood)

Martin Lalonde of Mercier, Que., fared almost as well in the C class, taking his clean Kenworth to 5th in the Bobtail category and 4th in Loaded. He’s always among the leaders.

Also notable, perennial racer Steve Goulet took his bright orange Kenworth to 3rd in C-class Loaded and 7th in Bobtail.

Another highlight was Michel Denomme’s C-class Peterbilt with “C15 On Meth” painted on the hood. He finished 4th in the Bobtail category, remarkable because he had the crowd cheering with high wheel lifts he induced on every run. In at least one of those heats he had both front wheels in the air at the same time, surely not an easy feat.

A bond of sorts has formed between the Rodeo and similar races at Onaway Speedway in northern Michigan, where the owners built a hill to match the one in Notre Dame du Nord. By some accounts they even tried, but failed, to replicate the Quebec pavement. In the most recent ‘Big Rig’ competition there, this past May, many Canadians went and dominated the C-class Bobtail and Loaded racing. Steve Goulet finished first in both categories, Martin Lalonde 2nd and 5th respectively, Michael Jeanson 4th in both, and Michel Denomme 5th and 2nd. Other Canadians won or placed well in the lower-horsepower events. Some Canadians also travel south to compete on the conventional drag strip at Kuhnle Motorsports Park in Thompson, Ohio. This cross-pollination bodes well for the future of truck racing.

Race results

Class A Bobtail

  1. Michael Jeanson
  2. Phillipe Adam
  3. Andre Turcotte

Class A Loaded

  1. Michael Jeanson
  2. Phillipe Adam
  3. Steve Goulet

Class B Bobtail

  1. Francis Bernard
  2. Franco Touzin
  3. Joe Lemerise

Class B Loaded

  1. Franco Touzin
  2. Joe Lemerise
  3. Martin Clouatre

Class C Bobtail

  1. Alain Denomme
  2. Andre Dagenais
  3. Neal Dams

Class C Loaded

  1. Alexandre Morin
  2. David Bradshaw
  3. Alain Denomme

Credit: Source link


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