VALLEE-JUNCTION, Quebec — Wayne Helliwell Jr. took advantage of lapped traffic to slip past Donald Theetge with 11 laps remaining and take his fourth win American-Canadian Tour win of the season at Vallée-Jct., QC’s Autodrome Chaudiere on Saturday.
Helliwell stalked Theetge through traffic after the two got around then-leader Jean-François Déry on lap 169 of the 200-lap event. As the pair approached the lapped car of Etienne Cliche, Theetge looked to pass him on the outside groove. But Cliche drifted high entering turn three and Helliwell dove to the bottom, grabbing the lead and driving away for the win in front of the second-largest crowd in track history.
Patrick Hamel got the jump on polesitter Martin Goulet Jr. and lead the first seven laps before Déry took over. Déry built a big lead at times, but six caution flags during the first 63 laps tightened the field up and led to Déry and Theetge swapping the lead back and forth on a series of restarts.
The race eventually settled in and went the entire second half caution-free, with Déry, Theetge, Helliwell, and Joey Polewarczyk Jr. breaking away from the field. Déry’s car eventually began to fall off on the long green-flag run, and after multiple attempts to get around him, Theetge finally swung to the outside and grabbed the lead with 31 laps remaining.
Helliwell, who had worked his way up from the 12th starting position, followed him through and the two pulled away as they chased each other through traffic, at one point splitting lapped cars three-wide. But Theetge’s efforts were for naught after Helliwell’s winning move.
Theetge settled for second while Polewarczyk got around Déry in the final laps for third. Dery faded to fourth after leading a race-high 134 laps. Alex Labbé made a late charge to finish fifth.
Wayne Helliwell Jr., Donald Theetge, Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Jean-Francois Dery, Alex Labbe, Dany Trepanier, Brandon Atkins, Jonathan Bouvrette, Etienne Cliché, Jeff White, Jimmy Hebert, Simon Roussin, Patrick Hamel, Emily Packard, Patrick Boyer, Rich Dubeau, Kyle Welch, Patrick Cliché, Marco Bilodeau, Gaetan Gaudreault, Carl Poulin, Claude Leclerc, Charles Harvey, Martin Goulet Jr., Gaetan Longtin, Brad Babb, Eric St.-Gelais, Rowland Robinson Jr.