Tribute to Gaston Ferland
Tribute to Gaston Ferland

Formerly a motorcycle athlete, Gaston Ferland made his snowmobile debut in 1963. The former Valcourt citizen rode his Ski-Doo machine in 1963 and won his first victory at the Quebec Winter Carnival. In 1964, BRP recruited him to the Valcourt research center as a pilot and mechanic. He will test several prototypes such as the Dragster, a four-engine snowmobile, or the Inferno, a snowmobile mounted exactly like an acceleration car, but which has never raced. He raced on the Valcourt test track at the same time as Yvon-Duhamel, the French-Canadian professional motorcycle racer whose name the circuit today bears.   

With many victories on the Eagle River side, the Americans nicknamed him “The Legend”. Gaston Ferland has also participated 15 times in the Canadian Championship at Beauséjour. Now retired, the native Quebecer is proud to have achieved his goal of winning at Valcourt. 

As he received recognition from the leaders of the Motorized Super Competitions circuit for his 40 years of racing in 2011, Gaston demonstrated that he still had the physical capabilities to hold his machine on the track and won first place ahead of Cole McMichael, from Lefroy, Ont., and Michael Soucy, from Hopkinton, New Hampshire. After his son Marco who competed for a few years, the Ferland family is continuing to prove themselves on the Yvon-Duhamel circuit as his grandchildren Michael and Sabrina excel in their respective categories. 

Summary of his snowmobile career

1963 – Victory at the Quebec Carnival

1964 Winter- Signed as factory pilot with Bombardier 

Participated seven times in the Eagle River World

1967 Championship – Finished 2nd in the World Championship at Eagle River

1971- Canadian Co-champion in with Gilles Villeneuve

1972 – Finished 2nd at the World Championship at Eagle River

Participated 15 times at the Canadian Championship at Beauséjour

1973 – Wins the 292 cc class at Eagle River

1977 – Champion of the Canadian Snowmobile Association

1985 – Victory at the Quebec Winter Carnival in the Vintage category

2011- Honoured for his participation in the Grand Prix de Valcourt