When he’s not having his hands in oil repairing recreational vehicles, former oval-on-ice champion Normand Pilote travels to see races and reminisce about good memories with his former opponents. For ten years, he was running the show on various American and Canadian circuits, his many victories show for it.

The passion for racing has always lived within the runner from Saint-Félicien. His career first started in motocross when he was 15 years old. For a dozen years, he rode his two-wheeled steed and shone on various circuits of ice and dirt. It was only towards the end of the 80’s that he started competing in snowmobiles.

“ We go back a long way, says the main interested party. […] I applied to Racing at Bombardier. Eventually they took me. I spent ten years with them racing. I won the [Quebec circuit] championships almost every year. I’ve been to Ontario, the United States and all over the place.”

Normand Pilote has very fond memories of his career on the ice oval. The one who wore the number 57 lined up in the Champ 440 and Formula 3 classes where his success was immediate and among the best in the world.

“ I already had a good base in racing, he comments. It’s another adaptation, for sure, but I learned very quickly. Proof is, the first year, I won the championships. It was still good there. […] It was something that I loved, it was a passion that I had in me. I always got thrilled on the races. I still like it.”


Multiple memories

During his career, Normand Pilote has enjoyed many memories. Among his best moments there’s his victory in 1995 at the World Championship in Eagle River. And let’s not forget his victories in the Quebec championship, but also in Valcourt, on the Circuit Yvon-Duhamel, where he still remembers the atmosphere.

“It’s big Valcourt all the same, ” says the very likable man.” It’s gigantic and it was my practice track. We were going to test the vehicles. Those were good times.” 

Normand Pilote had the pleasure of racing on several circuits across Canada and the United States. When the time comes to choose his favorite track, his heart stops on Owen Sound’s in Ontario. And what about the pilots he liked to compete against? Mike Houle and Jacques Villeneuve immediately come to mind.

“When I was racing in Formula 3, it was Mike Houle. It  was pretty much always him that gave me a hard time”, he says laughing. ”I had good times with Jacques [Villeneuve] too [in Champ 440]. He’s one of my great friends.” 

Every time he returns to watch races, Normand Pilote admits on having great pleasure in seeing his former opponents with whom he experienced many thrills. 

Strong heritage

Even though he hung up his helmet at the end of the 90s, Normand Pilote remains a popular figure in the sport. His legacy will live long in the memory of those who saw him surpass himself with all that he accomplished during his illustrious career.

Although he is no longer involved in the world of competitions, the multiple champion shared his knowledge as a mentor for several years with snocross teams fielding Quebec athletes like Karl Allard and Dave Allard. And even today, he financially supports certain young riders.

“I coached them for several years,” he explains. […] ”I stayed in racing for a long time. Now that is in the past. […] I am still known in the field.”

Speed ​​enthusiasts will always remember Normand Pilote as a passionate athlete who always gave his all on the track to put on a good show, but also to be the one greeted with top honors onto the step of the podium. His prowess will remain forever etched in the memory of many motorsport enthusiasts.

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