If you are regulars at the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt (GPSV), you have certainly met a passionate and very friendly man while walking in Wayne’s Paddock. For thirty years, Wayne Wilkins was the face of this place dedicated to racers. He may have decided to pass the torch, but his memories will forever live on.

Wayne Wilkins passion for speed began in 1976 in Edmonton, Alberta, when he first watched an ice oval race. He got the bite immediately.

“After that, when it started here [in Valcourt], I always liked it,”. I became close to the racers. For me, it was a big family. It’s all my friends. I would do anything for them and they would do anything for me. “

The volunteer involvement in the paddock began after a discussion with Charlie Goodwin, father of Jeff and Gregg. He let him know that the athletes wanted him to run the paddock. A meeting that allowed him to forge his path into GPSV history. And since then, he has always had immense support from the athletes.

“It’s been a long time,” he recalls. [Charlie Goodwin] showed me how to take my measurements between the trailers. At first, I didn’t have a Ski-Doo or four-wheeler. I did this on foot. I ran a lot. From time to time, Jeff Goodwin took my place. I was out of breath. Charlie would say, “Wayne, sit down.” It started like this. “

During all his years at the GPSV, Wayne Wilkins had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with several renowned athletes such as the Vessair, Gingras, Villeneuve, Houle, and the list continues to grow. “It was incredible,” he says wistfully. It was a very professional world. “


The racers on the ice oval have given him a strong feeling over the years. In particular, he saw with his own eyes the legendary Dave Wahl beat an opponent with a single track over a Twin Track machine. And when it comes to choosing one of his best moments on the track, a very specific race comes to mind.

“It was a Friday evening,” says the man from Valcourt. Formula I versus Formula III [for] ten laps. People were asking me who would win. I was saying Formula I. On lap seven, on curve number four, that’s where the two Formula I [snowmobiles] came forward and they finished the race in first and second place. You can ask any spectator, it’s the race that is implanted in everyone’s head. “

Wayne Wilkins has always had a special relationship with the Wahl family. He also saw Terry win his only victory at Eagle River. And he even had the privilege of being at his side for the presentation of the pilots. He will also never forget when Dave first announced to him his retirement from motorsport.

Beyond competitions and victories, the man behind the paddock will always remember several meetings, including the one where he brought together a number of competitors to have them sign autographs for a paraplegic person in a bus.

“I went to see Charlie Goodwin,” he recalls. I explained [the situation] to him. I left for about half an hour to see all the racers. When I got back to the bus it was amazing. There was maybe a line 35 or 40 feet long. All the guys entered the bus one by one to sign autographs. It affected me. There, I realized that they were men, professionals. “

Even today, when he takes a moment to retrace his memories, Wayne Wilkins is touched by all he has been through. “It doesn’t take much to see my eyes full of water,” he admits.



Wayne Wilkins will now experience the action of the Grand Prix Ski-Doo de Valcourt in a very different way since he has decided to retire from Wayne’s Paddock. It is now as a spectator that he will watch the races pass in front of him. And he does not hide the fact that he will miss the proximity to the racers on competition days.

“I won’t have time to go through as usual,” he remarks. My coffee was always ready in one trailer, my hot dogs always ready in another. The doors were never locked for me. “

The passionate volunteer has always done everything possible to meet the needs of the competitors with his team. Sometimes he even acted as a translator and made trips to the hospital with those who were injured on the track.

“Here, I am at home,” he notes. The others are not at home. They don’t speak the language here. I did everything that I was able to do. “

After all these years, Wayne Wilkins reputation is well established. His dedication allowed him to forge close ties with the guys and to be always received with open arms during competitions here and elsewhere. He certainly leaves a great legacy to the biggest motorsport event in the world and his involvement will forever be engraved in the memory of speed fans.


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