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Sabrina Blanchet says ultimate goal is reaching title race PDF Print E-mail
By Gary Ridderbusch

News-Review Editor

Danica Patrick made a name for herself in 2013 as she became the first female driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole, turning in the fastest qualifying lap since 1990 in qualifying for the Daytona 500.

This week, Sabrina Blanchet of Quebec will try to be the first woman to qualify for the modern day World Championship class at the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby.

Blanchet, 17, is the granddaughter of legendary snowmobile racer Gaston Ferland, a factory racer for Ski-Doo from 1966 to 1977.

In Eagle River last weekend for the Vintage World Championships, Blanchet said her ultimate goal would be to win the Eagle River World Championship in the Champ 440 class. She was the first woman to win the Champ Junior 1 380 and Semi-Pro Champ 440 classes at the Eagle River Derby last year.

“To date, those are the two biggest events I have won,” she said.

Blanchet said she gets her racing drive from her grandfather and father.

Grandpa Ferland worked in the Ski-Doo factory race shop preparing his race sleds. He raced many classes and in the early 1970s won  more than 35 Grand Prix events, including some of the biggest on the schedule.

After his run with Ski-Doo, Ferland went with Polaris and after that he raced on his own. To this day, at the age of 72, he still races on the CPT circuit on a Formula 500 sled.

Blanchet’s father, Rejean, also was a racer, competing in cross-country and sno-cross events. He also raced hydroplane boats for 12 years, racing in Canada and the United States. These boats had more than 1,000 horsepower and travelled more than 140 mph.

Sabrina starting racing at age 7, racing for George Samson. She started with a modified Kitty Cat class and moved on to Junior 1 340 and Champ Junior 1 380 sleds. She finally is taking on the speedy Champ 440 sled.

Along the way, Blanchet has won many races and many championships. In a sport dominated by men, she is slowly edging her way to the top.

A Top 10 finish at the AMSOIL World Championship in Eagle River would be a giant step in that direction.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 2:56 PM
Last Updated on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:16 AM

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