St-Hippolyte, Quebec, competitor Guy Giroux’s off-road credits are legendary. Internationally, he finished the 2002 Dakar Rall — at 16th the highest-placed Canadian finisher to date — and has scored gold and bronze medals at the ISDE. His Canadian accomplishments are equally impressive, with nearly two dozen national and Quebec championships over the years.
For the 2010 season, he’s just announced that he’ll be on Husqvarna equipment, the off-road specialty brand making a return to Canada after many years away. They’ll be imported by Barrett Marketing Group of New Brunswick, which re-introduced the Triumph brand to Canada years ago. Husqvarna, which originated in Sweden in 1903 but has been in Varese, Italy, since 1987 since being purchased by Cagiva, is now part of the BMW corporate group. Giroux was riding a BMW G450X in 2009, so that transition seems natural.
He and three others &mdashy; Alberta’s Marty Halmazna (another ISDE gold medal winner) and B.C. young guns Nick and Ryan Graffunder — will join the FP (Feeding Performance) Husqvarna / Zip-Ty Racing Canada Team. They’ll compete across Canada in selected events, including the Canadian Enduro Championship (CEC) rounds and various regional races. Also, Halmazna has his sights set on some of the world’s most extreme races, including a return to the infamous Erzberg Hare Scramble in Austria.
Giroux, as the senior member of the group, will be heavily involved in team operations, and also act as a mentor and coach for his younger teammates, the Graffunder brothers. Giroux said, "I was able to get to know Nick and Ryan during last year’s CEC series. They are great guys with loads of potential and I am definitely looking forward to working with them this year."
Marc Coffin, Director of Racing for the FP Husqvarna / Zip-Ty Racing Canada Team, said, "I am really happy to have brothers Nick and Ryan Graffunder as part of this program. We felt that it was important to support some young, rising stars that represent the future of this sport."
Both Ryan and Nick have won regional championships in western Canada in addition to contesting the new CEC series in 2009, where they turned heads with their impressive rides resulting in two top-10 results.
Team sponsors include Motovan, Rekluse, Ogio, Dragon, Throttle Entertainment, Lime Nine and Zip Ty Racing.