Trois-Rivieres prepares for August event

Trois-Rivières, Quebec, July 3, 2003 Racing fans are in for a feast from August 1-3, as Trois-Rivières plays host to the upper-crust of motor-racing for the 34th edition of the Grand Prix, an event that will feature a number of internationally...

Trois-Rivières, Quebec, July 3, 2003 Racing fans are in for a feast from August 1-3, as Trois-Rivières plays host to the upper-crust of motor-racing for the 34th edition of the Grand Prix, an event that will feature a number of internationally known drivers, along with some of the rising stars in the sport.

For the second straight year, cars in the American Le Mans series will share the spotlight with those in the Trans-Am, Atlantic and Formula Ford series, while the Quebec road-course championship will be making a much-anticipated return on the 2.424-km circuit. In all, there are seven races on the weekend schedule, including four on Sunday.

" We're extremely pleased to welcome back the ALMS prototype cars and world-class drivers such as Johnny Herbert, J.J. Lehto, Didier Theys and James Weaver, who really put on a tremendous show for the spectators last year, capped by running the fastest race lap ever recorded in Trois-Rivières, " said Leon Methot, the president of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.

In this year's Trans-Am series, fans will have the opportunity to renew acquaintance with such former Champ Car seriesdrivers as Scott Pruett and Memo Gidley, while in Formula Atlantic, hot-shot newcomers to the circuit such as J.J. Allmendinger and Danica Patrick, will battle it out with Quebec drivers Stephan C. Roy and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, which will mark the latters first Atlantic race in front of the home crowd.

" Historically, the race in Trois-Rivières has been the turning point of the season, and the race winner has, in many instances, gone on to take the driverschampionship at the end of the season; this has made for some thrilling racing, where no one wants to concede even an inch, " remarked Mr. Methot, who also noted the return of the Canadian Formula Ford series, which will be staging two rounds of its championship in Trois-Rivières.

Marc Gagnon, Jacques Duval, Marc-Antoine Camirand and Jean-Francois Dumoulin among the entries in the Quebec road-course championship

When the first edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières was held in 1967, the Quebec championship for production cars proved to be a big hit with racing fans, and its latest incarnation the Hankook Quebec road-course championship figures to generate the same enthusiasm.

Among the entries for the championship, which will be hosting two races (Touring & GTO/GTU class), fans will recall acclaimed automotive journalist, Jacques Duval, who won consecutive races in Trois-Rivières from 1967 to 1969, drivers Marc-Antoine Camirand and Jean-Francois Dumoulin, as well as former Olympic champion Marc Gagnon, who has traded in his speedskaters outfit for a drivers suit and will be competing in a Honda Civic SiR.

" I witnessed the Grand Prix as a spectator last year and I was impressed by how big an event it was and how the fans really got into the action, " remarked Gagnon, the most decorated Canadian Olympic athlete in history with five medals. " I know that, at the start of the race, I'm going to be nervous, but Im really looking forward to this whole experience. "

Grand Prix organizers also took the opportunity to announce, in the presence of Trois-Rivières mayor Yves Levesque, the return of the Mayor's Cup, which will be awarded to the winner of the Touring class event. It will be the first time the prize is handed out since 1978.

Again this year, activities will abound both at the track and in downtown Trois-Rivières throughout Grand Prix week. These activities will get underway the weekend of July 26-27 with the presentation of "le Petit Monaco", a karting competition that will be run at the Parc portuaire, the same venue that serves as the perfect setting to watch the traditional pyromusical show on Saturday, Aug. 2.

Meanwhile, visitors to the Grand Prix site will have an opportunity to ogle at the sight of the "English Beauties"around the swimming pool -open to the public all weekend -as a collection of more than 50 British vintage cars will be on display, including Bentley, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Triumph and MG models.

People wishing to purchase tickets for the 34th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières may do so by calling (819) 380-9797 or toll free at 1-800-363-5051. To find out more about the weekend schedule and other services provided to spectators, please visit the Grand Prix web site at www.gptr.qc.ca

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About this article
Series ALMS , Atlantic , Road racing , Trans-Am
Drivers Johnny Herbert , J.J. Lehto , James Weaver , Didier Theys , Memo Gidley , Scott Pruett , Marc-Antoine Camirand , Stephan C. Roy , Louis-Philippe Dumoulin , Danica Patrick