Quaker State's evening program at autodrome Granby A win of perfect timing for Real Lafrance Driving his Bicknell/H. Cordeau Transport, veteran driver Real Lafrance might have scored his most important win this season, as part of the Quaker...
Quaker State's evening program at autodrome Granby
A win of perfect timing for Real Lafrance
Driving his Bicknell/H. Cordeau Transport, veteran driver Real Lafrance might have scored his most important win this season, as part of the Quaker State evening program last Friday night at autodrome Granby. Finishing ahead of Steve Poirier, Mario Lajoie and Claude Brouillard in the 30-lap Modified feature race, Lafrance who claims two visits in victory circle this season was able to cut off 10 points out of the lead held by Brouillard of Tracy, Quebec, in the Carquest Pièces d'autos Championship.
Having without a doubt the fastest car on the track, Lafrance found himself at the back of the pack on lap 3, after a race incident also involving Mario Moreau, Mario Lajoie and Michel Pelletier. Far from giving up, the St-Hyacinthe's driver started moving up the field in a very impressive way. Lafrance wasn't the only driver who had to make a strong comeback since Claude Brouillard, driver of the Teo/Eau Labrador race car, had to pull into his pit after experiencing a flat tire, during that first caution (lap 3).
Meanwhile, Richard Chauvin, who took the lead at the start, was surely moving away from his opponents at the time Steve Poirier and Kayle Robidoux. For a third time this season, Chauvin was looking strong, still in first place at mid-race when trouble started coming his way. Managing to stay in the lead after four restarts, Chauvin was passed by Steve Poirier on lap 17. Surprisingly, Lafrance had by then, managed to move up in third place. While Brouillard, also charging from the end of the pack, was having a much harder time moving up the field, coming twice in contact with a lap car. When Poirier took the lead, Brouillard was held up in the seventh spot. Finally, Chauvin ended up in fifth place.
After four unsuccessful attempts, Lafrance made his move on race leader Steve Poirier, on lap 22. Poirier finished second in front of Mario Lajoie and Brouillard who recovered well with a fourth place but now only leading the race for the Championship by 2 points.
This evening has been one to forget for Kayle Robidoux and Mario Moreau, both forced to retire for mechanical failure. Clement Therrien also had his share of problems. Fortunately, he was able to get in his old car on site for the occasion and, from the last spot on the grid, he managed a sixth place-finish.
Earlier in the evening, Mario Lajoie and Claude Brouillard were the winners in their respective heats.
Nothing seems to stop Alain Mathieu this season in the Sportsman category. Starting up 7th on the 18-cars grid, Mathieu took advantage of a restart on lap 8 to make a move on Martin Michaud and assure his fourth win this season. Michaud was forced to retire 2 laps later after a race contact with Steve Brodeur, by then the spectators were taken by the challenge for second and third place. Rookies Dany Bilodeau and Eric Leveille had quite a battle with Pierre Raymond who fought hard to earn his second place-finish. Rounding out the top-five finishers were Bilodeau, Robin David et Daniel Messier, another exceptional rookie this season. Leveille finished in seventh place. Earlier, Michaud had won his qualifying heat.
1996 Late Models Champion, Normand Voghell was finally able to collect a first visit to victory circle. He had the best on Stephane Larivière, the defending champion and Yan Julien, the leader in the first 3 laps of the 12-lap race. In the Tourism feature race, Martin Berube resisted the assaults of Jean Boissonneault and got his first win of his promising career. He led from the start to the checkered flag. For another occasion, Marie-Claude Hebert, single women in that category, did an impressive job with a third-place finish. On lap 9, a race incident involved Michel Coderre and Andre Boissonneault, Jean's father. Boissonneault was blamed by the officials who penalized him based on evidence that the contact with Coderre was intentional.
There were no surprises in the 4 Cylinders feature when Pierre Grondin collected a seventh victory this year. He finished ahead of Pascal Demers and Patrick Dupont. Benoit Courchesne got to the checkered flag in second place but was disqualified later for using illegal fuel.
Before the DIRT Canadian Confrontation scheduled for Tuesday, July 17, race promoter, Bob Gatien will present, next Friday night, the Denis Pare Auto evening program. For a second time this season, in addition to the regular program, a special feature for women will take place. This will also be the opportunity to raise fund for the APAM victims.
MODIFIED RESULTS (30 laps)
1- 11, Real Lafrance 2- 61M, Steve Poirier 3- 09, Mario Lajoie 4- 3, Claude Brouillard 5- 31, Richard Chauvin 6- 2, Clement Therrien 7- 4, Leon Gonyo 8- 66, Martin Gagne 9- 24L, Carl Labonte 10- 26, Jocelyn perreault 11- 57, Gerry Patenaude 12- 11X, Wayne Stearns 13- 22, Mario Clair 14- 66W, Wallace Stacey 15- 90, Martin Roy 16- 72, Gino Clair 17-91, Michel Pelletier 18- 5, Mario Moreau 19- 46, Kayl Robidoux 20- 11J, Jerry Pennock 21- 32, Guy Ouellette.