A lap of Trois-Rivieres with Johnny O'Connell

A lap of Trois-Rivieres with Johnny O'Connell

The American Le Mans Series will compete in Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres on the historic Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, street racing circuit this weekend (Aug. 1-3). In this first-person narrative, Corvette Racing driver Johnny O'Connell of Flowery...

The American Le Mans Series will compete in Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres on the historic Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, street racing circuit this weekend (Aug. 1-3). In this first-person narrative, Corvette Racing driver Johnny O'Connell of Flowery Branch, Ga., describes how he drives a lap of the 1.521-mile circuit.

Johnny O'Connell.
Photo by Richard Sloop.

By Johnny O'Connell
Corvette Racing

There are some circuits that we go to with the American Le Mans Series that stand out. Trois-Rivieres is certainly one of these. Without a doubt some of the best fans in the sport, and the town itself completely embraces the event, and makes it a great experience for all the drivers. As far as the circuit goes, well it is challenging, and too much fun to drive.

Going past start/finish to begin a lap you get into top gear, and really try and brake late going into turn one. You change down to 3rd gear, and the corner itself is a bit tricky as the road falls away from you as you get to your apex, and then spits you out pretty quickly. A little bit wide of your apex and you can find yourself in trouble real quick.

Corner 3 at Porte Duplessis.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
Turn two is tight left hand corner that is taken in second or third gear, and a bit tricky in that as you go through it, the road starts to fall away from you as you go downhill towards turn three--the very tight and difficult arch corner where you go under the arch!

It is really only wide enough for one car, and you have to be very precise with your line as even a foot wide and you can get in trouble so quick. The road falls away from you as you turn in, but then comes back to you on the exit. It's a very important corner as it leads onto a long straight, where a lot of passing can be done.

Turn six is the left hander at the end of the straight, and is a second gear corner. Ninety degrees, pretty flat, it is a fun corner but often you enter it on the wrong line as it is one of the best places for over taking on the track. Lots of room both going in and coming out.

Ryan corner.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
Turn eight is probably my favorite corner on the track, taken in either third or fourth, it is a quick left hander, with a lot of road that can be used at the exit. You can get through it surprisingly fast, but then it is real hard on the brakes for turn nine, the slowest corner on the track and pretty much a true hairpin. Very slow...second gear and then up into 3rd gear for turn 10 which is a quick chicane type thing, but very difficult to get exactly right. Then it's quickly through the gearbox past start/finish to begin another lap. Without a doubt one of the best street circuits to race on anywhere.

-alms-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny O'Connell , Eric Gilbert
Teams Corvette Racing