SCC: Driver Spotlight - Sylvain Tremblay

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2001) - The 2001 Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series season has been nearly perfect for Sylvain Tremblay. He has been on the Grand Sport class podium at the last eight races, earning seven class victories. Heading into...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2001) - The 2001 Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series season has been nearly perfect for Sylvain Tremblay. He has been on the Grand Sport class podium at the last eight races, earning seven class victories. Heading into the Grand-Am Finale at Daytona International Speedway, Nov. 2, Tremblay has already clinched the Grand Sport team and driver championships for Speedsource. As the owner and manager of the Speedsource team, as well as one of its drivers, Tremblay is constantly striving to better his team, hoping that it can become the first to sweep the SGS, GS and ST classes at a race.

THE BASICS
Series - Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series
Class - Grand Sport & Super Grand Sport
Team - Speedsource
Car - Porsche 911/Porsche 911 SuperCup
Date of Birth - August 9, 1965 (Age 36)
Hometown - Pompano Beach, Fla.
Birthplace - Montreal, Quebec
Spouse - Carol
Children - Daniel (2 1/2 years) & Expecting in March

2001 SEASON DRIVER HIGHLIGHTS
Homestead-Miami Speedway - 1st GS (4th Overall)
Phoenix International Raceway - 1st GS (4th Overall)
Watkins Glen International - 2nd GS (7th Overall)
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - 1st GS (9th Overall)
Mosport International Raceway - 1st GS (3rd Overall)
Virginia International Raceway - 1st GS (4th Overall)
Road America - 1st GS (5th Overall)
Trois-Rivières - 1st GS/2nd GS (1st/2nd Overall)

IN HIS WORDS...

When did you begin racing?
I guess it was when I was 16 years old. I was doing autocrossing.

When did you know that you wanted to pursue racing professionally?
The first race I went in, I won. So from there on, I just wanted to keep doing it.

Do you have any superstitions?
Yes and No. It seems that no matter what you're superstitious about there is always something to contradict your superstitions. If you do something all the time the same way, the outcome changes all the time. So I'm not really that superstitious.

What are you thoughts on the 2001 season?
It's really been unbelievable for a new program to come out of the box and grow from four cars to six cars. To have the success we've had has really been unbelievable.

What was your most memorable racing moment in 2001?
Probably Three Rivers. David Haskell and Selby (Wellman) had won on the Saturday, and then to finish one-two with Paul Mears and David Shep on Sunday was by far the most memorable. Being in Quebec and on a street course with all the fans was pretty neat.

What is your team's plan for the Finale?
For the Finale I think we want to wrap up our championships. We want to win the race in the SGS car and in the GS car. And in Sport Touring too, I guess. We have done two victories in one weekend, and we are going to try to do three.

How does it feel to capture the GS driver championship?
It's been a long road for me, to tell you the truth. We started back in '95 in this type of racing. We got a couple of wins in '96. In '97 we finished second in the driver's championship. Then in '98, we lost it by two points. So we have been really close a couple of times. To finally do it is very satisfying. And now that you have won, you want another twice as bad.

How do you juggle managing the Speedsource team and driving?
I guess it's out of necessity. It's always been what I've done. To make a living at it, we've had to build the cars to run the cars. The driving has always been the easiest part for me. The managing the team is by far a lot more work. The bigger the program, the more responsibility. We've been fortunate to have some really good people work with us, and I can't do it by myself. Having good people in the right position and having the right tools for them to do their job -- I think that has been key to our success this year.

We hear your team is moving into a new garage.
Yes, we are moving into a new facility for us. It's 12,000 square feet on one-and-a-half acres of land. We have a lot more race cars here than we've ever had, because we run mulitiple programs. It's a pretty nice race shop with epoxy floors and the whole thing.

What are your plans for the 2002 season?
We want to continue with the Grand-Am Cup program. We'll have a pair of GSI cars and another pair of GSII cars. And a pair of STI cars. So, we will probably have six cars again. We are 80 percent signed on with all the sponsorship and the driver combos. So, that is what we are looking forward to.

You had planned on running a Rolex Series GT car at the Finale originally. Are you still working on that for November?
It really depends upon a bunch of different factors. We may run the car at the Finale. I am just waiting on sponsorship commitments for it. We may run a 24 hour program with the car, but that car was and still is just a supplement to what we're doing in Grand-Am Cup.

What goals do you have set for yourself?
I guess to keep racing. That's the goal. And to keep making a living at it. I have been fortunate to turn a hobby into a business since 1990, and to do it full time, actually be successful and make a decent living at it has really been a tough, tough challenge. To do it is one thing, but to do it and do it to make a living is a totally different thing.

What hobbies do you have outside of racing?
Boy, I wish I did. >laughs< I do not. I guess my hobby is my family. If I'm not at work, I'm at home. That's basically it. I can't wait to get to work when I leave the house. And when I leave work, I can't wait to get home.

Who or what has been the biggest influence in your life?
That's a tough thing to do. You look and there are so many heroes. You've got Mark Donahue and Al Holbert as heroes as guys who could engineer the car, build the car and then drive the car. On the business side, you look at guys like Ron Dennis, Roger Penske and David Richards, who run these extremely successful companies and have great racing* dynasties - for lack of a better word. I guess if I have to pick those, it would be those guys.

What else would you like your fans to know?
Just the sheer amount of work that goes into putting together a multiple car program. And how dedicated everyone on the team is. There is really no unimportant job in racing. From the guy who cleans the wheels to the guy who cooks for the team, its such a team effort. I really wish I could have shared the driver's championship with David (Haskell) this year, because you know he worked as hard as I did.

Tickets to the Grand-Am Finale, being held as part of the Manheim's Daytona Auto Auction Presents The Brumos Continental Historics at Daytona International Speedway, Nov. 1-4, are currently on sale at the Speedway ticket office. They may be purchased by calling 386-253-RACE (7223) or by logging on to www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.

Additional information about the Grand-Am Finale and the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series is available online at www.grand-am.com.

-GrandAm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Haskell , Al Holbert , Sylvain Tremblay , David Shep , David Richards , Roger Penske