Denis Labonte stole the show DAVE CAMARA HAD TO WORK VERY HARD TO TAKE HIS FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON AT GRANBY GRANBY, Que., May 22, 1999 -- With six wins and on his way to the Modified championship at Autodrome Granby in 1998, American driver...
Denis Labonte stole the show
DAVE CAMARA HAD TO WORK VERY HARD TO TAKE HIS FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON AT GRANBY
GRANBY, Que., May 22, 1999 -- With six wins and on his way to the Modified championship at Autodrome Granby in 1998, American driver Dave Camara was able to be the winner's circle last Friday night but it's Denis Labonte's skill that got the fans' attention. It wasn't so easy for Camara. It,s only in the very last laps of this 30-lap feature that Camara was able to secure this victory.
First on the starting grid, Labonte got the lead at the drop of the green flag. Three laps later, Camara who started sixth, was already in second place in front of Alain Boisvert and Pierre Hebert. After resisting to the challenge that Boisvert gave him during the first third of this race, Camara got nearby Labonte. During almost 15 laps, the American driver was on Labonte's side but every time, Labonte was able to maintain his lead despite five yellow flags during this segment.
On lap 24, following the eighth restart, Labonte's car went off his line in the fourth turn, but that was enough for Camara to get by him and take the first place. On the next lap, Labonte lost two more places to end up fifth. Steve Poirier who was eleventh on the grid, took the second place. Poirier took the lead in the Molson standings while Camara was able to improve his standing of five spots. He is now fifth.
This third feature of the year was very hard for many drivers. Gino Clair was the first to withdraw followed by his brother Mario, Leon Gonyo, Robert Ranger, Patrick Labonte, Clement Therrien, Alain Boisvert and Real Lafrance.
Earlier in the evening, Dave Camara and Steve Poirier were the winners in their respective heats. In the first one, Richard Chauvin was not able to complete the first turn where he flipped many times. The X-Tend Bicknell was badly damaged but Chauvin escaped without injuries
Two in a row
In the sportsman division, Louis Bouthillier scored his second straight win at Autodrome Granby. This time, he had the best on Alain Mathieu, the defending champion, and Pierre Raymond, who was the early leader in that 20-lap feature. Robin David who was the most serious contender to Bouthillier since the opening, was forced to quit the race after only five laps due to mechanical problems.
Once again, Stephane Michaud was the winner in the Late Models category to become the first driver to get an hat trick this season. Daniel Belanger finsihed second followed by Jean-Paul Daigneault.
The other winners were Jimmy Chagnon in the Tourism division and Etienne Graveline in the 4 cylinders class.
In the special Player's Challenge, a 10-lap race for the 10 best drivers in the Modified standings, Marco Potvin led all the way to have the best on Claude Brouillard and Steve Poirier. Due to transmission problems, Dave Camara was not part of this challenge.
Next Friday, it will be the first important race of the season with the presentation of the 14th edition of the Eatstern Townships Championship.
RESULTS -- MODIFIED -- 30 laps
1- 26, Dave Camara 2- 28, Steve Poirier 3- 3, Claude Brouillard 4- 50, Hugues Mercier 5- 7, Denis Labonte 6- 25, Marco Potvin 7- 99, David Hebert 8- 71, Pierre Hebert 9- 24, Luke Plante 10- 57, Gerry Patenaude 11- 24L, Carl Labonte 12- 16, Eric Sundborg 13- 61, Louis Bouthillier 14- 46, Kayle Robidoux 15- 15, Jean-Guy Primeau 16- 23, Renald Daoust 17- 02, Mike Reyell 18-66, Alain Boisvert 19- 9, Yves Dessureault 20- 11, Real Lafrance 21- 21, Jacques Poulin 22- R39, Clement Therrien 23- 17, Patrick Labonte 24- 27, Robert Ranger 25- 22, Mario Clair 26- 4, Leon Gonyo 27- 72, Mario Lajoie 28- 44J, Gino Clair.