RÃ©al Lafrance clinches the Mid-Season Championship for a second consecutive year GRANBY, QuÃ©., July 20, 2001 -- For a second consecutive year, RÃ©al Lafrance, the H. Cordeau Transport/Bicknell driver, was in the winner's circle after the ...
Réal Lafrance clinches the Mid-Season Championship for a second consecutive year
GRANBY, Qué., July 20, 2001 -- For a second consecutive year, Réal Lafrance, the H. Cordeau Transport/Bicknell driver, was in the winner's circle after the presentation of the 16th annual Mid-Season Championship, last Friday at Autodrome Granby. Even, with this fourth success of the season, Lafrance was unable to increase the gap on rival Claude Brouillard in the Carquest Auto Parts championship trail because Brouillard was second to cross the finish line in front of Clément Therrien. For Lafrance, it was a perfect night.
Third at the start of this 40-lap feature for Modified, Lafrance had to battle strongly with fast Mario Clair to take the lead. It's only on lap 15, on the occasion of the second restart, that he was able to do so. Then, at the halfway mark, Brouillard who started eighth on the grid, was able to get into second place just behing the leader. Unfortunately for Brouillard, the second portion of this feature race was run without a yellow flag. He was not able to seriously challenge Lafrance who had the fastest car on the speedplant by four-tenth of a second.
For one, Clément Therrien, who is now driving his own car after starting the season in the CMb team of Claude Marcoux, was third to cross the finish line followed by Steve Poirier and Mario Lajoie. It was a real good finish for Therrien who started 14th. Mario Lajoie and Guy Ouellette also performed well. Lajoie was able to gain 14 spots and Oullette eight.
Many of the 25 starters in this race were forced to quit due to mechanical problems. It was the case of Martin Gagné, Martin Roy, Gino Clair, Jacques Poulin, Carl Labonté, Gerry Patenaude and Craig Ormsby.
Earlier in the evening, besides Lafrance, Brouillard and Kayle Robidoux had won their respective heats.
The 20-lap feature for the Sportsman division was very spectacular and young rookie Dany Bilodeau had the last word on veteran driver Alain Mathieu. Except for two laps, Bilodeau led this race. With five laps to go, Bilodeau showed his skill by managing with success the challenge of Mathieu, the points' leader in this category and winner of the heat race. For this young promising star, it was his second win so far this season.
This Mid-Season Championship was very hard on Martin Michaud and Daniel Messier. Due to mechanical problems they could not be present on the starting grid and they lost many places in the standings.
With the Tourism class abolished on last Tuesday due to a drivers' protest, 23 drivers took part at the 15-lap feature race in the Late Model division. Stéphane Ruel and Yannick Ledoux animated this confrontation. In the last turn of the final lap, Ruel got out of his groove pushing Ledoux near the retaining wall. Ledoux was not happy to loose two spots but track officials gave the benefit of the doubt to Ruel. Due to that contact, Stéphane Larivière, the points' leader was able to slip in the second spot.
After that race, at the technical inspection, Ruel and Ledoux were not so lucky since they were disqualified due to an illegal motor.
Finally in the 4 Cylinder class, Patrick Dupont registered his second win of the season by having the best on Pierre Grondin and Benoit Courchesne. <pre> MODIFIED (Mid-Season Championship-40 laps)
1. 11, Réal Lafrance 2. 3, Claude Brouillard 3. 39, Clément Therrien 4. 61, Steve Poirier 5. 09, Mario Lajoie 6. 2B, Richard Chauvin 7. 22, Mario Clair 8. 11J, Jerry Pinnock Jr. 9. 32, Guy Ouellette 10. 5, Mario Moreau 11. 4, Leon Gonyo 12. 46, Kayle Robidoux 13. 26, Jocelyn Perreault 14. 61, Chad Miller 15. 66w, Wallace Stacey 16. 11x, Wayne Stearns 17. 02, Mike Reyell 18. 91, Michel Pelletier 19. 57, Gerry Patenaude 20. 72, Gino Clair 21. 24L, Carl Labonté 22. 66, Martin Gagné 23. 0, Craig Ormsby 24. 21M, Jean-Marc Moreau 25. 90, Martin Roy.