Patrick Laperle scores his second win on ACT Castrol Series
Back to back wins scored by Laperle
Ste-Croix, QC – 2007-08-11 – Patrick Laperle won his second race in as many weekends, by winning the ACT Castrol Series race held at Circuit Ste-Croix, outside Quebec city. Alexandre Gingras was second and Sylvain Lacombe was third across the line.
Laperle, for the second week in a row he was flying above everyone. Right off the truck, he was the fastest car on the track turning laps 3 tenths faster than everyone else. At the end of practice no one could turn laps as fast as his. In his qualifier, he started 9th and made it up to 5th which was a very good result in a very competitive 10 car field. In the feature race, more of the same, the number 91 speeding bullet started 10th and quickly made its way to the front of the 20 car field. Laperle took the lead on lap 17, lead all but one lap from that point on, leading a total 81 of the 100 laps in the race.
HEAT 1 – Starting order: Kevin Roberge, Jonathan Desbiens, Dany Ouellet, Eric St-Gelais, Daniel Bergeron, Yvon Bédard, Martin Lacombe, Jacques Poulin, Ryan Nolin, Stéphane Lehoux. Ryan Nolin from Vermont is the only non-Quebec driver present today. It is also the smallest field of cars the Castrol Series has showcased since its association with ACT.
At the green, Roberge maintains the top spot and lead convingcingly.
On lap 6, Dany Ouellet punts Yvon Bédard for the third position. Bédard spins causing the first caution. Bédard is sent to the back of the field.
The order is Roberge, Desbiens, Ouellet, Bergeron, Martin Lacombe, Poulin, Nolin, Lehoux, St-Gelais and Bédard.
On lap 7, its now Bergeron’s turn to punt his way to the front when he sends the young Desbiens spinning in turn four. The second caution is out.
The order is Roberge, Lacombe, Bergeon, Ouellet, Nolin, Lehoux, Poulin, Bédard, St-Gelais and Desbiens.
At the end, Roberge, Lacombe, Ouellet and Bédard move on to the semi-feature for taking the first four spots. Finishing behind them: Lehoux, Nolin, Poulin, Bergeron, St-Gelais and Desbiens.
HEAT 2 – Starting order: JF Déry, Karl Allard, Simon Roussin, MA Cliche, Claude Leclerc, Alexandre Gingras, Stéphane Durand, Patrick Laperle, Steven Boissoneault, Sylvain Lacombe.
Déry leads the field with the others swapping positions behind.
At the half way, the order is Déry, Allard, Cliche, Leclerc, Laperle, Gingras, Lacombe, Roussin, Boissoneault and Durand.
At the end: Déry, Allard, Cliche and Leclerc move on to the semi-feature. Finishing behind them: Laperle, Gingras, Lacombe, Boissoneault, Roussin and Durand.
Top four from each of the qualifiers racing for points and cash. Starting order: Martin Lacombe, Roberge, Bédard, Ouellet, Allard, Leclerc, Déry and Cliche.
On lap 3, Roberge spins coming out of turn 2 and going into the backstretch. The first caution of this race.
The order is: Lacombe, Allard, Leclerc, Cliche, Bédard, Ouellet, Déry and Roberge.
After the restart, Allard takes over the lead from Lacombe who settles into second. Behind them the order remains the same for the rest of the race, except for Cliche and Déry who swapped a couple times positions.
The finish: Allard, Lacombe, Leclerc, Bédard, Cliche, Déry, Ouellet and Roberge.
Last time the ACT Castrol Series was at Circuit Ste-Croix was for the Construction Holiday special: a four 25 lap Monza-style segment race. It was also a crash fest. With ACT bossman Tom Curley absent, many feared the drivers would be out of control. John Walker, long time ACT official, was the top dog for the event being assigned the race director responsibilities. Curley and other officials were at Oxford, ME for the make up of the ACT Tour race that was rained-postponed earlier in the year. Ironically, this ACT Tour race was added to the schedule after the start of the season, to replace the Sanair scheduled date who fell off the schedule after conflict between the Curley group and the promoter of the event, who is also the owner and promoter at Circuit Ste-Croix.
The starting order: Martin Lacombe, Roberge, Ouellet, Nolin, Bédard, Lehoux, Gringras, Déry, Leclerc, Laperle, Allard, Cliche, Bergeron, Lacombe, Poulin, Boissoneault, Desbiens, Roussin, St-Gelais, Durand.
Lacombe leads the field around for the first circuit.
On lap 2, Bédard spins in turn 3, bringing out the first caution of the race. Is this going to be a sign of another eventful race? Bédard spun after damaging left rear suspension components when he became the first casualty of the huge whole just inside the turn three apex. Post race inspection revealed this to be 2 feet wide by about 3 feet long and a foot deep.
The order: Roberge, Lacombe, Nolin, Laperle, Ouellet, Gingras, Leclerc, Lehoux, Cliche, Allard, Déry, Lacombe, Boissoneault, Poulin, Bergeron, Roussin, Desbiens, St-Gelais and Durand.
Green flag. Bédard sits in the pits as his team replaces suspension components.
Lap 5: Laperle moves around Nolin and Lacombe to take over second.
Lap 8: Laperle takes the lead, Roberge settles in second.
Lap 13: Gingras is second.
Lap 16: Nolin makes contact with Cliche. Second caution is out. Nolin dives into the pits with a broken sway bar. It made for spectacular show of sparks underneath his car as he circled the track in the setting darkness.
The running order: Laperle, Gingras, Roberge, Martin Lacombe, Allard, Leclerc, Sylvain Lacombe, Déry, Boissoneault, Lehoux, Poulin, Bergeron, Roussin, Ouellet, St-Gelais, Desbiens, Durand, Cliche and Nolin.
The cars are lined up for a restart with the one to go signal… Martin Lacombe jumps out of the lineup and dives into the pits with a rear flat tire. The field comes around for the green flag. No go. Race officials judged Gingras jumped the start. They will have to do it again.
On the backstretch, Déry spins. Durand, Roussin make contact. The Durand automobile goes behind the wall. Caution is out on lap 16.
Order: Laperle, Gingras, Allard, S Lacombe, Roberge, Leclerc, Boissoneault, Poulin, Bergeron, Ouellet, St-Gelais, Desbiens, Cliche, Nolin, M Lacombe, Lehoux
They come around for the green. Green flag.
Gingras jumps in front of Laperle. Allard spins in turn four after also falling victim to the hole on the inside of turn three. Bédard returns from the pits, 15 laps down. Roussin and Ouellet visit the pits and return before we go back to green.
Since there wasn’t a lap complete, we go back to the previous lap, the 16th circuit. The order is : Laperle, Gingras, Roberge, Leclerc, S Lacombe, Boissoneault, Poulin, Bergeron, Cliche, St-Gelais, M Lacombe, Déry, Lehoux, Desbiens, Nolin, Bédard, Roussin, Ouellet.
Laperle stays in front of Gingras. Roberge spins coming out of two. He goes a lap down as he sits with a powerless racecar. Caution is out. Roberge gets assistance off the muddy infield grass.
Cars are once again lined up: Laperle, Gingras, Leclerc, S Lacombe, Boissoneault, Poulin, Bergeron, Cliche, St-Gelais, M Lacombe, Déry, Lehoux, Desbiens, Nolin, Roussin, Ouellet, Roberge, Bédard.
False start. Laperle is judged to have jumped the start.
Lap 18 - Laperle stays in front, S Lacombe takes second, Gingras third, Leclerc fourth and Boissoneault is fifth.
Lap 22 – Caution is out for the spinning Déry car.
Cars are lined up: Laperle, S Lacombe, Gingras, Leclerc, Poulin. One to go is given. False start. Race officials advise the drivers to stay together. They come back around for the green… another false start. Are officials going to penalize these drivers? NO. Surprisingly, despite numerous warnings in the past of two consecutive false starts getting penalized, this ones goes silent.
The order remains the same for the restart. Green flag. Sylvain Lacombe leads the coming around for lap 22.
Lap 23 – another caution. This time, for Desbiens and Ouellet both gone into a spin on the backstretch.
Cars are lined up for the restart: S Lacombe, Laperle, Gingras, Leclerc, Poulin, Boissoneault, Cliche, M Lacombe, Lehoux, St-Gelais, Bergeron, Bédard, Nolin, Roussin, Roberge, Allard (-2), Ouellet.
Laperle retakes the lead on lap 23. S Lacombe, Gingras Leclerc, Boissoneault, Poulin, Cliche, Lehoux, M Lacombe, Bergeron, Nolin, Bédard (-15), St-Gelais, Allard, Roberge (-2), Desbiens, Roussin, Ouellet.
Lap 25 : Cliche is loosing several positions. He is not running at full speed.
Lap 27: Now Martin Lacombe slows down and stops on the backstretch.
Lap 28: M Lacombe goes a lap down sitting idle.
Lap 29: caution is out for M Lacombe. Cliche, Roussin visit the pits. M Lacombe is pushed into the pits.
Cars are lined up for the restart: Laperle, S Lacombe, Gingras, Leclerc, Boissoneault, Poulin, Lehoux, Bergeron, Allard (-2), Déry, St-Gelais, Roberge (-2), Desbiens, Bédard (-15), Roussin, Cliche, Nolin, Ouellet.
Green flag. Again, it is only short lived as we go back to caution (the 9th) for the spinning cars of St-Gelais and Desbiens in turn three. Lots of cars visiting the pits: Desbiens, Nolin, St-Gelais for various body work repairs. A surprise pit visit: Sylvain Lacombe for gas. “We didn’t want to take a chance we only have a 17 gallon fuel cell. With all the laps that were ran on yellow and still 70 to go, we wanted to play it safe” declared Sylvain Lacombe in post race interview.
Cars are lined up for the restart: Laperle, Gingras, Leclerc, Boissoneault, Poulin, Lehoux, Bergeron, Allard (-2), Déry, Bédard (-15), Roussin, Cliche, Ouellet, S Lacombe, Roberge (-2), Nolin, St-Gelais
Lap 30: Lehoux goes around Poulin.
Lap 33: Poulin goes around Lehoux.
Lap 35: Ouellet enters the pits.
Laperle is turning laps as fast 23.31 seconds.
Lap 42: Martin Lacombe is back.
Lap 45: Poulin takes third from Leclerc.
Lap 52: St-Gelais returns from the pits.
Lap 60 : Laperle, Roberge (-2), Gingras, M Lacombe (-13), Roussin, Allard (-2), S Lacombe, Poulin, Boissoneault, Leclerc, Nolin, Cliche, Lehoux, Bergeron, Bédard (-15).
Lap 67 : Yellow is out (10th caution).
Cars are lined up: Laperle, Lehoux (-1), Gingras, Roberge (-2), Allard (-2), S Lacombe, Poulin, Boissoneault, Nolin, Déry, Cliche, Leclerc, Bergeron, M Lacombe (-13), Roussin, Bédard (-15).
Lap 70: Yellow is out for Déry who spins in turn 2. Visiting the pits: Roberge, Déry (for right side tire), Bédard (right rear tire)
Top 10 : Laperle, Gingras, Poulin, Nolin, Cliche, Leclerc, Bergeron, S Lacombe, Boissoneault, Lehoux.
Laperle once again resumes in the front with Gingras settling in second.
Lap 72: Nolin moves around Poulin in fourth place.
Lap 74: Nolin gets in trouble on the backstretch and loses several positions.
Lap 75: Bergeron coast into the pits.
Lap 76: Caution is out for oil on the track from the Bergeron car. “Leclerc moved me up on the backstretch and I got the right side out in the dirt and we ripped the oil pan open. We are now –2 with Leclerc, I don’t know why but he keeps digging us” Declared Bergeron after the race.
Red flag, and the field is stopped on the backstretch. Its unbelievable: the last time we were here, there was a red flag because of a power outage, this time its in order to let the two, I repeat, two track cleaning crew spread speedy dry around the track by hand.
Field is rolling once again. As the cars came around the front stretch and going into turn one at slow speed, Bergeron jumps onto the track to share a piece of his mind with Leclerc. ACT Official Dean Gallison intervenes and settles Bergeron back into his pit stall.
Poulin, M Lacombe and Nolin visit the pits.
Green flag. Once again Laperle in front with Gingras putting on the pressure for the first couple of laps. But he has nothing for Laperle once the tires heat up. Laperle is cruising at speed not approached by any others.
Lap 85: Laperle, Gingras, S Lacombe, Allard (-2), St-Gelais, Cliche, Boissoneault, Déry, Leclerc, Nolin, Bédard, Roussin, Lehoux (-1), Poulin, Roberge (-2).
Lap 87: Boissoneault goes around Cliche for fifth.
Lap 90 with ten to go: Laperle, Gingras, S Lacombe, Allard (-2), Boissoneault, Cliche, Nolin, Bédard, Déry, Leclerc, Poulin, Lehoux (-1), Roussin, Roberge (-2), St-Gelais.
Lap 95, five to go: Laperle, Gingras, S Lacombe, Allard (-2), Boissoneault, St-Gelais, Nolin, Cliche, Bédard, Poulin, Déry, Leclerc, Lehoux (-1), Roussin.
Bédard gets punted by Poulin and goes into a spin. No yellow.
Lap 97: Roussin’s car is dragging something… sparks are flying all over.
Lap 98: Laperle, Gingras, S Lacombe, Allard (-2), Roberge (-2), Boissoneault, Roussin, Nolin, Cliche, Poulin, Déry, Leclerc, Lehoux (-1), St-Gelais, Bédard
Lap 100: Laperle, Gingras, S Lacombe, Allard (-2), Boissoneault, Roberge (-2), Nolin, Cliche, Poulin, Déry, Leclerc, Lehoux (-1), Bédard, St-Gelais
Patrick Laperle dominated the race – he was untouchable. He just had the best and fastest car out there. With the exception of Alexandre Gingras who challenged him during the restarts, no one had enough for the Laperle prepared automobile.
The story before the race: ACT bossman Tom Curley not race directing, because he was at Oxford for the ACT Tour race (rained postponed earlier), in the end, it was a non-factor. With the exception of one questionable call concerning false starts the crew delivered on the promise of fair and tight rule enforcement.
The race was also in front of a very good crowd, which by itself was good news, as the other Ste-Croix events had been very light on the spectator side. Too bad only 20 cars showed up and the show dragged on because of too many cautions and a long clean up task for the two-man crew… heck they got helped by ACT Official Dean Gallison. Hopefully, these issues and the matter of the hole in turn 3 get fixed before we return to the Ste-Croix speedplant.
Post race comments:
Alexandre Gingras (27): “We didn’t do very well in qualifying. We tried many many setup changes. Obviously, from a race perspective there were too many caution flags. We weren’t concerned with gas, since we have a 22 gallons fuel cell. We did good on restarts with both Patrick [Laperle] and Sylvain [Lacombe].”
Patrick Laperle (#91): “This win is sweet. This was the third and last race held here at Ste-Croix, Morale wise we needed to post a strong finish. Now that its over: I think we can say mission accomplished.”
Sylvain Lacombe (#3): “Our car was very good, with all the laps that we ran on the yellow we had to pit for gas as we only have a 17 gallons fuel cell. Then moving through the field we got caught up in the wrong file and that pushed us back some. So we had to do it again. Our car is pretty much intact so we look forward to Vallée Jonction this Friday.”
Steven Boissoneault (#31): “During practice and qualifying we had a very bad day. Up until 15 minutes before the race we had not realized we had a bent shock in the left front. We think we bent it up in early practice by going over the hole in turn 3. During the feature our performance was greatly improved, so it gave us a great boost and our car was getting better and better especially for the last 25 laps. I want to thank my crew, without their help I couldn’t have done it. I also want to take this opportunity to welcome into the world my crewmember’s daughter, Coralie, who turned 4 days old today and her dad is here working pitside with us.”
Ryan Nolin (#78): “This as been a long and eventful day. We came here with little to no crew. When pitted with my broken sway bar, I saw many crew members from other teams coming over to help perform temporary repairs. The 48 team (Larue Motorsports who field a car for Karl Allard) even gave us a bungie-cord to secure the bar. So were definitely happy with our finish. Our next race will be at White Mountain for the ACT Tour race.”
Cautions: 2, 16, 16, 17, 18,22, 23, 29, 29, 67, 70, 76 Red came out on 76 for track clean up, the caution was for track conditions Lap leaders:Martin Lacombe - 1 Roberge - 2-7Laperle - 8-15Gingras - 16Laperle - 17-21Sylvain Lacombe - 22Laperle - 23-100
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