Backmarkers Gift Lavigueur a Victory at St-Eustache by Marc Patrick Roy
ACT Castrol Series Leaders Get Caught Up With Traffic As Laps Click Down
A couple of rookie drivers mixed up the outcome of Saturday night’s 100 laps ACT Serie Castrol event held at Autodrome St-Eustache, near Montreal.  On the 88th circuit, the lead pack of Patrick Laperle, Sylvain Lacombe and Normand Lavigueur came up on back markers Kevin Roberge and Jonathan Desbiens, both rookies in the LMS ranks, who instead of going single file and leaving plenty of room for the leaders, decided to race each other hard. 

Lacombe raced each other hard but very clean, Lavigueur within reach, had the best seat in the house a couple car lengths back of them.

“I just lost the race to backmarkers,” said Lacombe.  “I had a lot more for Laperle.  I had saved my tires and he was starting to be loose.  But I want to go thank him for racing me clean.  I had fun racing him.”
Normand Lavigueur won at St-Eustache.  (Marc Patrick Roy Photo)
With too many cars opting for the second groove, Laperle and Lacombe tangled with Roberge and Desbiens while Normand Lavigueur went through unscarred, assumed the lead and went on to win. 

“I knew I had a fast car,” said Lavigueur.  “Laperle and Sylvain Lacombe were the other fast cars.  So I expected early on to get a top three finish.  I am so happy for this win.  We are now going to party hard”.

Steven Boissoneault, Jean-François Déry, Martin Lacombe and André Coursol finished second thru fifth.

The trio of Laperle, Lacombe and Lavigueur set the pace of the race, turning laps during the feature race as fast as they had turned during practice and the heat/semi races.   Laperle, who had lead all laps leading to the incident, had started outside pole of the twenty five car field.  Lavigueur started fourth and stayed in the top 3 all day. 

Meanwhile Sylvain Lacombe had to work his way to the front after starting eleventh, he cracked the top five immediately after the lap 22 restart.  From lap 44 on, Laperle and
”I am happy with our performance,” said Laperle.  “I’m upset we got taken out of the lead by backmarkers.  But considering I was in the car doing what I love. I am happy to be racing the CASTROL series and the Super Series this year.   But something will have to be done with the rookies, they were all over today and it can’t be like this.  It’s a shame.”

The race was Laperle’s first event back after a recent serious illness sidelined him for several events.

“Less than 24 hours ago, Patrick called us to tell us they were removing the PIC line to his heart and to get the car ready,” said Eric Laperle, Patrick’s twin brother and crew chief.  “He wanted to be racing bad.  Were back”.

Steven Boissoneault, who started on the pole, never dropped out of the top five and finished second.  He had mixed feelings after the event.  Climbing on the podium for the
first time since 2004 was definitely something to be cheerful about, but at the same time he felt he was at least 50% responsible for Alexandre Gingras’ barrel-roll crash on lap 88 that resulted in a red-flag. 

“I am so happy,” said Boissoneault.  “It’s my first time on the podium since 2004.  But at the same time it’s difficult to party and enjoy it: I feel the need to assume half the blame for Gingras’ incident.  I didn’t know he was there, I moved low and squeezed him to the wall.  It was not intentional.  I am off to apologize to him”.

Gingras, who had made his way from his 14th starting position, was battling for third and trying to make a pass low coming out of turn 4 when Boissoneault, then in second place, cut down on him.  Gingras’ left side tires climbed the wall between the track and pit road and barrel-rolled as others started to bunch up behind.  With so many cars behind him, it’s difficult to comprehend how he did not get plowed into the roof or bottom of his racecar.  Gingras was uninjured.

Martin Lacombe (fourth place finisher) sneaked in on the inside of Gingras’ car, while
André Coursol (fifth place finisher) went high, lost control and ended up perpendicular
to the track and blocking the reminder of the track.  Behind this, Daniel Bergeron with
nowhere to go plowed the outside wall and sustained severe front end damage.  Claude
Leclerc, Benoit Beauchamps and Karl Allard all sustained body damage.

With ten laps to go, the man on the move was the young Michaël Lavoie passing
Jacques Poulin, Simon Roussin.  Lavoie finished seventh just behind Yvon Bédard. 
Patrick Laperle, Sylvain Lacombe and Simon Roussin rounding out the top ten
followed him.  Meanwhile Lavigueur was running away from the field.

Déry, Martin Lacombe and Coursol were also all happy with their top five finishes.

“It was a difficult day,” said Dery.  “I started way back and raced my way to the front. 
On the last restart I started fourth – outside – and didn’t know if I could hold on to it. 
I did.  I am really pleased, pleased with the finish and pleased with the work the team did.  We chased the setup early on”.

“I didn’t have the fastest car out there, but I drove a patient race,” said Martin Lacombe.  “I got lucky not to get in trouble in the big crash with Alexandre.  I am tired.  This is really my first race, after getting out early on at Montmagny.”

“I was patient and lucky at the same time,” said Coursol.  “This is my first time out this year so a fifth place finish is really good.”

Patrick Laperle #91 and Sylvain Lacombes battling hard up front before they spun on lap 88.   (ACT Photo)    
Eventual winner, Normand Lavigueur (#35) leads second place Steven Boissoneault (#31) and third place Jean-François Déry (#21).  (Yves Carol Jean Photo)