Lacombe Gets First ACT Quebec Victory at Capital City by Marc Patrick Roy
American Invader Dragon Finishes Second
Lacombe and his winning crew. (Stephane Lazare Photos)
Both of them when bumper to bumper, door to door for the entire heat. Dragon was even served the famous Tom Curley Piggy flag for not giving Déry enough room to race him.
“I loved racing Jean-François, he bumped me a couple of times but he respected me and didn't turn me around” declared Dragon as they got ready for the feature.
By virtue of qualifying. Karl Allard sat on the pole with veteran Ironman Claude Leclerc
lined up on the outside. Allard would lead the first two laps, both of which took two
restarts to complete. It was a sign of things to come. Dragon, who started third,
took the lead away from Allard and lead until the 79th circuit despite 11 cautions.
Dragon would stretch his lead, only to see the field bunched up behind him when the
caution would fly. It was to be his race.
On the second restart for lap 80, Déry who started seventh wanted his turn to lead.
He would lead two laps until another caution slowed the field down. On the lap 82
restart, Déry and eventual winner Lacombe touched. Déry spun to the infield while
Lacombe, who was sideways, saved it and took command of the race now under
Lacombe would have to fend off attacks from Dragon on 5 different occasions in the
remaining 18 laps.
“We didn't expect to win here. Of course we wanted a good performance; we started fifth so we knew we didn't have to rush to the front. We took our time and ran conservatively. We wanted to save the car. With all the cautions and the fact that we had tires at the end, it worked in our favour. This 2000$ pay check is going to make my small head injury go away real quick” said a very happy Martin Lacombe as he was getting care from ACT staff.
“I didn't have enough to fight with Déry, Dragon or Lacombe the handling was so off I couldn't get on the gas. I'm happy to get a podium. It's our best finish this year.” said last year's winner Alexandre Gingras.
Fifth place finisher, Claude Leclerc, just off a third place finishing position at St-Felicien his best finish in two years,
“I am lucky to finish the race this time. On the lap 86 restart we got shoved in the grass going into turn 3. As we got back on pavement the shroud got closed up. The engine is now overheating. We definitely feel better about this finish than the one we had here last year when we hit the wall hard.”
Martin Lacombe scored his first career ACT Castrol victory by winning the 100 lap race at Capital City Speedway near Ottawa, Canada. Also on the podium were Brent Dragon, participating in his first Canadian Tour race, and last year's winner Alexandre Gingras.
While Lacombe's victory is special being his first, winning the fourth ACT Castrol event of 2008, may be even more special. It may have shaken the monkey off his back. In the first race of the year, he blew an engine in practice and a transmission in the feature; in the second race he was involved in a crash; in the third while leading the majority of the race he ran out of gas. In addition to his bad luck on the track, after his win, climbing from his car in the tech area he split his head on the safety net retaining clip.
A total of 28 participants showed up, the largest field this year for an ACT Castrol Series Event, with 16 drivers from Quebec, 11 drivers from Ontario and 1 Vermont driver this made this event a true Canadian and even international confrontation.
Qualifying heats were won by Karl Allard, Claude Leclerc, Brent Dragon and Alexandre Gingras. Each leading flag to flag their respective races. The most entertaining one was surely the third one with Dragon leading and Quebec's JF Déry putting on the pressure after starting from the pole and being edged out by Dragon.
Brent Dragon leads the pack. The US driver finished second.