Raphael Lessard Rarin’ To Go In His First Race On The Daytona Super Oval

Raphael Lessard Rarin’ To Go In His First Race On The Daytona Super Oval

St-Joseph-de-Beauce (Quebec, Canada) – February 5, 2020 – On November 14, 2019, Raphael Lessard Racing announced the participation of the young Quebec driver in the 23 races of the 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck (NGROTS) series; at the wheel of the #4 Toyota Tundra prepared by Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), the top team in the series. The adventure began on January 4, when Raphael Lessard moved to the United States. Since then, he has had a very busy schedule: intensive training, sessions on the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) simulator and preparatory meetings with the team. Raphael Lessard is excited to be racing at the prestigious Daytona International Speedway (Florida, USA) for the first time, on February 14.

Raphael Lessard works directly with the KBM team, and a simulator session awaited him at 8 a.m. on January 6. The session was aimed at gaining familiarity with the Toyota Tundra #4 and its suspension settings.

“We started with basic setups, before my crew chief, Mike Hillman Jr. and the team worked on various settings and on my driving on different tracks. I recorded increasingly competitive times throughout the morning”, explained Raphael Lessard. Other sessions are planned throughout the season in preparation for various races.

Then it was off to his first fitness training session in the afternoon, where he met with his new personal trainer at TRD. Together, they developed an optimized training program based on Raphael Lessard’s specific needs as an oval racer, as well as a specialized nutrition plan. Raphael Lessard firmly believes in the importance of such programs and enjoys training every day, as he has done for the past few seasons. Raphael Lessard must also study and understand race videos in order to better prepare himself for the particularities of each track, to understand race strategies and tactics that make the most of every situation.

As a full-time driver for the top team in this series, Raphael Lessard has all the talent and equipment he needs to shine throughout the season. In any case … you won’t want to miss the show!

FIA Canadian driver ratings list for the 2020 sports car racing season

FIA Canadian driver ratings list for the 2020 sports car racing season

 

FIA driver ratings list for the 2020 sports car racing season

Platinum

Spengler Bruno
Stroll Lance
Wickens Robert

 

Gold

Hargrove Scott
Hinchcliffe James
Marcelli Kyle
Wilkins Mark
Wittmer Kuno

 

Silver

Burkett Daniel
Bédard Olivier
Cho Steven
Claman Zachary
Daniel Jerimy
De Angelis Roman
Defrancesco Devlin
Di leo Marco
Di Meo Michael
Dumoulin Louis-Philippe
Ebenal Maxx
Fellows Samuel
Fidani Orey
Grenier Mikael
Grist Garett
Hurst Benjamin
Isman Adam
Kellett Dalton
Lazare Jesse
Mason Nelson
Maxwell Scott
Montour Louis-Philippe
Morad Daniel
Povoledo Aaron
Raimondo Gianmarco
Richard Robichon Zacharie
Ruscitti Remo
Rzadzinski Stefan
Simone Anthony
Strachan Malcolm
Tan Samantha
White Matthew
Wittmer Nick
Wittmer Kurt
Wittmer Karl

 

Bronze

Ali Fareed
Anassis Emmanuel
Baker Dean
Baker Bradley
Bentley Ross
Brown Noël
Cassels Cameron
Chi Charles
Chlumecky Michal
Cloutier Jerome
Clunie Jayson
Collingwood Thomas
Dalla lana Paul
Dayson James
Graham John
Kok Danny
Laberge Jean-Frederic
Lauziere Alain
Lovat Rick
Lu Wei
Mantella Anthony
McKaigue Kendrick Shaun
Nierop Kees
Ockey Damon
Pavan Mark
Roberts Fred
Shen John
Shen Wayne Wei
Signoretti Marco
Staikos George
Thomson Karl
Wilden Kenny
Wright Jeffrey
Exclusive Autosport’s Lastochkin grabs fourth top five finish at Mid Ohio

Exclusive Autosport’s Lastochkin grabs fourth top five finish at Mid Ohio

(Photos by Ray MacAloney/cdn-r.com ©2019)

 

Exclusive Autosport Release:

LEXINGTON, OH (July 28, 2018) – Exclusive Autosport returned to the highly technical Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio this past weekend for Rounds 10 and 11 of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. The team went into the weekend with confidence, coming off their recent win on the streets of Toronto. Both Nikita Lastochkin and Danial Frost were focused on using the experience they have on the 2.258-mile track to tackle the doubleheader. Lastochkin drove with determination and in attack-mode all weekend, as the Russian-born, Los Angeles resident equaled his best finish of the season in fourth. Frost was taken out in an early-race incident in Race 1, and powered back from the tail of the field after a questionable penalty sent him to the back in Race 2. Danial made some incredible passes to finish a stunning sixth.

“Mid-Ohio was an interesting weekend,” admitted Michael Duncalfe, Team Principal.

“As a team, we topped the overall time sheets during the official test (two weeks ago), and we showed solid pace throughout the weekend. However, luck just did not seem to be on our side this weekend. Both Danial and Nikita worked incredibly hard on and off track and I believe both our drivers had the speed and potential to be on the podium for rounds 10 and 11, but I guess it was just not meant to be. Mirl Swan and the entire crew continue to impress, as the Exclusive Autosport cars are phenomenally prepped. Our sights are now focused on Gateway in a few week’s time.”

The event began first thing Friday morning with the one and only official 30-minute practice of the weekend, followed by Qualifying 1 later that afternoon. Both, Nikita and Danial got right to work, setting some fast laps, ultimately timing in sixth and ninth for Race 1.

Saturday’s Indy Pro 2000 action would kick-off with qualifying for Race 2 and both drivers improved their pace, Danial significantly, posting a time to put him on the outside of row one. Nikita would drop his time as well to give him the starting spot on the outside of row four.

The opening race of the weekend would begin late in the afternoon as the sun dropped behind the hills of Lexington. Both drivers moved up within the first three laps, but Frost was pinched by another driver during an overtaking attempt, sending him off the track and into the concrete wall, which caused extensive damage that prevented him to finish the race. Lastochkin fought hard all race long, maintaining hold of the lead pack. Late in the race, Nikita was able to make a pass on Sting Ray Robb to earn his second fourth place finish of the year.

The second race of the doubleheader weekend began the Road to Indy events on Sunday morning, and after the first attempt to start, the race needed to be waved off, race officials deemed that Frost was responsible for the aborted attempt and sent him the back. Believing firmly that this call was an error, the team attempted to protest the decision, but this effort was not heard. Due to the chaos at the start, Nikita was hit from behind by another car, bending the rear suspension, and puncturing his left rear tire, requiring a trip to the pit lane for repair. Thankfully, his suspension was not bent enough to be undrivable and Nikita was able to catch the rear of the field for the restart and maintain the fight for a better finishing position. Starting from the tail of the field, the two EA drivers would not only battle other drivers in the series, but each other as well. When the dust settled in this highly competitive series, Frost made his way back to sixth, while Lastochkin recovered to finish seventh. Considering all the adversity at the beginning of the race, the team was happy with the results.

In the Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires championship standings, Lastochkin firms up his place in the sixth position, having closed the gap significantly to the fourth and fifth place drivers. After a tough weekend for Frost, he sits fourth place in the championship, but is now 59 points behind the leader.

The next stop for the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires will be the 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois. World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway will host Round 12 of the Indy Pro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires championship on Saturday, August 24.

Weekend at Mid Ohio leaves Parker Thompson looking for more.

Weekend at Mid Ohio leaves Parker Thompson looking for more.

DATE OF RELEASE:

Monday, July 29, 2019 – 07:00 EST

MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE – LEXINGTON OHIO

 

Photos by: R.MacAloney/cdn-r.com ©2019

 

Involved in a tight battle for the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires, Abel Motorsports driver Parker Thompson entered Rounds 10 & 11 of the series this weekend at Mid-Ohio ranked second in the overall standings. With only 5 points separating three drivers for that second-place position, every point earned in the two-race event would play a significant role in the standings going forward. After a great qualifying performance, Thompson was struck by misfortune during race action. A mechanical issue forced his retirement early in Race 1. A fourth-place finish in Race 2 saw him lose further ground to Championship contenders Lindh and Kirkwood.

Qualifying in third position for Race 1, Thompson made an early move into second place before a transmission shift actuator failure forced his retirement. With multiple incidents on track in the opening laps, Thompson would register an 11th place finish in the fourteen-car field.

After reparations were made for Race 2 on Sunday, Thompson was again able to improve on his third-place qualifying position and take second early in the race. He would comfortably hold the position until a full course yellow brought the field together on lap twenty. With only five laps remaining Thompson would lose two positions on the restart, and finish in fourth.

Parker Thompson
“This was definitely not the weekend that we were looking to have. We’ve experienced a range of highs and lows in this Indy Pro 2000 season, but I’m proud to have the great crew with Abel Motorsports by my side. We’ve had such a dependable car all year. The shift actuator failure that we experienced this weekend feels like one of those incidents of bad luck that happens sometimes in racing. The team had no issues getting the car back together for Race 2 today. We had a great start, and I felt like we had the pace to challenge for the lead early on. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the jump I needed during a re-start late in the race. The guys behind me were ready to pounce. This one hurts. We’ll look to do better in Round 12 next month at Gateway.”