The following Canadians will be participating in this weekends three series races at the Detroit GP on Belle Isle.
|#23||Roman De Angelis||Heart of Racing||Aston Martin Vantage GT3|
|#28||Daniel Morad||Alegra Motorsports||Mercedes-AMG GT3|
|#75||Mikael Grenier||Sun Energy 1||Mercedes-AMG GT3|
|#76||Jeff Kingsley||Compass Racing||Acura NSX GT3|
NTT Indycar Series
|#4||Dalton Kellett||AJ Foyt Enterprises||Chevy|
|#29||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||Honda|
|#11||Antonio Serravalle||Pserra Racing|
|#17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport|
June 8, 2021.- ST Racing secured another podium in TC America at the Virginia International Raceway on a weekend when its BMW M4 GT4 also shined in the headlining GT4 America Series.
The weekend got off to a superb start when Nick Wittmer, once again on substitute duties in place of Bryson Lew, set a storming 1m 54.364s in first qualifying, netting the #38 BMW M4 GT4 3rd on the grid for race one. This marks ST Racing’s strongest qualifying performance of the year in the GT4 America Series.
With momentum on his side, Nick made an equally impressive start to race one, moving the ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 into 2nd overall with a resolute pass into turn one. The sheer might of the BMW’s 3-litre M TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder allowed Nick to keep the leader in his sights down VIR’s awesome back straight. Contact shortly afterwards however ultimately meant this pace would not last, though both Nick and teammate Tomas Mejia gamely managed to bring the #38 BMW home 6th in the Silver class.
A truncated second qualifying session meant Tomas Mejia started 23rd overall for race two, but the young Californian, still in his maiden GT4 season with ST Racing, put on a fighting display during his opening stint on Sunday morning, passing 10 cars on-track before bringing the #38 BMW in for the regulatory pit stop. Unfortunately, whilst running 2nd in-class, Nick Wittmer was forced to serve a drive-through penalty. Proving his pace on Saturday was no flash in the pan, Nick dutifully brought the M4 home 11th overall – 12 positions up from its starting position – and 4th in the Silver class.
Samantha Tan meanwhile, back for her second TC America race weekend of the season in the sister BMW M2 CS, continued to showcase her ever-developing pace and maturity across both 40-minute races at VIR. Having qualified 5th in the TCX class for race one, Samantha made a bold move down the back-straight on the opening lap to move into 4th. Despite an off-track moment late in the race, ‘assisted’ as she was by three cars going side-by-side into turn one, Samantha nevertheless managed to secure a solid 5thin-class at the flag. On Sunday, another feisty start meant the #438 M2 was in the thick of the fight for 3rd place from the get-go, Samantha dutifully taking the position when her principal opponents ran wide on lap two. A heavy clash in the race’s TCA category meant race two was eventually red-flagged, thus securing Samantha Tan her third podium finish from four TC America starts so far in 2021.
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Saint Joseph de Beauce (Quebec, Canada) – May 3rd, 2021. Raphael Lessard Racing announced today that Raphael Lessard will not be participating in the rest of the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events. The unfavorable conditions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic on the North American economy did not allow Raphael Lessard Racing to implement their strategy in the search for funding in 2020. They are now turning their attention to preparing for the 2022 season, based on the driver’s major accomplishments since his start in NASCAR, on the groundwork already established this year, and on the anticipated economic recovery on both sides of the border.
“My management team and I have always believed in our ultimate success and we still do. Over the last years, we have focused all our energies on completing full seasons in the upper echelons of NASCAR, and we have achieved that goal recently. However, we are currently in a situation where we cannot continue this season, and it’s hard to accept that fact. All I have ever wanted is to be behind a steering wheel and win!” explains an emotional Raphael Lessard.
“We are not putting an end to all things racing. My dream is still to race in the Daytona 500 and see my parents sitting in the stands! We are open to opportunities and most importantly, we are working with GMS Racing to come back stronger in 2022. That is our goal! In addition, I enjoyed every moment with GMS Racing, from the preparation to the track, and I want to give special thanks to Maurice J. Gallagher (Maury), Mike Beam, Josh Wise, Chevrolet and Christopher Biby, my Agent, Chad Walter, my crew chief, Tyler Monn, my spotter and all the crew at GMS Racing,” confided the man who has made racing history on several occasions.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!
“Right from the beginning of my career, I have owed my growth in the sport to many people: my parents, those who have travelled with me around the countries, Raphael Lessard Racing, Les Équipes Caissie-Ménard, the fans who have supported me on social and other networks, the media, the race teams who have welcomed me, and above all, the investors and partners who have believed in my talent. Without all of you, nothing would have been possible. You know some of our key supporters and I will not name them here out of respect. However, I know that they will recognize themselves,” concludes Raphael Lessard.
Daytona (Florida, United States) – February 13, 2021. Raphael Lessard and GMS Racing showed how competitive the #24 Silverado Canac is at the Daytona International Speedway (Florida, United States), when the young driver won the first stage and finished second in the second stage of the race on Friday night, and gained 19 important bonus points towards the Championship. An incident while he was running 6th with four laps to go pushed him into the wall, dropping the damaged #24 Canac truck to 23rd at the finish.
The Race From the Driver’s Point of View
The race was a typical super oval event, with trucks running in two tight files that made it difficult to pass. Drivers needed to work as a team to gain ground, which the GMS Racing drivers did well throughout the event.
“After a good start, I kept my position for a few laps and then moved into first place on lap 13. We won the first 20-lap stage with the help of Sheldon Creed, my teammate and the reigning series champion. We worked well in the outside lane. The bonus points for such wins are important, and this is my first stage win ever,” explained Raphael Lessard.
“We almost won the second stage by being aggressive and with the help of my new observer, Tyler Monn, who is very good, as he helped me move up to second place at the end of the 20-lap stint. Everything was looking good for the rest of the race,” added Raphael Lessard.
“The last 60-lap stage forced everyone to make important decisions on when to make the one fuel stop that was needed to get to the finish. The team decided on a common strategy for all the GMS Racing drivers to ensure that we would continue to work effectively as a team as we made our way through the pack. We all made an early stop and were all together on the track for a final comeback. However, multiple caution periods late in the race allowed the other drivers to save fuel and make it to the end without stopping for fuel. We were now stuck behind the leaders and had to work very hard to get back to the front, even trying to start a third row on the outside with the help of my teammates, but that did not work. We did make up to the leaders with a handful of laps left in the race, but it was impossible to avoid the accident I was involved in. We all deserved better than that! “concluded a driver who was nevertheless very satisfied with his performance and that of the team.