Photo credit: © RTD Media Management
Sainte-Thérèse (QC), July 11, 2022.- Barely two and a half months after his debut in the American Formula 2000 Championship (Formula Race Promotions), Quebec driver Jean-Christophe Trahan executed a perfect weekend at the Autobahn Country Club. Two races were on the programme, located at this Joliet, Illinois track. For Trahan, the balance sheet was exceptional: two races, two victories, two fastest race laps, and two pole positions in qualifying!
Statistically, it was a perfect record for the young driver, a rookie in the series this year. Nonetheless, it wasn’t as easy as the numbers might lead to believe. « From the outside, I might’ve given the impression that it was an easy weekend but we had a couple of mechanical issues before the first race, which were thankfully quickly resolved by my team, Global Racing Team » confided Jean-Christophe. Just prior to the start of Saturday’s race, an overheating radiator had caused his engine to cut.
Once the problem was resolved and the start of the race took place, the 2021 Canadian F1600 championship runner-up led from the first to the last lap of this 20-lap event. After entertaining a margin of close to ten seconds ahead of his closest rivals, Trahan eventually crossed the finish line barely half a second in front of Austin Hill. « My brake balance was bad, I had way too much brake force in the rear of my open-wheel and it was starting to become a critical problem towards the end of the race. This also caused me to make a few small mistakes, which allowed my competitors to make up some time on me towards the end ».
Heading into this event, Jean-Christophe Trahan was new to the Autobahn Country Club. « It’s a very technical track, not too fast other than a sequence of two turns that we come into with our F2000s at more than 100 miles per hour. It takes big concentration and I have to admit that I made my way onto the grass a couple of times during the first qualifying session, as well as during the first race » he mentioned.
It’s also important to note that the F2000 drivers saw their Friday practice session altered because of the rain. For a driver trying to learn the track like Jean-Christophe was, this wasn’t without consequence and it forced him to concentrate twice as hard during the next day’s four track sessions. « I worked hard on Saturday and I can say that I was completely spent by the end of the day » he noted.
On Sunday, Trahan once again secured pole position before leading the entire race, on route to an indisputable victory, this time with a gap of 35 seconds ahead of second place finisher Nathan Byrd. « In my previous events in this series, I always managed to win one of the two races. But this time was really a perfect record and the two victories catapult me in the lead of the championship » explained the #12 Blud Lubricants open-wheel driver.
Trahan earns the lead of the championship despite the fact that he missed the first two races of the season: « I learned a lot this past weekend. I was quickly able to get myself into a rhythm on a track that I was just familiarizing myself with. It’s really gratifying and I now find myself in a position to be able to aim for the 2022 title, which was my goal since I discovered this series ».
The next event will take place on August 19th to 21st in West Virginia at the Summit Point Motorsports Park. Trahan is content with this break in the calendar, as it allows him time to find the required budget to complete the season, which consists of four more races over two different events. « Given that I’m now in a place to win the championship, I hope that this will help our efforts to bring together the remaining budget needed to complete the season. I’m the only Quebec driver in a position to win an international motorsport title in 2022, and it’s a goal I don’t want to miss because of non-motorsport reasons » concluded Jean-Christophe Trahan.