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Aug 10, 2014 - 06:16 AM
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Formula 1600 Super Series - Pelletier Victorious in Race 1 at Trois Rivières
Posted by: newsla on Aug 10, 2014 - 06:13 AM
Support Series News
Formula 1600 Super Series - Pelletier Victorious in Race 1 at Trois Rivières


Race 1 of the F1600 Super Series finale, part of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières weekend, was full of high drama for points leader Tristan DeGrand and his closest rivals, Chase Pelletier and Olivier Bédard.

 

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Pelletier snagged the pole position in a thrilling qualification session run on Thursday, making a bold statement that he was here for one thing only, to win.

DeGrand has been nothing short of perfect for most of the season and had a somewhat comfortable 100 point lead coming into the event. All he really needed to do was keep Pelletier and Bédard in close proximity and the Championship would be his. He will now have to race for it, and race hard.

The two top young drivers in the country lined up 1 and 2 on the starting grid. Bédard, the other key player in the championship battle would line up 6th.

The head games started on the pace lap, before the drop of the green flag. As they came through the very tight last corner before the front straightaway DeGrand and Pelletier touched; DeGrand trying to keep the pole sitter on the dirty side of the track and Pelletier trying to force his rival to move over and give him more room.

As they stormed into turn 1 Pelletier assumed the lead and DeGrand looked content to follow. That changed quickly as they charged up the back straightaway. Pelletier would move to the inside and protect his line for the tight left hander, DeGrand pulled alongside and attempted to out-brake Pelletier, sliding into the corner, getting his right rear tire on the dirty surface and before anyone knew what happened he was in the tire wall and his day was over.

The safety car was deployed and the field gathered back up, Pelletier unsure of what happened to DeGrand until he circulated around the next lap and he saw DeGrand standing beside his car.

On the restart 3 laps later Pelletier put his head down and gapped Michel Bonnet slightly but the wiley veteran, who won both races here last year, would get back to him and start to put on the pressure. Some lapped traffic came into play late in the race making it impossible for Bonnet to mount another charge.

With two laps to go Brian Fowler spun in corner 1 and was clipped by Duncan Murdoch, ending both of their days.

At the checkered flag Pelletier would grab an emotional win. Bonnet finished 2nd and Bédard would finish 3rd, grabbing some much needed championship points. Didier Schraenen had a great race and crossed the line in 4th. Marc Antoine Cardin fought hard throughout the race and finished 5th.

"I am really happy right now," said a smiling race winner Chase Pelletier. "We are tied for the points and I have a shot to go and try and win the Super Series Championship. Tristan tried a late braking move at the end of the straightaway and was just a little too deep. I knew he was because I broke as late as I could and he went deeper. I didn’t know what happened to him at first until the safety car came out and we went around and he was standing there. From then on I had a little pressure from Bonnet who is so fast here but it all worked out and I grabbed maximum points."

The complexion of the series has changed significantly. DeGrand and Pelletier are now tied with 540 points each. Bédard sits in 3rd with 468, was very fast and will start up front as well. He could play a role in this.

Other notable drives were Sergio Pasian with a solid 6th place finish and Jayson Clunie with a strong run up to 8th.

The starting grid for this afternoon’s Race 2 will be set by fastest race 1 lap times. That puts Bédard in 2nd and Pelletier in 3rd. DeGrand will start at the back of the field in 24th.

Teams are now busily preparing for Race 2, starting at 4:20 pm today.


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