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Aug 11, 2014 - 06:54 AM
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Formula 1600 Super Series - Pelletier Sweeps Trois Rivières
Posted by: newsla on Aug 11, 2014 - 06:52 AM
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Formula 1600 Super Series - Pelletier Sweeps Trois Rivières


Chase Pelletier just had his most successful weekend ever in a formula 1600 car, right when he needed it most. Heading into Race 2 of the Super Series finale he managed to get into a tie with Tristan DeGrand for the Formula 1600 Super Series Championship and only had to finish in front of DeGrand to take the title.

 

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Pelletier had a conservative strategy going in. With DeGrand at the back of the field he had the advantage. Shortly after the start Pelletier dropped a couple of positions to the hard charging Didier Schraenen and Marc Cardin and watched the lead pack battle tooth and nail, content to let it all play out in front of him.

DeGrand, with the cards stacked against him, started at the back of the field based on a DNF in race 1. He had nothing to lose and was prepared to make this the drive of his life, ready to make the most of his situation and confident he would get his shot at Pelletier. In an astounding display of skill and determination, DeGrand wasted no time disposing of the bottom half of the field. By lap 2 he was in 13th position and soon after was hot on the tail of the lead group. By lap 6 he was on the gearbox of Pelletier. Just one lap later, and still not at the halfway point of the race he was by, the championship now his again.

The roller coaster of emotions affecting the top 3 in points had swung back in favour of DeGrand, but only for a short time. Coming onto the front straightaway just before the halfway point DeGrand ran his left rear wheel up on the curb, like he had done many times before but this time tragedy struck. The left rear wishbone kinked, lowering the rear ride height of the car and dropping the chassis onto the ground. He brought the car to the attention of his crew but they could do nothing to help him in time. His record setting season and his incredible string of wins in the Super Series were not enough to help him grab the title.

With the championship story seemingly settled the focus shifted back to the ferocious battle at the front of the race. The pole sitter, Michel Bonnet, had been caught and passed by a very hard charging Didier Schraenen and the two looked poised to wage a battle of veterans as Olivier Bédard, Chase Pelletier, and Marc-Antoine Cardin could not find a way past.

Schraenen looked headed to the top step of the podium but ran wide in the last corner before the straightaway and jumped the very same curb that claimed DeGrand earlier. He seemed fine but a few laps later spun, perhaps as a result of a mechanical failure from the earlier incident as he parked the car unable to continue.

That put Bonnet solidly in the lead with 3 young, hungry drivers hot on his tail and not much time remaining. Pelletier, perhaps content with knowing DeGrand was out moved into 2nd and was looking for a way past Bonnet. Bonnet was uninterested in Pelletier’s ducking and weaving and held a steady line. His record is impeccable at Trois Rivières with multiple wins, including both races last season.

Pelletier went for it, risking everything in an ambitious move to the inside of corner 2. The two touched wheels, sending Bonnet around and ending his day with damaged suspension.

Pelletier was passed on the inside by Cardin and Bédard had to take evasive action to the outside, losing valuable ground.

At the checkered flag Pelletier would grab the win, his second of the day, Cardin would cross the line in 2nd and Bédard, suffering with a loss of power due to an overheating issue would take the final step of the podium in 3rd. JP Jodoin, Jayson Clunie, Serge Bordeau, Kevin King, Guy Gilain, Michel LeGrand and Gerald Dumoulin rounded out the top 10. Jayson Clunie took first in the Master’s class for the race, followed by Serge Bordeau and Guy Gilain.

With that, Pelletier had secured the Super Series Championship.

"Winning twice today was awesome." says Pelletier. "It was a real challenge coming from third. All of the drivers in the series are really fast and competitive, to be at the top of that list is incredible, especially at such a historic event as the Grand Prix Trois Rivières"

"It was a tough weekend, but it is what it is", recounted DeGrand. "The incident in the first race was totally on me. In the second race I had nothing to lose so I raced really hard and got myself back in the championship lead. When the car broke with mechanical failure, there’s not much I can do about that. I’ve won a lot of races and have had a great Super Series so I’ll shift my focus now to winning the Formula Tour and Toyo Tires F1600 Championships."

Formula Tour 1600 will race next at Fall Classic, Mont Tremblant, September 26-28, 2014.

Toyo Tires F1600 Series will race next at MCO Ted Powell Races, Calabogie Motorsports Park, August 23/24, 2014.


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