Contributed by: ACT Staff
The Ste-Croix speedplant is one of the more challenging on the 2006 12-race schedule. The speed coming off both straight-aways and into the first and third corners requires a tremendous amount of brake. The speeds reached at the Lee oval, due to its size, are considerably less, although stout brakes are a benefit through the track's tight corners.
The Granite State track's corners are more symmetrical when compared to those at the Canadian race track, which are drastically different. The fourth turn even goes up hill before turning on to the front stretch! The talk in the pits among the drivers competing at Ste-Croix for the first time centered around how to successfully negotiate both ends of the track. Most were able to get one end figured out while the other caused a lot of head scratching.
Additionally, Lee USA features a retaining wall all the way around the perimeter whereas Ste-Croix allows for a car to scrub-off speed before coming into contact with a concrete barrier.
Who are among the favorites to win the Tour's Re/Max Alliance 100? In addition to the usual cast of characters including multi-time champion Jean-Paul Cyr, Brent Dragon, and Dave Pembroke, there are a host of young guns hoping to make their mark.
Leading the way is the `Rocketman' Roger Brown from Lancaster, NH. Brown has turned in some impressive runs at Lee USA since his 2003 rookie season with ACT, including several podium finishes, but he's yet to carry the checkers. Sunday could be his breakthrough day. Mike Collins, who plans to run the Tour in 2006, cut his racing teeth at the seacoast speedplant. And just a few short weeks ago he edged out Brown for a feature win at the track. There's a grudge match in the making.
Other up and comers include AJ Begin, Joey Polewarczyk, Bobby Baillargeon, Ryan Vanasse, Marc Curtis, Scott Payea, and Ryan Nolin, among others. Coupled with veterans Phil Scott, Joey Laquerre, Dave Whitcomb, Patrick Laperle and Ben Rowe, to name a few and the stage is set for a showdown on Sunday.