The 2007 Québec Late Model race season is officially underway with the arrival of several full season entries for the 12-race series at the ACT office. Among the drivers making an early commitment are Karl Allard, Claude Leclerc, Alexandre Gingras, all top ten finishers in the 2006 standings as well as Rejean Blanchet who ran a part-time schedule last year.

For the coming season, Allard, from St-Félicien, Québec, will be in the driver’s seat vacated by veteran racer, Andre Beaudoin. Beaudoin, who took the Larue Snowblowers machine to a sixth place finish, retired after some 25 years of racing. Last year Allard, 30, scored one victory at the helm of the Chantal Lamontagne machine. Allard’s win came in the Autopro 200 at his home track, the Autodrome St-Felicien. He had two additional podium finishes.

At 65, Leclerc from Lanoraie, Québec, is the elder statesman of ACT’s Québec Late Model Série but that hasn’t slowed down the veteran competitor. He ran to a seventh place finish in the final 2006 tally which included one podium finish and seven top tens. In addition to entering the 12-race Québec Late Model series Leclerc has filed a full season entry for the 14-race American-Canadian Tour. “The number of races is really only 24 since two of the events are combination races which are both on the Québec and ACT schedules. We used to do 30-33 races with ACT so 24 shouldn’t be so bad,” the driver of the Autopro Chevrolet stated with a laugh.

Karl Allard (above right)
Claude Leclerc enters pit lane at Sanair (left)

PHOTO - Alexandre Gingras at speed (lower right)

Alexandre Gingras of St-Lambert, Québec has also filed a full season entry. Gingras finished tenth in the 2006 tally with a victory at the half-mile tri-oval in St-Felicien as well as seven top 10 finishes. In his nine starts Gingras amassed a finishing average of 7.8. If the 2007 season turns out as well for the driver of the Autobus La Quebecoise Chevrolet he should be in the hunt for the title.

Blanchet, from St-Tite-des-Caps, Québec ran the first three events in 2006 and was one of the 63 who attempted to qualify for the combination Québec and ACT race at the Sanair Super Speedway. Blanchet looks increase his participation in 2007 and run the entire schedule in his Canadian Tire Chevrolet.

The 2007 ACT Québec Late Model Série kicks off its season at the 3/8ths mile Autodrome Montmagny Speedway (Montmagny, Qc) on Saturday, May 18. The high-banked oval will host a 100 lap event. One week later the Série moves to the Autodrome St-Eustache on Saturday, May 26 for a 100-lap race on the 4/10 mile oval.

Additional tracks on the schedule include a single stop at Ottawa, Ontario’s Capital City Speedway, a 3/8ths mile oval, as well as the 5/8ths mile high-banked oval at the Circuit Ste-Croix (Ste-Croix, Qc), and the 1/3 mile Autodrome Circuit Chaudiere (Valle-Jonction, Qc). The Late Model Série competitors can also attempt to qualify for the ACT Tour’s Super Series race at the .89 mile Sanair Super Speedway (July 7-8) although it will not award points toward the Québec championship.

Two of the Québec Série races will be added distance Super Series events held in combination with the ACT Tour. The first is slated for June 23-24 at Circuit Ste-Croix while the second is Sat, July 28 at Autodrome St-Eustache. Both will have significantly increased purses.