Contributed by: ACT Staff
Champion Late Model stock car driver Alexandre Gingras of Val-Bélair, QC was honored at the Série ACT-Castrol Banquet of Champions at the Best Western Hotel Universel in Drummondville, QC on Saturday evening. The 32 year-old received a bonus check worth $8,000 for his efforts; the 2008 Série ACT-Castrol title is the first of his career.
Gingras’s #27 SkyJet Chevrolet Impala was steady and consistent in winning the Castrol championship, posting six top-ten finishes in eight starts, including a best finish of second at the Luminaire Napert 150 at Autodrome Chaudière in August. Gingras was also in the top-five at Ottawa’s Capital City Speedway and Autodrome St-Félicien in northern Québec, and had strong runs at Autodrome St-Eustache near Montréal, and Autodrome Montmagny Speedway near Québec City.
Karl Allard of St-Félicien, QC was given runner-up honors at the Série ACT-Castrol Banquet of Champions. Allard finished just three points behind Gingras (643-640) for the championship. Jean-François Déry of Québec finished third overall, with Lanoraie, QC veteran Claude Leclerc finishing fourth. Martin Lacombe of Terrebonne, QC and Yvon Bédard of St-Nicolas, QC tied for fifth place overall.
Nineteen year-old Patrick Hamel of St-Édourard-de-Lotbiniçre, QC was honored as the Série ACT-Castrol Rookie of the Year. Hamel completed his first full season of Late Model stock car racing in 7th place overall on the Série ACT-Castrol, with a top result of fourth place at Autodrome Chaudière.
Sophomore driver Stéphane Durand of Québec was voted by competitors as the Série ACT-Castrol “Most Improved Driver” for 2008. Durand earned his first-ever top-ten finish at Chaudière in the Coors Light 100 in June and finished in 11th place in the championship standings.
Éric St-Gelais of St-Nicolas was named the winner of the Série ACT-Castrol “Sportsmanship” award, as voted by competitors and officials. The second-year Late Model racer was on hand at all events in 2008, and was seen repairing the car of his competitors on many occasions.
American-Canadian Tour (ACT) President Tom Curley thanked all involved with the Série ACT-Castrol in his remarks during the evening, and announced a nine-event schedule for 2009 that includes returns to Autodrome St-Eustache in May and September, Autodrome Montmagny Speedway in May and July, Autodrome Chaudière in June and August, Capital City Speedway in June, and for the first time in two years, Riverside Speedway (formerly Circuit Ste-Croix) in June and August. Curley also announced that the second-annual “Showdown at Chaudière” all-star invitational event will be held on Saturday, August 29.
For information on the Série ACT-Castrol, including a look at the full 2009 race schedule, visit www.laserieactcastrol.com or www.acttour.com, or call (802) 244-6963.