Tuesday, September 22 2009 @ 09:35 AM EDT

Contributed by: ACT Staff



The American Canadian Tour (ACT) crowned Quebec City, Quebec veteran racer Donald Theetge as the 2009 Série ACT Castrol Champion. It was the second ACT Championship for the Theetge team. Theetge led the JPN Racing Patrick Laperle team by 33 points going into the final and longest race of the season, a 300-lap event on the 4/10ths mile oval at Autodrome St. Eustache, just outside Montreal.


Theetge was racing comfortably past the halfway mark in the 300-lap grind when he was involved in a major wreck on the front stretch. The race car suffered what appeared to be irreparable damage. “My team never gave up. My guys literally rebuilt the entire left side of the front suspension during the middle of the race. I have won this ACT Castrol title because of them. They were unbelievable, and I am very proud of how hard they worked to give us a chance to win the title”. Theetge finished 18th after returning to the race 50 laps down. He won the Championship following a bizarre set of events.

Laperle led a total of 189 laps of the event. He was leading around lap 268 when he appeared to have a tire going flat. Maintaining the lead but slowing dramatically until lap 270, Laperle knew he was in trouble. Sylvain Lacombe took over the lead on lap 270 and was then passed by eventual winner Jonathan Urlin of London, Ontario. Laperle started going back through the field. At this point there was not much question that he would have to pit under green flag conditions unless he could catch a ‘lucky’ caution flag.


On lap 273 Laperle’s cousin, Jacques Laperle, racing in only his second ACT Castrol event of the season, was running sixth on the lead lap. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, Jacques Laperle stopped his car under green in the outside lane on the backstretch, bringing out a yellow. The Jacques Laperle team claimed that they had a flat tire. ACT officials observed that the tire was not flat. Jacques Laperle was disqualified from the event for his actions of intentionally bringing out a yellow.


Following a timing and scoring re-check of several positions which was requested by the Patrick Laperle team, there was a scoring adjustment on the Daniel Descoste finishing position. There was also a procedural penalty issued to the Patrick Laperle team by ACT officials for violation of the ACT rules and procedures. A Patrick Laperle crew member left their pit stall and entered the pit stall of cousin Jacques Laperle, just prior to the alleged ‘flat tire’ on the backstretch. Patrick Laperle was issued a one-lap penalty for this infraction. Under ACT rules and procedures the driver is responsible for the conduct of his team. Patrick Laperle finished the event in 8th position, the first car two laps down.


With only 17 of the 33 cars that started the event finishing, Donald Theetge managed to complete the race in 18th position. The final results awarded Theetge the Championship by a single point.


The event had 13 cautions, five lead changes among 4 different drivers. Jonathan Urlin won $5,000 for winning the race.


The top ten final standings of the 2009 ACT Castrol Série are:


        Pos.  Car #          Name                      Points

        1.     80QC          Donald Theetge         733

        2.     91QC          Patrick Laperle          732

        3.     48QC          Karl Allard                697

        4.     21QC          Jean-Francois Dery     641

        5.     51QC          Patrick Hamel            630

        6.     5QC            Patrick Cliche            596

        7.     27QC          Alexandre Gingras      523

        8.     97QC          Jacques Poulin           500

        9.     11QC          Claude Leclerc           496

        10.    92QC         Jonathan Desbiens     485


The annual Banquet of Champions will be held in November and the 2009 Série ACT Castrol will be honored.


Pos         Car #      Driver

1              4            Jonathan Urlin

2              3            Sylvain Lacombe

3              48QC     Karl Allard

4              21QC     Jean-François Déry

5              19          Brandon Watson

6              71          Pete Vanderwyst

7              5QC       Patrick Cliche

8              91          Patrick Laperle

9              51PQ     Patrick Hamel

10           92           Jonathan Desbiens

11           17ON      Justin Holtom

12           99           Derek White

13           11PQ      Claude Leclerc

14           7PQ        Daniel Bergeron

15           70           Dave Morgan

16           30           Stéphane Durand

17           2             Daniel Descoste

18           80           Donald Theetge

19           84           Martin Latulippe

20           83           Martin Goulet Jr.

21           28QC      Dany Ouellet

22           97PQ      Jacques Poulin

23           10QC      Stéphane Descoste

24           26QC      Valerie Chiasson

25           12QC      Etienne Lemay

26           9PQ        Yvon Bédard

27           6             Pierre Graton

28           03           Martin Lacombe

29           15QC      Kevin Roberge

30           38           Martin Goulet

31           40QC      David Michaud

32           34           Claude Lepage