Unbuckled: Getting To Know Jean-Francois Dery

Unbuckled: Getting To Know Jean-François Déry

Driver of the #21 Giguere Portes Et Fenetres Toyota

Hometown: Quebec, QC

2012: Runner-up on Série ACT Castrol


What are your favorite hobbies in the off-season?

In the off season, I work hard at my shop and at my home to make up for the time I lose in the summer.  I also try to spend as much time as possible with my family.

What do you do for work?

I am the owner of a used car and mechanic shop in downtown Quebec City.

What is your biggest life accomplishment?

I think my biggest accomplishment is completing the long, hard road it took to arrive in ACT competition, mostly competing and winning in different series with the lowest budget and junk yard parts!  I had the help of my family and my friends, though. The power of the love of the sport and my passion gives me what I need to continue.

Big Plans for 2013?

I would like to win my first championship on the Série ACT Castrol this year.

What is the state of your car currently?

My car is a hybrid car from Distance Racing by Jeff Taylor in Maine and from the Quebec team Deunux 21: Gabriel Drouin, Michel Rodrigue, Dyno Balic, Eric Thibault, Guy Lavoie, and Steve Godbout.

What race are you looking forward to the most in 2013?

Without hesitation, the International 500 is the race of the year!

What was the highlight of the 2012 season for you?

When my crew chief, Gabriel Drouin, won the trophy of Crew Chief of the Year at the ACT Banquet of Champions.  That was a huge teamwork accomplishment.

Do you have a hero? Someone you idolize as a racecar driver or try to emulate?

Ayrton Senna. This guy won races under such hard conditions, with much worse equipment than a lot of other guys. Ayrton is a magician!

Who is your biggest fan at the track?

My mom is my biggest fan. She is the only person who always says that I've done well! Haha!

What is something about you that most people don’t know?

In the beginning, my father would not let me spend my money on racecars, so without his permission I bought my first racecar and I worked on it in secret when he left home.  Now he supports me and prays that I have the money to continue!

How did you start racing?

I started racing in the stands at Val-Belair Racetrack.  I turned with my knees each lap when the cars passed in front of the stands. The hardest punishment I ever received from my father was to not be allowed to go to the Saturday night races.

Tell me about your family?

My family members are all-the-way racing fans.  My father sponsored many cars in the Mini Stock division at Val-Belair. My sisters help me at every possible race they can attend. My mother is all about sports and watched all the races on TV.  I think she knows more than me about racing.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Spending Sundays in a boat with my fishing rod, my wife, and my child, enjoying the victories of my racing team, which I would own!