Contributed by: ACT Staff
Unbuckled: Getting To Know Patrick Laperle
Driver of the #91 Gestion Ford
Hometown: St-Denis, QC
2012: Won Record Third Série ACT Castrol Championship
What are your favorite hobbies in the off-season?
Snowmobiling and RC Racing. I’ve been doing that ever since I can remember. I think I was 8-years old when I got my first RC car, and when I started racing real cars I stopped doing it for awhile and picked it up again maybe 3-4 years ago. I do it about an hour from where I live, it’s a very nice club.
What do you do for work?
I paint cars. That’s why my racecar looks so good! And I own a recycling business with my brother.
What is your biggest life accomplishment?It would have to be in 2008 when I won my third Milk Bowl and the ACT US Championship at the same time. Going into the race we were behind Scott Payea for the championship, and we won by one point and I won the Milk Bowl by two. When the dust settled we were thinking about that all night. We had a very big party!
Big Plans for 2013?
Not going to run for the Castrol Series Title this year as I am building my home, so that will take a lot of time. I will run a few select races though.
What is the state of your car currently?
Everything is ready.
What race are you looking forward to the most in 2013?
That would be the race at Sanair. I don’t think anyone from Quebec has won over there, I think Claude Leclerc might have won over there years ago, but it is pretty close to my hometown. We have been good there. Half the people in the grandstands will be from my town!
What was the highlight of the 2012 season for you?
I would say winning the 300 at St Eustache and the title in the same day. That was a really great day for us.
Do you have a hero? Someone you idolize as a racecar driver or try to emulate?
I’ve got two. Junior Hanley, and Tony Stewart. They are aggressive drivers and they win races and I like their style. Tony is basically me. We are not too skinny, but we run really well but don’t go to the gym and all that stuff. I really like him, he races dirt and he races all the time. Junior is a legend, and he builds my cars. He is a great man.
Who is your biggest fan at the track?
My family for sure. They have always been big race fans. They have been involved in racing since before I was born. I watched races in the womb! They come to all the races, and we watch the NASCAR races on Sunday.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
Probably that I played football in high school. I will tell you a secret though, I was just trying to get some chicks! It didn’t work. I didn’t know how to play football. I couldn’t afford to go racing yet. I was too young and we had to learn English to go racing. So my brother and I went to school in Plattsburgh to learn English!
How did you start racing?
I started racing in the Late Model Sportsman in Plattsburgh, I bought a car in 1998, and finished fourth overall and won Rookie of the Year. All of my racing has been in LMS cars with ACT. I never raced go-karts, or anything.
Tell me about your family?
I have two daughters, Noemi and Magaly. Noemi is nine, and Magaly is two years old. They mean the world to me.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I hope to still be behind the steering wheel, at camp, drinking my beer and enjoying the win of the day.
Did you ever see yourself racing in NASCAR in any form? Do you still?
I raced once or twice in a NASCAR Tour, but I was not born on the good side of the border! Plus, I’m too old now.
I noticed you’re a slightly more aggressive driver, has that ever gotten you in trouble?
Oh yes. It has gotten me in trouble, but it gives me a lot of victories too. I remember one time I was racing at Thunder Road and I was trying to pass a car on the outside for about 20-laps and I finally cleared him. He tried to dump me in turns 3-4, he went into the wall, and Curley put the black flag on me and put on me on the trailer! I still remember that day.
How do you feel about Wayne Helliwell coming to run the Castrol Series?
I know that Dery will be good this year, but really, the Castrol Series can be a rough ride. You need to know the guys you’re racing against, so that may be one thing that is not good for him. Some guys are aggressive. I wish him luck. The qualifying system is different too, you have to start in the rear all the time and try to escape the wrecks. He will see that it is very different. He will see!