Contributed by: ACT Staff
Quebec Drivers Seek to Keep International Prize North of the Border
The top ACT Late Model drivers from Quebec are expected, including five former Série ACT Champions. 2014 ACT International winner and multi-time Série ACT Champion Patrick Laperle of St-Denis, QC is an early favorite to keep the top prize in la belle province. Laperle won last year's event after a thrilling 30-lap battle with former Thunder Road Champion Nick Sweet.
“It would be awesome to get back-to-back wins,” Laperle said. “The trophy would look really nice beside the other one.”
Laperle is among those who attempting to capture both $10,000 winner's prizes by running the ACT and PASS features. He recently won the 150-lap PASS event at Autodrome Chaudiere in Vallee-Jct., QC on June 20.
“Airborne has always been nice to me, so I decided I want to try a Super Late Model there,” Laperle said. “With the race that we had at Chaudiere, we'd be crazy not to bring both cars. 400 laps in the same day will be tough, so maybe we won't have as big a party on Saturday night!”
Defending Série ACT Champion Alex Labbé is among the challengers to Laperle's bid for another International win. Labbé already has two Série ACT wins this season and previously captured the 2013 Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne.
“It would mean a lot to win this race,” Labbé said. “We've struggled a bit the last two years here – we were always fast in practice, but struggled to find speed in the race itself. It's a big race, and there's a lot of good cars.”
Beyond the race itself, Labbé knows that a Canadian winning the International again would be a boost to Série ACT and Late Model racing in Quebec.
“Winning this race would add a lot of prestige to our series,” he said. “We all know our Tour is pretty strong, but if we can win against the U.S. drivers, it would prove even more how strong our Tour is.”
Boischatel, QC's Donald Theetge, a two-time Série ACT Champion, also plans on doing double-duty. Fellow former Champions Jean-François Déry and Karl Allard are expected to join Theetge in the ACT portion. Dany Trepanier, Jonathan Bouvrette, and Patrick Cliche, the current top-three in the Série ACT point standings, are also among the top challengers for the event, which is also the second leg of the Série ACT Airborne Triple Crown. Meanwhile, ageless veteran Claude Leclerc and first-year competitor Charles Harvey will both try to pull a big upset.
The Quebec competitors will battle U.S. stars such as eight-time ACT Tour Champion Brian Hoar, two-time Tour Champion and current point leader Wayne Helliwell Jr., and 2013 International winner Joey Polewarczyk Jr. Other challengers include Maine's Jeff White and Brad Babb along with young standouts Emily Packard, Brandon Atkins, and Kyle Welch.
The third annual ACT International 500 is set for Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 at Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY. In addition to ACT and PASS's 200-lap events, open-wheel fans will welcome Quebec's REVSTAR Sprint Cars and Slingshots. Qualifying begins on Saturday, July 18 at 6:30pm, with features on Sunday, July 19 at 1:00pm. An optional practice day will be held on Friday, July 17. General admission is $40 for Saturday and Sunday, $20 for Saturday only, or $35 for Sunday only. Reserved seats are $60 for both days or $50 for Sunday only.