Unbuckled: Getting to Know Jean-François Déry
Driver of the #21QC Giguere Portes et fenetres Toyota Camry
Hometown: Quebec City, QC
2015 Season: Finished 2nd in Série ACT points
What are your favorite off-season hobbies?
With the big season and my busy business, I try to spend time with my family and relax my body for the next summer.
What do you do for work?
I have a used car center and mechanic service in downtown Quebec City.
What is your biggest life accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment happened this past year after I turned 40: The birth of my little boy Aylan.
What are your racing plans for 2016? Do you have any goals?
I will probably run the full Série ACT schedule, with the hope of winning races and the championship.
What race(s) are you most looking forward to in 2016?
After 4 podiums, I had plans to finally win the Can-Am race. But with the new schedule, I’m most looking forward to the Bond Auto ACT Invitational race and not having mechanical problems.
What was the highlight of the 2015 season for you?
The recovery and effort by all the members of the team, after lots of bad luck all year long, to finish second in the championship. They never gave up.
How did you get started in racing?
My father sponsored a Mini Stock car at Val-Bélair in the past, and I started to race in Mini Stocks at Circuit Riverside Speedway (Ste-Croix) in 1995. I did that for two years before going on to road racing for a while, and then later returned to stock cars in the Série IMAX LMS.
Tell me about your family?
My wife Vicky is self-employed and also makes custom swimsuits and fitness suits. She comes to each race with me and helps me in all parts of my life. My little son Aylan gives us a lot of happiness every day.
Do you have a driver or anyone that you consider a hero or try to take after?
In racing, I consider Ayrton Senna a hero for his determination to win. I remember (in 1984) when he was going to win at Monaco with a junkyard race car in the rain just before the race was stopped, and he still finished second. He made the impossible happen.
Who is your biggest supporter at the track?
My mother, without question, is my biggest supporter year after year.
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your racing career?
All my family supports me all the time for never giving up.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
What’s about Vegas stays in Vegas!
What did you think of all the combination events between ACT U.S. and Série ACT in 2015? Would you like them to come back in the future?
Definitely; the combination event is the best of the best, in my opinion, with the draw plus/minus system. With the number of cars at these events it’s possible to use this system and have an exciting race. I want as many as possible.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be patient. Liiiiift. Liiiiift.
What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
Prepared to put Aylan in a Go-Kart if he’d like to do that.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
RELAX, RACING, RELAX, RACING, RELAX, RACING, AND RACING with my family.