TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC – Star event of the NASCAR Pinty’s season, birthplace and residence of three-time series champion Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières was the ninth of 14 races of the 2023 season of the Canadian NASCAR series this past weekend. An event presented in front of full grandstands, as always very spectacular, and which saw the driver of car #47 WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare | Omnifab finished in second place, having qualified on the front row but having fallen to 24th position after the first lap.
“There are victories for which I worked less hard behind the wheel than yesterday at the GP3R” says Louis-Philippe Dumoulin. Second in free practice, second after a successful qualifying session, Dumoulin was aiming for nothing less than a third victory in NASCAR Pinty’s Series in front of his fans, family and friends. Unfortunately, he was hit from behind at the second corner, which led to a puncture in the right rear tire and forced him to return to the pits. “I thought the race was over for us because the impact of car 74 which took off behind me was violent. My crews changed this tire and when I returned to the track, I immediately felt that the #47 WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare | Omnifab was still performing very well. We then took advantage of the laps under yellow flag to return to the pits on the 2nd lap to change the 4 tires, then another time to refuel, on the 6th lap, just before the race was restarted » adds Dumoulin.
24th when the green flag was waved again on the 7th of the 60 laps, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin then undertook an extraordinary comeback to take the lead of the race on the 25th lap. Having pitted earlier than his opponents for the victory, however, he had to slow down in the last 15 laps to save fuel and finish second. “I’ve cut the engine during full-course yellow periods to save fuel as much as possible. If there had been a new yellow in the last 10 laps I could have fought for the victory but when you look at where I was at the end of the first lap it is really fantastic to have been able to finish on the podium,” emphasizes Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.
The driver from Trois-Rivières also points to another element to explain his end of the race: “The last restart on the 38th lap was a bit strange because I was the leader but I’ve been overtaken before the line which allows you to reaccelerate. The officials gave the green flag anyway, so I conceded the first place. For the rest of the race, I had to watch out for back markers who were being lapped and also focus on fuel management. But I really had a great car and I’m very proud of the work done by our whole team.”
“At the forefront, we fight for tenths of a second. This series is incredibly competitive. At GP3R, we had a good car, a good strategy and I think my comeback was a great show for the fans. I would of course have wanted to win but I could have lost everything at the 2nd corner. All in all, it’s a great event for us, which also allows me to win a place in the championship standings » adds Louis-Philippe.
Next event: Two races in two days on dirt!
NASCAR Pinty’s Series competitors are now heading to Ontario and the Ohsweken Speedway. A dirt track which will present two championship races, Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 August. “I am less experienced than other drivers on dirt but the Ohsweken Speedway is a superb complex. I can’t wait to go back. Last year, we had problems but this time with two races in a row, I am hopeful to score important points in the championship there” concludes the driver of the #47 car WeatherTech Canada | Groupe Bellemare | Omnifab, currently 4th in the standings.