Francois Bernier Takes Down Drummond Opener

By MARY-PIER RENE, LesGarsDeCourses.com

We were impatiently awaiting this first night of racing at Autodrome Drummond since we have been kept busy for a good part of the week while awaiting confirmations from public health authority. And in the evening, Mother Nature gave us a little downpour, which put the show on hold for over an hour. Nevertheless, the 500 spectators that were allowed to attend the show were on hand for quite a treat.

Drivers who answered the call in large numbers in the Slingshots, Midget Speed STR’s, Ligthning Sprints, Mini Stocks, Sportsman and Modified categories put on a clinic for an awesome night of racing.

In the 358-Modified division, promotor Yan Bussière decided to hold a 70-lap main event to commemorate the 70 years of operation of the Quebec 3/8 dirt track. Brian McDonald (#151KB) led the field to the green flag and led the first 10 circuits before suffering a mechanical issue that put an end to his efforts. On the same caution, Mario Clair (#22c) hit the wall hard in turn number 3 and rolled over. The popular St-Edmond, Que driver wasn’t able to continue. On the restart, Michael Parent (#25p) took the lead and had a very fast car in front of Steve Bernard (#54) and François Bernier (#49). Parent led the charge in front until lap 42 when his Groupe Ultra #25p car suffered mechanical issues that would force him to a stop.

François Bernier would then lead the pack for another restart with a fast surging Chris Raabe (#01) getting closer in sixth after starting 21rst. On lap 45, Raabe gets to the third position with David Hébert (#ONE) getting by him a couple of laps later. On lap 55, Bernier is still the leader with defending champion Mathieu Desjardins (#37m) running second in front of Hebert. These two would put on a show until the end of the race with Desjardins keeping the second position. A final caution on lap 66 would bring the bunch together. Bernier wouldn’t be bothered until the checkered flag to get his first win of the early season. Desjardins, Hébert, Steve Bernier (#25*) and Raabe would round up the top 5.




In the Sportsman Modified division, 30 drivers took the green flag for the 32 laps main event. Richard Tessier (#67) started in front, followed by another veteran Martin Lessard (#2x) and the young gun Cedric Gauvreau (#22c), last Friday’s winner in Granby. On lap 7, Lessard was able to get by Tessier, with Michael Richard (#3m) getting closer after starting ninth. On a restart with 20 laps to go, Richard gets in front and is the car to beat, even though he was only getting back in action after a full year without racing. Felix Murray (#95) is getting to the top fast as he gets by Lessard a couple of laps later.

On lap 27, Richard gets a little too high and Murray wouldn’t let that chance go by and becomes the new leader in trafic. Murray, from Granby Que., would hold on until the end to get his first win of the season in front of Richard, Gauvreau, Lessard and William Racine (#35r).

In the support classes, Carl Labonté (#24) was the winner of an action packed 20 laps Midget Speed STR event.

In the 20 laps Lightning Sprints final, Tomy Moreau used a late restart to get by Jordan Poirier to win it.

In the Mini Stocks division with only 8 drivers suiting up for action, Jeremie Goyette (#67) was the winner in dominant fashion.

Up next in Quebec, Autodrome Granby will get back in action next Friday June 11th. The schedule hasn’t been shared by the track as of yet.