By DON SIMPSON
Autodrome Granby closed out the 2020 season with a grueling 100-lap race for the 358 Modifieds with the crowning of Francois Bernier this year’s championship. The Sportsman Modified also crowned Even Racine who had a brilliant season. Yves Hamel came home as the 2020 Pro Stock champion and in the final Sports Compact race, Alexis Charbonneau was named this year’s champion.
During the hot laps/time trials, a new track record was also set this night in the Modifieds by veteran driver Luke Whitteker, driving the number 124 car of Pierre Dagenais.
The main event of the night was of course was the 100-lap 358 Modified feature race where once again Francois Bernier was in a class of his own, leading the entire race to the checkered flag. For the first part of the race, Yan Bussière put up quite a challenge, but faded after tire wear came into play. Steve Bernard had a good car and was second on Francois’ tail for a good fifteen laps, but failed to finish due to engine failure, leaving the door open for the next challenger Mathieu Desjardins. With 10 laps to go, Yan Bussière was back on the charge, pushing Desjardins. In the end, Bernier crossed the line unchallenged to take the win over Desjardins in second, with Yan crossing in third.
The 100-lap race did, however, provide some good exciting racing with two hard-charging drivers. Sebastien Gougeon, and David Hebert who both fought there way from the back of the pack to finish in the top seven with Gougeon crossing the line in seventh and David Herbert finishing in 6th .
In the Sportsman feature race, Alex Lajoie who had a perfect car set up, raced his way to win, his second victory of the season. He was followed by Even Racine who came in second, followed by William Racine in third. As in the Modified feature, Alex was clearly the man to beat and ran a perfect race. The final race, however, also saw Even Racine take home this year’s championship in the Sportsman division. Even a young rising star ran an impeccable and well-deserved Sportsman championship.
Donovan Lussier won the Rookie champion honors for the 2020 season. Donovan was a very clean and consistent racer during the entire season and will be a force to reckon with in the coming years.
In the Pro Stock division, Yves Hamel came into the final race with the points lead. Pascal Payeur gave it his all for this final race as he had nothing to lose coming into the race, sitting third in points.
Pascal from the drop of the green took charge of the race. Later s a good three-way battle for the lead took place with Bruno Cyr and Steve Chaput, as they stepped up their game late in the race. In the end, Payeur won with Steve Chaput in second and Bruno Cyr third. Hamel crossed the line 9th after a late-race incident which saw Yves’ plans, to stay out of trouble, go to the wayside. In the end, Hamel still had the points advantage to take home this year’s championship at the Autodrome.
In the Sport Compact, Alexis Charbonneau took home the championship with a third-place finish after racing a clean race, holding his ground and avoiding any trouble. The race was won by Danick Sylvestre visited victory lane, giving himself a gift on his birthday. Jean-Phillipe Guay would finish second. Daniel Demers was named “Rookie of the Year.”
The final event went off without a hitch, giving the racers and fans a great night of racing to cap off the season at the Autodrome Granby.