By DON SIMPSON
Nicolas Vaillant, the owner of Vaillant AutoSport, is set to make some waves in the racing world in the coming months and plans are set to design and fabricate DIRTcar legal chassis. Recently Vaillant AutoSport was DIRTCar certified to be capable of adding their in-house designed front clip to any Pro Stock chassis.
The bigger story here, however, is the fact that Vaillant AutoSport has designed and is building their own fully DIRTcar legal, Vaillant AutoSport Pro Stock chassis. They are also working on a Dirt Sportsman Modified and 358 Modified chassis which they hope to test later this season.
The conception of this idea came about from a brainstorming discussion with long-time friend and fellow racer Dan Jalbert, who has been involved in dirt track racing for some 35 years.
It’s been a life’s long dream of Nicolas Vaillant to pursue his passion for racing on dirt. Nicolas now in his 40s is about to chase this dream.
After many years of hard work building his business from the ground up, with one piece of heavy equipment — a bulldozer, Nicolas is now in command of one of the largest heavy equipment shops in the Outaouais, Vaillant Excavation. Other branches of the business include Industries CD, specializing in a large hydrophilic repair shop. There is also a complete metal fabrication shop, with a full machine shop with CNC technologies, a branch that specializes in tools, and a land development side of the enterprise, allowing the company to fill any of their construction needs.
To manage the main business with all its different divisions, Nicolas brought in Mathieu Houle some years ago to oversee the operation. Mathieu will also oversee its newest branch Vaillant AutoSport.
Dan Jalbert came onboard a few months ago to oversee the operations in the race car chassis shop. Dan then convinced his son Corey Jalbert to join the crew at Vaillant AutoSport and, shortly after that, asked fellow racer, Jarrett Herbison, to come on board as well.
Dan explained, “This has been a long-time dream of mine and Vaillant AutoSport has allowed me to build what I think will be groundbreaking chassis designs. The team here has given me free rain and has backed up all my ideas 100%. Working on these new design ideas sometimes forces me to think out of the box. If we need design verifications, I will then consult with our engineering group. After all, it’s not all about just going fast. We want our cars to be the safest as well.”
As stated, the team at Vaillant AutoSport works closely with Dr. Dupuis who has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Fluid Mechanics, and Thermodynamics. Chassis designs are simulated each step of the way through the design phase.
For the 2021 season, Nicolas Vaillant, a regular racer in the past at the Autodrome Edelweiss from 1998 till 2010, will be campaigning the Vaillant Auto Sports Pro Stock car. Nicolas who raced in the Pro Stock division in the past is planning to race the Cornwall Motor Speedway Weekend Worrier Pro Stock series. This series kicks off the five-race series on May 23. Dan Jalbert may replace Nicolas at times to help with the development of the car.
Dan Jalbert will be working on the asphalt racing side of things as well, which they have NASCAR Pinty’s (currently in review). There are plans to support, Nascar Sportsman, Late Model, Legends, Modified Legends, Mini Legends, Pro Truck, and Pro Challenge.
Vaillant AutoSport has also teamed up with Marie Soleil who will be driving in the Mini-legends car backed by Vaillant AutoSport to help with the development of the new chassis. Marie, who currently is studying Mechanical Engineering and Computing Technology at the University of Ottawa, will provide vital information on chassis handling and design.
I asked Marie Soleil about her role with the firm, “Nicolas Vaillant and I have the same racing beliefs, building high performance and high-quality race cars. However, I am the rookie and I have the desire to assist with my racing knowledge and expertise, as I will be starting my fifth year in racing. Nicolas has gained my respect and trust while being involved in my racing development (Shifter Karts and Road Racing). Pushing me out of my comfort zone and control, Nicolas prepared me for this next level.
“I am extremely happy and proud to have the privilege to work with Nicolas, Dan, and Corey in partnership with Vaillant AutoSport and can’t wait to drive my new Mini-legends car this Spring. Vaillant AutoSport brings an amazing team to the tables with unmatched experiences in building race cars.”
With most of all aspects of dirt track, racing, and asphalt racing covered, Vaillant AutoSport is taking a giant step into the world of racing when it comes to chassis. As Nicolas expressed, they want to take things in increments to keep the process of development of chassis from getting out of control. We want to do this right the first time.
With a great team in place along with a long-term vision, it may be possible in the future to see Vaillant AutoSport race chassis becoming the racer’s choice whether at the dirt track or on asphalt.