MONTMAGNY, Qué. -- Jean-François Déry earned his first Série ACT-Castrol victory of the season at Autodrome Montmagny near Québec City on Saturday night, taking the Red Bear 100 after a late-race battle with Donald Theetge and Trampas Demers. Déry and Theetge were engaged in a side-by-side battle with about ten laps remaining when they made contact, shearing Déry's front bumper cover off his car. The caution flag flew quickly after, setting up a final sprint to the finish.
Demers, of South Burlington, made a charge from outside the top-ten at the halfway point to run in contention for the victory. "I was running in 11th on lap 50, but everyone started fading to the back, and my car wasn't fading," Demers said. "I had a bit of a rough race with Patrick Laperle, but I ran great with Karl Allard, and Donald Theetge and the 21 car (Déry) were great to race with. We're real happy. We came up one short, but it was real good."
Déry, of Val-Bélair, Qué., followed Theetge at the front for much of the first half of the race before taking the lead. Despite the damage suffered in the late incident with Theetge, Déry held on to take the victory, the fourth of his Série ACT-Castrol career and second at Montmagny. "The 10 last laps were long, and I was surrounded by veterans," Déry told Québec newspaper Le Soleil. "But today, it is me that is the veteran. I am really happy. My team did exceptional work, and through the whole race I was able to count on an impeccable car."
With the victory, Déry becomes the seventh driver to earn a qualifying berth for the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Septmeber. Demers was able to get his Jiffy Mart #85 Chevrolet by Theetge for second place as the laps wound down. Theetge finished third with Allard fourth and Mike Lavoie fifth. Defending series champion Alexandre Gingras finished sixth, one better than Laperle, who won the opening round for the series at Autodrome St-Eustache two weeks ago. Jacques Poulin, Éric St-Gelais, and Patrick Hamel completed the top ten finishers. John Donahue of Graniteville finished 15th in in the National Guard #26 Ford in his first start Castrol of the season.
After a strong start, Demers said that his team will likely expand their Série ACT-Castrol schedule to include the entire season. "We're having a lot of fun, and we're looking forward to everything we've heard about racing at Chaudière next week," he said. "We're working at it and it's been fun, and so far we've hung in there with those guys." Demers' original plan was to race the first four Castrol events before making a decision. He finished sixth in the season opener at St-Eustache.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Red Bear 100
Série ACT-Castrol -- Autodrome Montmagny, Montmagny, Qué.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
1. Jean-François Déry, Val-Bélair, Qué.
2. Trampas Demers, South Burlington
3. Donald Theetge Boishcatel, Qué.
4. Karl Allard, St-Félicien, Qué.
5. Mike Lavoie, Chicoutimi, Qué.
6. Alexandre Gingras, Québec, Qué.
7. Patrick Laperle, St-Denis-sur-Richelieu, Qué.
8. Jacques Poulin, East-Broughton, Qué.
9. Éric St-Gelais, St-Nicolas, Qué.
10. Patrick Hamel, St-Édouard-de-Lotbinière, Qué.
11. Claude Leclerc, Lanoraie, Qué.
12. Valérie Chiasson, Le Gardeur, Qué.
13. Sylvain Métivier, Montréal, Qué.
14. Stéphane Durand, Québec, Qué.
15. John Donahue, Graniteville
16. Yvon Bédard, St-Nicolas, Qué.
17. Dany Ouellet, La Pocatière, Qué.
18. Derek White
19. Sylvain Lacombe, Terrebonne, Qué.
20. Stéphane Descoste, Oka, Qué.
21. Jonathan Desbiens, Lévis, Qué.
22. Étienne Lemay, Leclercville, Qué.
23. David Michaud, Blainvile, Qué.
24. Kevin Roberge, Lévis, Qué.
25. Daniel Descoste, St-Joseph-du-Lac, Qué.
26. Spencer MacPherson, Carleton Place, Ont.
27. Justin Holtom, Ottawa, Ont.
28. Patrick Cliche, Vallée-Jonction, Qué.
29. Pierre-Luc Ouellette
(Photo: Third-place driver Donald Theetge (left), winner Jean-François Déry (center), and runner-up Trampas Demers on the Red Bear 100 podium at Autodrome Montmagny. Stephane Lazare photo)