The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 5th article of the series
Ray Junior Courtemanche & Annie – Meeting 08/8/2014 – 02:00 p.m.
We are now at the 5th week of the series and for our meeting/interview, this week, I will talk to you about someone well known by the Laurentians citizens, most particularely. As you’ll see, he’s involved in many projects in that region.
This week’s honors go to Ray Junior Courtemanche and Annie.
ED’s note:When I met with Ray at the GP3R, Annie was unfortunately absent. You’ll read the reason a little further…
Our chat took place in Alex Tagliani’s hospitality installations, which Ray Jr and the #29 – La Cité de Mirabel/Blackshape Team share with him.
- Gentlemen, how long have you been driving?
« You won’t believe me Pat, but I’ve been driving for 39 years !! My father was a Stock Car driver at the Laval Riverside Speedway at that time. I was initiated very young. In those years, I used to pay my karts or car rentals by selling T-shirts…” says Ray, laughing.
- How long have you guys been together?
“We’re together since 2008”.
- How did you meet? (Race weekend, related friends or other?)
“We met in a resto-bar. The temperature was pretty cold and I gave my coat to Annie. She couldn’t resist…”
- Where do you live?
“We live in Lorraine, in what is actually the model house of the “Domaine des Châteaux de Brisach”project.
- Before the beginning of a race, do you have any ritual, routine, particular superstition? (i.e.: hand signs, gestures)
Ray Jr tells me that he does have a ritual before the beginning of a race. “Me, it’s when I put on my safety belts. And if, exceptionally Annie is there, I need a kiss”.
- Ladies, would you “risk” yourselves at giving advice to your man regarding a race?
“Annie usually tells me to drive safely and to have fun, that’s it! And it’s mostly why I race, to have fun”.
- Gentlemen, if so, do you accept the advice?
Rays answers quickly: “Yes, yes, yes, without any problems !”
- Ladies, what do you do during a race?
(Watch it on tv? You’re always there to support? You take part in the race, timer in hands to follow the evolution? You’re unable to watch him race?)
Rays becomes a little more serious when answering this question. “Since I had 2 major accidents last season, Annie stopped following me during race week-ends. It made her more fearful. Sometimes she comes to see me, but now she waits to see the results at the end of the race”.
- Gentlemen, do you race full time?
“Well, I race almost the entire season in the NASCAR Canadian Tire (NCATS) series, but I also take care of many other things…”
- Is conciliating family/race (+ other work, if so) difficult?
“It all goes pretty well, in spite of being very busy” Ray tells me. “Annie just completed her university and is now following her course with the Accountants Order to become CMA-CPA (Management accountant). My 2 kids, Chloé, 13, and Maxime, 12, race in karting. We have an agreement with PSL Karting with whom they trade work against race time. But they are the ones doing all the maintenance on their karts !!” he proudly says.
“I’m involved in the distribution, in Canada, of the new, italian made, Blackshape airplanes. The first plane is actually on its way, on a boat somewhere. To top it all off, I’m in the process of getting my licences in the Nationwide series and I just got the ones for the K&N series (both in american NASCAR). I will also be on track, in a few weeks, in Mosport, in the “Camping World truck series”. So, with all the media activities related to these projects, it fills a lot of my schedule. But for me, it’s important to be there for people…” I have no problem believing that.
Ed’s note: I must specify, at this point, that Ray Jr is also actively involved in “La Cité de Mirabel’s” projects. These real estate projects, located along highway 15 include, among others, the “Outlets” stores, many residential complexes, as well as the exit 28’s brand new rest area, recently opened.
As you can see, Ray Jr Courtemanche and Annie don’t lack any action. Despite this, for having spoken with Ray on many occasions, he is always available and never loses his good mood, or his smile !!
Ray Junior Courtemanche – #29 – Équipe La Cité de Mirabel/Blackshape Team
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See you next week !!