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The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – The conclusion

 

The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – The conclusion

Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières 2014 - Coucher de soleil sur le GP3R / Sunset on the GP3R

Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières 2014 – Coucher de soleil sur le GP3R / Sunset on the GP3R

Well, here we are. The « Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 » series of articles, published for the last 8 weeks, is now history. I wanted to end it all by sharing my observations and comments regarding these interviews. Some kind of a “making of”…

I’ve listened to comments and exchanged with the people I see daily and it’s why I thought of buckling it up with this conclusion. And also to explain, for those who know me a little less, how I experienced these meetings.

During these publications, I tried putting you in the context, as much as possible, while writing my texts. That’s why I told you where our meetings took place. So that, for the more visual among you, like I am, could imagine the context. So that you could, in a certain way, live these meetings with me…

And I emphasize on the fun I had chatting with them, whatever the location where it took place. It was as much pleasant for me to meet them in their VIP lounges, their motorhomes/garages or sitting on a concrete block, opposite to what certain people might have thought…

First of all, I need to say that I have met with great men and women. Many spouses thanked me for these articles, which gave them an opportunity to tell us about their implication in their man’s careers. As I told these ladies right from the start « We see you with your men on TV, on pictures, but we never hear about you…”

As you have read, these women are way, way more involved than we might have thought. That I might have thought…

Because they have their families, their own careers, and that they devote lots (if not all) of their free time to their spouse. And on top of that, almost all of them are involved in public relations and media or promotional events as well. Remember Bronte, who receives the clients or the sponsors and who had just launched her own fashion box? And what about Karine being a new mom for just a few months now…

Ladies, we take a bow !!

Many drivers also thanked me for these interviews. Why? Maybe because I focused my meetings on more personal aspects, without going too far in their private lives. Because we spoke about other things than car adjustments or track conditions. I felt they all appreciated.

You must also know that every article was submitted to them, prior to publishing, so they could change or emphasize certain points expressed in those meetings. Therefore, no bad surprises, or sensationalism, or “edited” text…

Some of you may have thought that these drivers, or their spouses, were distant, even self-righteous? Well think again!

Even with all the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières represents in their season, even with all the interviews requests, all the, necessary, appointments with their sponsors, their clients, their team members, etc., I could meet with relaxed and accessible couples, and drivers. I highly appreciated the fact that they all accepted sharing a few confidences.

As if we always knew each other.

We also had good laughs.

Annie, Ray Jr’s spouse, was telling me, over the phone, that she cried when reading their article. Cried?!? It wasn’t meant to be sad…

“No, no, I was just moved when I read on how Ray and I had met”. Oh, ok, that reassures me…

I can still see Sheila telling me how she was hitting people around her during a race. Or Hugo, to whom I said I was going to find him a girlfriend… Without forgetting Joannie, admitting Andrew had to keep himself occupied or “he couldn’t stand still…”.

She made me realize these guys all have, it must be in their DNA I guess, the ability to do 22 things at the same time, way more than the « average bear » can. Do they have the choice? When you’re driving at those speeds, watching your rear view mirror, with your crew chief talking on your radio while an opponent is trying to pass you when you’re slipping close to a concrete wall…

Can you imagine? That’s alot to manage…!!

In conclusion, I know I repeatedly did it, in every article, but, once again… THANK YOU !!

To Michela, Didier, Karine, Jean-François, Bronte, Alex, Annie, Ray Jr, Hugo, Joannie, Andrew, Sheila and Louis-Philippe : Thanks for your time. And it’ll be a great pleasure to share a coffee or a lunch with you guys. Whenever you want !!! 

And THANKS also to you all, you were many, for taking the time to read and share these posts.

Hoping you appreciated this series of articles. That it gave you a chance to learn more about our Quebec drivers and their spouses.

And, as always, your comments are more than welcome. Down on this page, or yet, on my Facebook page.

See you next time !!

GP3R 2014 - Rallycross RX Feux artifice - Fireworks

GP3R 2014 – Rallycross RX Feux artifice – Fireworks

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The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 7

 

The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R – 7th and final article of the series

 Louis-Philippe Dumoulin & Sheila – Meeting 07/8/2014 – 08:00 p.m.

 

LP Dumoulin & Sheila GP3R 2014

LP Dumoulin & Sheila GP3R 2014

 

Since the beginning of this series of articles « The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 », 7 weeks ago, I had planned on keeping this one for the very end.

The reason was quite simple. At the time of our meeting at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, this week’s featured driver, native of this region, got there, besides, as the championship leader. It would have been like selling the “puch” at the beginning of the story. And mostly, I had like… a little feeling…

Well… Time proved me right!!

For those of you who are less familiar with the NASCAR Canadian Tire NCATS season, you must know that, at the time of publishing this article, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin has just (since Saturday September 20th) won his first Championship!

So this week, I have the chance, the privilege and the honor to present you with my interview with Louis-Philippe (LP) Dumoulin and his spouse Sheila.

Right from the start, an immense thank you to both of them for accepting this meeting with me at the GP3R. I talked about it in previous articles, but a Quebecer, in Trois-Rivières, a Dumoulin to top it off, is very, very requested. So, once again Thank You ! Gratitudes also, to Jessica Ménard for giving me the chance to materialize this meeting.

I met LP and Sheila in the VIP lounge of Dumoulin Compétition, which is located just near the Start-Finish line. They had just come back from a meeting with clients of theirs and I was able to sit down with them for around 45 minutes. A very pleasant meeting with a charming, and always smiling couple.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s pay honour to whom honour is due.

Meeting with a Champion !!

 

 

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin Dodge #47 WeatherTech Canada / Groupe Bellemare

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin Dodge #47 WeatherTech Canada / Groupe Bellemare

 

-          Gentlemen, how long have you been driving?

« I have been racing for around 21 years » Louis-Philippe tells me. « In different series (Formula 1600, Porsche GT3 Cup series and American LeMans, among others) ».

 

-       How long have you guys been together?

After an accomplice look: “We’re together since 18 months…No, 2 years… And we got married last May (2014) actually in our 5th year together” they told me.

 

-       How did you meet? (Race weekend, related friends or other?)

They both answer laughing: « We met on December 25th, through mutual friends. As a matter of fact, it was at Marc-André Bergeron’s (former defenseman for the Montréal Canadiens and actual driver in the CTCC series)”.

 

-       Where do you live?

“We are living in Trois-Rivières and also in Mont-Tremblant, where we share a house with my brother Jean-François” they said.

 

-          Before the beginning of a race, do you have any ritual, routine, particular superstition? (i.e.: hand signs, gestures)

LP and Sheila confirmed: « Oh yes !! Before every race, we need 2 hours for ourselves, alone. No journalists, no interviews, no team member. Just the two of us”.

 

-       Ladies, would you “risk” yourselves at giving advice to your man regarding a race?

Sheila says : « I give him basic advice, you know, like be careful, things like that. But it could also happen that I would give my opinion on certain points ».

 

-       Gentlemen, if so, do you accept the advice?

Louis-Philippe answers affirmatively: « Yes, no problem at all. You see Pat, we’re on the same line of thinking. We often, if not always, have the same reactions to the same situations”.

 

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?)

Sheila bursts in laughters : « Ohh, me… I’m restless… For real !! Listen, I spend the whole race hitting people around me. I live the race and I make others live (or suffer!?!) it as well…” she says laughing. With a demonstration in support !!

Editor’s note : I can also add, to have witnessed it on many occasions, that, at the end of races, depending on Lp’s results, Sheila can be seen with him in the pits or on the podium.

 

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin & Sheila - GP3R 2014

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin & Sheila – GP3R 2014

-       Gentlemen, do you race full time?

LP : « Yes. But I also give race driving lessons and I’m a race driving instructor and coach, among others, at the Mont-Tremblant Circuit (Ferrari Challenge, Jim Russell School, Porsche and others).

 

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin 2014

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin 2014

-       Is conciliating family/race (+ other work, if so) difficult?

Sheila mentions it’s relatively easy: « I’m the owner of my dentist clinic. So it’s pretty easy for me to organize my schedule regarding race week-ends… »

 

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin & Sheila - 2014

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin & Sheila – 2014

On the Sunday race, Louis-Philippe, qualified for the start in 2nd place, took an early lead, at the wheel of the #47 Dodge of the « WeatherTech Canada/Groupe Bellemare » team, to finally earn the victory in front of his hometown fans. This result, combined to an excellent overall season, lead him to his first NASCAR Canadian Tire series Championship

Congratulations !!

 

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin Champion 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire NCATS

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin Champion 2014 NASCAR Canadian Tire NCATS

You can follow Louis-Philippe on Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/dumoulincompetition as well as on Twitter: @DumoulinDC / @DumoulinLP

 

 

Share this interview generously to your friends and contacts using the buttons below.

 I’m also inviting you next week for the conclusion of this series of interviews, « The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 », as I will give you, not another interview, this one being the last of seven, but my personal comments and observations on these meetings, overall.

 It’s an appointment, next Thursday !!

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The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 6

 

 The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 6th article of the series

Andrew Ranger & Joannie – Meeting 09/8/2014 – 02:00 p.m.

 

Pat avec/with Andrew Ranger & Joannie

Pat avec/with Andrew Ranger & Joannie

 

We are now at the 6th publication of the series « The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 », and I have to say I could hardly wait for this one to be online. Why?

Because Joannie was probably the one who showed the most enthousiasm when I submitted her with the idea of this series of meetings and asked them to be part of it.

« It’s a super idea, it’s different, and very kind of you to show interest in us, the spouses » she answered me.

So this week, meeting with a very well-known figure in the circles of auto racing, Andrew Ranger and his spouse, Joannie

 

Andrew Ranger & Joannie

Andrew Ranger & Joannie

I met with Joannie and Andrew at his promotional stand, where his memorabilia and souvenir items are, as you can guess, very popular. You’ll understand once again, that, for a Quebec driver, the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières means a higher rate of occupation. That’s why I must thank both of them for allowing me a few minutes to chat, settled on a concrete block, in a pretty informal way, right beside the mass of supporters. Joannie answered almost all my questions while Andrew was meeting his fans.

Editor’s note: We had a good laugh when Andrew came to meet us and I told him, joking, that the interview was already over….

 

-       Gentlemen, how long have you been driving?

« Andrew started racing when he was 8 years old. He’s been in almost every possible racing series. As a matter of fact, he was on track yesterday, in the U.S.A and made a round trip coast from Trois-Rivières to Watkins Glen and back, just like he had done last year” Joannie said to me.

 Ed’s note:Your humble servant has, moreover, several pictures of Andrew when he was driving in the Champ Car series, one of which, taken in Montréal in 2006, taken with my son.

 

-       How long have you guys been together?

“We’re actually in our 5th year together” Joannie says.

 

-       How did you meet? (Race weekend, related friends or other?)

Joannie tells me: “We met through mutual friends. The very first race I attended to in my whole life was right here in Trois-Rivières, 4 years ago. Andrew won it and I was on the first page of the newspaper with him… That was quite traumatic for starters !!”

 

-       Where do you live?

“We are living in the Granby region” they told me.

 

-          Before the beginning of a race, do you have any ritual, routine, particular superstition? (i.e.: hand signs, gestures)

They both specify: “We always talk before a race”. And Joannie adds: “There’s an obligatory contact, and when I’m present, I stay on the track until the start of the race.”  

 

-       Ladies, would you “risk” yourselves at giving advice to your man regarding a race?

Joannie: “I just tell him to drive safely and to have fun, that’s it !”

 

-       Gentlemen, if so, do you accept the advice?

Andrew answers laughing: « If she had other advices, would I take them? Hmmm…?? Not really…”

 

-       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?)

I already had an idea of the answer, which Joannie just confirmed: « I stay in the pits for the whole race. I follow the action while Jacob, 2 years old, stays in the VIP lounge.”

 

Andrew Ranger, Joannie & Jacob

Andrew Ranger, Joannie & Jacob

 

-       Gentlemen, do you race full time?

Andrew tells me: “Yes. But also, since the beginning of the summer, I give driving lessons at the Andrew Ranger Academy, at the Sanair racetrack.

 

-       Is conciliating family/race (+ other work, if so) difficult?

Joannie says: “It goes pretty well. I work full time as a clinical nurse specialized in geriatrics. With Andrew racing a lot (meaning plenty of promotional events), I’m involved with the public relations and marketing. And, with 3 children, let’s say it keeps us busy. Anyways, it’s better like this, Andrew can’t stand still if he’s not busy…!!” she added, laughing.

 

On the Sunday race at the GP3R, Andrew made a huge comeback, and this, for the second consecutive year. Indeed, a penalty at the start of the race put him at the back of the pack. He brilliantly steered his #27 Dodge, of the Mopar/Exide team, on the way up, to finish on the second step of the podium.

 

Andrew Ranger - #27 - Dodge équipe Mopar / Exide team

Andrew Ranger – #27 – Dodge équipe Mopar / Exide team

 

Use the buttons below to share this interview with your friends and contacts and make sure you don’t miss, next week, the 7th and final interview of the series “The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014”.

 

See you next thursday !!

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The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 5

 

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.

 

Pat en rencontre avec / meeting with Ray Junior, Chloé et Maxime Courtemanche

Pat en rencontre avec / meeting with Ray Junior, Chloé et Maxime Courtemanche

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.

Ray Junior Courtemanche et Annie

Ray Junior Courtemanche et 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”.

Ray Junior Courtemanche & Annie

Ray Junior Courtemanche & Annie

-  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.

Ray Jr Courtemanche

Ray Jr Courtemanche

“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

Ray Junior Courtemanche – #29 – Équipe La Cité de Mirabel/Blackshape Team

 

Use the buttons below to share this interview with your friends and contacts and come back next week for the 6th meeting of the series “The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014”.

See you next week !!

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The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 4

The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 4th article of the series

Hugo Vannini – Meeting 08/8/2014 – 03:00 p.m.

 

Hugo Vannini & Pat Collin

Hugo Vannini & Pat

It’s the 4th publication of the series « The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 » and, as announced on my Facebook page, this one’s going in a different direction. This week, I’m presenting you my meeting with Hugo Vannini.

Only Hugo? Yes, only Hugo!

Ladies, this interview is for you!

 

Hugo Vannini - #97 VTI Motorsports

Hugo Vannini – #97 VTI Motorsports

When I approached him for this series, Hugo’s first answer was: “Very good idea of article Pat, but I don’t know if it’s worth it, I don’t have anyone at the moment…”

As you can see, I insisted we still discussed together. I told him laughing that “after this article, the situation might change…”

 

-          Gentlemen, how long have you been driving?

“I started by racing one season in stock car in 2004. But I have been in the NASCAR Canadian Tire (NCATS) series since 2009.”

 

-          How long have you guys been together?

“As I was telling you, I’m single (and available…) since last October” Hugo said.

 

-          How did you meet? (Race weekend, related friends or other?)

For obvious reasons, we went over this question.

 

-          Where do you live?

I live in the Lanaudière region, in Repentigny”.

 

-          Before the beginning of a race, do you have any ritual, routine, particular superstition? (i.e.: hand signs, gestures)

« I prepare the car at home, so, no, I don’t have any particular routine prior to a race”. However, Hugo has a good luck charm following him. In fact, a little stuffed animal installed behind him in the Vannini Team  #97 car acts as his passenger.

 

Porte-bonheur / Good luck charm - Hugo Vannini

Porte-bonheur / Good luck charm – Hugo Vannini

-           Ladies, would you “risk” yourselves at giving advice to your man regarding a race?

Other question left aside…

 

-          Gentlemen, if so, do you accept the advice?

“If I had a girlfriend and she had some advice, yes” Hugo answers. “I accept all advice”.

 

-          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?)

Hugo told me: “I’d rather have my girlfriend there with me, following me. Encouragements are always welcome”.

 

-          Gentlemen, do you race full time?

For Hugo Vannini, racing remains a hobby. “I have a full time job elsewhere, so for me, racing really is a hobby” he says.

 

Hugo Vannini - #97 - NASCAR NCATS

Hugo Vannini – #97 – NASCAR NCATS

-          Is conciliating family/race (+ other work, if so) difficult?

Hugo answers me: « Usually, when in couple, it’s relatively easy. Since I work on preparing the car at home, outside my « working hours », it reduces the need to go from one place to another, so, I’m pretty much present.”

 

Hugo drives in what cas be considered a small racing team. « The VTI Motorsports team is a team with a small budget, but this is a family team » as he says so well. « As you can see, I don’t have sponsors, so my father, Yvon, and his associate with the Marina de la Rive Nord for over 40 years, Jean Tremblay, give me a big hand with the car, and my sister Katerine is involved in the public relations aspect as well.”

 

L'équipe VTI Motorsports / VTI Motorsports team

L’équipe VTI Motorsports / VTI Motorsports team

An interview that gave me a chance to meet with a sympathetic guy. Simple, and… single…!

Ed’s note: Unfortunately for Hugo, his race at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières ended abruptly when he was involved, in spite of himself, in a three cars incident.

 

Until the next article, don’t forget that the buttons at the bottom of the page allow you to share this interview with your friends and contacts.

 

See you next week !!

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The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 3

 

The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 3rd article of the series

Alex Tagliani & Bronte – Meeting 08/8/2014 – 01:00 p.m.

 

En rencontre avec / Meeting with Alex & Bronte Tagliani

En rencontre avec / Meeting with Alex & Bronte Tagliani

 

In this 3rd part of the series “The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014”, I thought of giving you the details of my meeting with Alex Tagliani and Bronte.

Why them? Simply because it was Bronte’s birthday a few days ago…

Right before we met, Alex had just unveiled his car for the GP3R. This was the conclusion of the “Summer of Tag” contest, in which the winner had the chance to see his drawing on the EpiPen/Dicom Express/Sennheiser #18 car in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series, for the week-end.

I need to thank both of them for kindly taking time in receiving me afterwards, for over 30 minutes, in their hospitality installations.

 

-  Gentlemen, how long have you been driving?

“Professionally since 2000” answers Alex, whom we have seen racing in many series, like the CART/ChampCar, IRL and NASCAR Nationwide series, among others.

 

-  How long have you guys been together?

After exchanging looks: “We’ve been together since October 2001” they said.

 

-  How did you meet? (Race weekend, related friends or other?)

Bronte and Alex met in Australia, during a race week-end where he was, at the time, driving for Team Players in the CART series.

Bronte: “I was a model and participating in an event where I wasn’t supposed to be in the beginning. Alex was attending that event.” And Tag adds: “Sometimes, fate does things right…”

 

-  Where do you live?

Mainly in Las Vegas, but we also have a place in Laval.”

 

-  Before the beginning of a race, do you have any ritual, routine, particular superstition? (i.e.: hand signs, gestures)

“Yes we do, when Bronte is there” Alex tells me. Bronte mentions that “they always have a little hand gesture they do before the start of the race.”

Ed’s Note: I already had a pretty good idea of the answer to this question since I saw them do at last year’s GP3R. I told them that, basically, they were the ones who gave me the idea of these meetings, and mostly this particular question…

Bronte & Alex Tagliani - GP3R 2014

Bronte & Alex Tagliani – GP3R 2014

-  Ladies, would you “risk” yourselves at giving advice to your man regarding a race?

Bronte admits she often gives Alex advice on his approach towards a race, “but never on how he should drive the car.”

 

-  Gentlemen, if so, do you accept the advice?

“Yes” quickly answers Alex. “And I have no problems with this…!”

 

-  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?)

It always depends where and in which series Alex is racing” says Bronte. “Sometimes, I stay at the hospitality tent to take care of our guests (clients, sponsors, etc.). Otherwise, I’m in the pit box to follow the race, close to the action.”

 

-  Gentlemen, do you race full time?

“Yes, says Alex, but the “driving” part represents only a small portion of the occupation. There’s always a lot of promoting to do, as well as other events in which I participate. That’s what occupies the greatest part of our schedule. Driving the car, including the qualifications and the race, that’s two hours in the week-end…”

 

-  Is conciliating family/race (+ other work, if so) difficult?

Bronte answers laughing: “Racing IS family !!!”.

She adds: “I’m very much involved in regards to Alex’s media and public relations aspects. And also with our different sponsors”.

Alex also appreciates the fact that Bronte “brings an outside view” to the team. “Since she also takes care of logistics, it allows us to have a different point of view” which benefits the team.”

 

As we finish, and to add up to these busy schedules, Bronte has recently launched a new company, “Belle en noir” by Bronte (link towards the website: http://www.bellennoir.com/). A fashion box (clothes, lifestyle) for which Alex made some of the pictures.

 

A future threat for your humble servant…?? ;-)

 

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GP3R 2014 - Alex Tagliani - NASCAR NCATS #18 EpiPen/Dicom Express/Sennheiser

GP3R 2014 Alex Tagliani

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The Quebec drivers & their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 2

 

The Quebec drivers & their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 2nd article of the series

Jean-François Dumoulin and Karine – Meeting August 7 2014 – 6:00 p.m.

 

J F Dumoulin & Karine

J F Dumoulin & Karine

 

In this second article of the series about the Quebec race drivers and their spouses, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Jean-François “JF” Dumoulin and Karine, who kindly accepted to meet with me during this much busy “in their hometown” week-end.

This Interview was made possible thanks to Jessica Ménard, responsible for logistics and communications for the Dumoulin Compétition Team (www.dumoulincompetition.com), whom I gratefully thank for orchestrating this on Day 1 of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, in which, for them, media requests are multiplied.

As we met, Jean-François had just qualified in 3rd position for the start of the CTCC series race.

 

J F Dumoulin & Karine

Karine et J-F

– Gentlemen, how long have you been driving?

Jean-François has been running on race circuits for close to 20 years, and participated in many different series over time. “This week-end, I’m racing in the CTCC – Canadian Touring series, as well as, for sure, the NASCAR Canadian Tire series, in the Dodge-04-Bernier Crépeau/Bellemare/Manac/ACASS car.”

 

– How long have you guys been together?

Karine and JF are together since close to 2 years and are the proud new parents of baby Jake, 2 months old.

 

– How did you meet? (race weekend, related friends or other?)

Through friends, mutual acquaintances” they told me. “And strangely, can you believe that Karine is from Shawinigan, I’m from Trois-Rivières, and we met in the Laurentians, at the restaurant where Karine worked…” said JF.

 

– Where do you live?

“Trois-Rivières mostly, but also in Mont-Tremblant”

 

– Before the beginning of a race, do you have any ritual, routine, particular superstition? (i.e.: hand signs, gestures)

Karine says that they “don’t have any routine or particular ritual, but a kiss before the start of a race is necessary. Always !”

 

– Ladies, would you “risk” yourselves at giving advice to your man regarding a race? “No, I don’t give him any particular advice, except maybe for a word or two and encouragements.” Karine told me.

 

– Gentlemen, if so, do you (or would you) accept the advice?

JF answers laughingly: ”If she has some and it helps me go faster, no problem…!!

 

– 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?)

Karine admits she prefers the action. “I stay close to the pit box, I like following the race, knowing what’s going on and living the action. I just love it !”

 

– Gentlemen, do you race fulltime?

Besides racing in professional series, Jean-François gives race driving lessons and at the international, is a race driving instructor and coach, among others, at the Mont-Tremblant Circuit (Ferrrari Challenge, Jim Russell School and others).

 

– Is conciliating family/race/work difficult?

“Not at all” Karine says, “I always follow him, so it’s pretty easy. And we always find a volunteer to babysit Jake, given he’s a little young for the noise of the cars…”

 

Following our meeting, JF was to end this “at home” week-end by qualifying in 8th position for the start and finally finishing 4th in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series race, his best result so far in this series.

To follow Jean-François Dumoulin’s activities, join in on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dumoulincompetition) and/or Twitter : @jf_dumoulin et @DumoulinDC

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Jean-François Dumoulin - Dodge - 04 - Bernier Crépeau/Bellemare/Manac/ACASS

Jean-François Dumoulin – Dodge – 04 – Bernier Crépeau/Bellemare/Manac/ACASS

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Quebec drivers & their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – 1

 The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 (1st article of the series)

 Didier Schraenen and Michela – Meeting Aug. 9, 2014 – 3:00 p.m.

 

Didier et Michela - GP3R 2014

Didier and Michela – GP3R 2014

In the very first of a series of articles about the Quebec race drivers and their spouses, it is with great pleasure that I share you with my meeting with Didier Schraenen and his spouse, Michela.

I would like to thank them for taking the time to sit down with me to do this interview.

Most of you know Didier for his presence at RDS, but did you know he’s in his 27th season in auto racing, in different series, and and in uninterrupted presence since 1993 in the Formula1600 series. Didider holds, on the Trois-Rivières circuit, the 2nd rank for most participations and is ranked 3rd for the number of podiums.

When we met at the GP3R, he was getting ready to start de 2nd race of the Formula1600 series from the second line on the grid, in 4th place.

 

GP3R 2014 Entrevue Didier Schraenen-Michela IMG_0319-3

 

Gentlemen, how long have you been driving?

As mentioned before, Didier is actually in his 27th racing season.  

How long have you guys been together?

“We’ve known each other for 12 years, but we’re in a relationship since 9 years. Basically, a friendly relationship that evolved”  

How did you meet? (Race weekend, related friends or other?)

During a race weekend, I guess you already know that…” (laughter !!)

Ed.’s Note: I was with Michela in 2002, in Lexington, Mid-Ohio when we first met Didier, who, at the time, was making live interventions during the races on RDS. It was on Patrick Carpentier’s (then with Team Players in the CART series) “perfect” weekend, where he got the best time in both qualifying sessions as well as winning the race.  

Where do you live?

Mont St-Hilaire in Montérégie  

Before the beginning of a race, do you have any ritual, routine, particular superstition? (i.e.: hand signs, gestures) Michela admits they sometimes make some kind of a hand gesture, but a kiss prior to the race is a must. Didier said he has a usual routine, but avoided giving details about it.  

Ladies, would you “risk” yourselves at giving advice to your man regarding a race?

Michela: “I could, but I don’t have to. There aren’t any situations that happen where I should give advice to Didier, other than to drive safely and be careful.”

Gentlemen, if so, do you accept the advice?

“If she has any, I listen to all of them” says Didier.  

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?)

Michela: “I’m always in the pit lane. Usually I time the laps, and follow what’s happening during the race. I like to remain aware of the drivers ranks, are they gaining or losing ground…?”  

 

Gentlemen, do you race full time?

For Didier, racing is a hobby. “A hobby that requires a lot of time, but still, it’s a hobby”.  

Is conciliating family/race/work difficult?

Right off, Didier makes it clear: “Michela is MY logistics manager. She’s the one taking care of preparing all the food, meals, and refreshments. She also helps me build the paddocks and all the team installations as soon as we get onsite for a race weekend.” Let’s not forget that Didier also has to drive back and forth to RDS’ studio where he describes the NASCAR Sprint Cup series races. Michela, on her side, works twelve hours shifts. Nothing to make things easier…

Michela adds: “After a difficult start this season as for the results, Didier, myself and all the NRJ / STCH / DODGE / YAMAHA / RDS team are encouraged by the recent results, which eases things when some weekends are tougher…”  

As we finish, a thing promised is a thing owed…

Didier absolutely wanted me to end this article by saying that he “loves HIS baby…!!”  

Share this article with your friends and make sure you come back next week for the second interview of this series.

Didier Schraenen - Équipe NRJ / STCH / DODGE / YAMAHA / RDS Team - Formula 1600

Didier Schraenen – Équipe NRJ / STCH / DODGE / YAMAHA / RDS Team – Formula 1600

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The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014 – Preamble

GP3R 2014 Entrevue Didier Schraenen-Michela IMG_0319-3

Interview with Didier Schraenen and Michela

 

The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R 2014  

Starting Thursday, august 14, you’ll read, on www.photopatcollin.com, a brand new series of articles: “The Quebec drivers and their spouses at the GP3R”.

These written articles, realized following meetings with the major actors of Quebec’s automobile sport during the 45th Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières (GP3R), will allow you to rediscover your favourite race drivers as well as their spouses (when present).

Every week, I’ll give you an opportunity to get to know better those ladies whom we often see in visual medias (tv, photos), but don’t hear much about.

I have to gratefully thank all those who accepted to free themselves from their obligations to spend a few minutes with me during what is, for them, the busiest week-end of their racing season, in order to make these meetings possible. Meetings that were, furthermore, very pleasant.

Now, you must have some questioning… What will it be about? Not another paper about cars and settings, etc, etc… Well, no, not at all !! I’ve asked the same 10 questions to all those I met and the goal was to take things lightly, and mostly, different from what we generally read, without intruding in their private lives.

Here’s a glimpse of the subjects we talked about:

– How long have you guys been together?

– In what circumstances did you meet?

– As a couple, on race days, do you have any superstitions, routine or ritual before a race?

– Ladies, do you “risk” yourselves at giving advice to your man?

– Ladies, what do you do during a race?

– How do you conciliate race/family/work?

So make sure you’ll be there, you won’t want to miss these, weekly, starting on Thursday, august 14.  

Share these articles with your contacts, fans or not, they’ll most likely be interested…

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