Raphaël Lessard disqualified after third-place finish in PASS race
Young Canadian Raphaël Lessard competed in the Easter Bunny 150, a round of the Pro All Star Series (PASS) this past weekend.
Lessard qualified the David Gilliland Racing prepared, No. 99 Toyota Camry FRL Express/Toyota-TRD/JBL Audio in fifth place, a draw among the top-10 cars allowed Lessard to start the 150-laps race from pole position for this event held on the .363-mile Hickory Motor Speedway.
Derek Griffith, Lessard, Matt Craig and four-time Easter Bunny 150 winner Preston Peltier entered in a fierce battle for first place in the race. Action raged as they fought hard for positions. An unfortunate contact with a slower car by Lessard propelled the No. 89 car of Lee Hansard into the wall and caused a yellow flag. This resulted in a warning from the series to Lessard.
Unfortunately, contact by Lessard with a slower car propelled the No. 89 car of Lee Hansard into the wall and caused a yellow flag. This resulted in a warning from the series to Lessard.
Peltier and Lessard had a good chance to win when the yellow flag came out late in the race. Peltier had the best of Lessard on the restart and went on to win the race as Ben Rowe passed Lessard on the inside to finish a few centimeters in front of Lessard.
From the editor, also read:
The team press release first mentioned that the 15-year-old Lessard had finished second, but the series’ officials rectified the situation, saying that he had, in fact, finished third.
A few minutes after the race ended, the promoter of the series disqualified Lessard. It appears that the series’ promoter had strong words against Lessard’s crew chief. Other sources suggest that the problem emerged from a verbal confrontation between Lessard’s spotter and the race officials. It seems evident that someone lost his temper, and that incident cost Lessard a good finish.
“The start of the race went great. The car was handling extremely well and I knew the driver in front of me was pushing hard, so I wanted to manage my tires,” Lessard explained.
“Sure enough, I passed Griffith a few laps later. My car was doing very well on the long runs, but it was struggling during the restarts and was taking me 10 laps or so to catch up. It was during restarts that I was losing positions. At the end of the race, we were the fastest on the track and the car to beat. I tried everything to pass the No. 33 (Peltier), but there was no room and we ended up third.”
NASCAR legend Mark Martin to visit IWK Health Centre in Halifax
Raphaël Lessard scores second victory at Hickory Motor Speedway