Marc-Antoine Camirand will attempt to accomplish what no NASCAR Pinty’s Series driver has accomplished since the inaugural 2007 season: back-to-back titles.
The first of the 14 stages will be contested early on Saturday evening at the small oval circuit in Sunset, Ontario where, on this date last year, the driver from Saint-Léonard-d’Aston came very close to achieving the first step of the podium.
Camirand however knows that the competition will still be very strong this year and that he will have to strive to successfully defend his championship in 2023.
“Not only do I want to be the first driver to win the series championship, but we also want to be the first team to achieve this success. However, I know that other experienced pilots have the same ambitions as me”, he realizes.
Competition will come mainly from Andrew Ranger, three-time champion of the NASCAR Pinty series, who will defend, like Camirand, the colors of Paillé, the GM dealer in Berthierville.
“I believe that the conditions have been set this year for victory and, ultimately, the championship,” claimed the driver from Roxton Pond.
If the trend continues…
Excluding the 2020 season, where the pandemic forced six non-championship races to be held, the last five titles have all been won by Quebecers. Of that number, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, at the age of 15e season in the Canadian series, he is considered a strong contender for a fourth title.
“The 2022 season was good, but it did not fully meet our expectations in terms of results. We are hungry to win again and we are aiming for a new title. That is the main goal,” said the pilot from Trois-Rivières.
To this very select group, we must add the names of Kevin Lacroix and Alexandre Tagliani.
“We have created a new car for circular tracks, confirms Lacroix. To overcome our problems on this type of circuit, we decided to change it for the season.
As for Tagliani, his goal is just as compelling: “This year it will be even better. I am sure we will fight for the top prize in September in Delaware for the final.”
Guénette to watch
Last year’s Trois-Rivières Grand Prix winner, Alex Guénette is another driver to watch this year. Associated with Ed Hakonson’s team, the Terrebonne driver is pushed to the dawn of the first full-time season since 2021.
“We hope to achieve great things this year,” he said. Every driver wants to win and we are no exception. All the ingredients are there to reach the main goal, that of winning the championship.
High expectations for Bergeron
Among the 11 Quebecers who entered Sunset, which represents more than half of the field, it will also be important to watch Jean-Philippe Bergeron who, during the private test, was very fast.
“Our expectations are high in our second full year in the NASCAR Pinty Series. I gained a lot of experience last year and the podium is in my sights.
Next to him, in the Jacombs team, he will find the young prospect Thomas Nepveu.
The 18-year-old driver, a native of Oka, will be in the first-ever race of his career in the NASCAR Pinty Series, his first ever, in fact, in a stock car.
“It is a big challenge that awaits me, especially since my experience is very limited on the oval track. My goal is to finish the race in the sunset and avoid collisions. I know that I have to face drivers who no longer need an introduction, but I do not want to be forced on me.