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2004 Grand Bayou Road Race Series - Event #3
May 8, 2004

By: Patty Poupart

    One week after the Walter Mitty Challenge, Mike Poupart Motorsports presented two cars for the Super Production class at the third event of the 2004 Grand Bayou Road Race Series sponsored by the Subaru Dealers of Louisiana; John Walter in his #98 Liberto Cleaners Corvette and Mike Poupart in Allan McDonnel's #44 Viper GTS.  This would be Poupart's first entry as a driver in the Grand Bayou Road Race Series.  Up until now, Poupart has been the crew chief for the cars on our team.

    Mike & Johnny worked together during the morning warm-up swapping the lead and following each other.  Both cars were out on old tires just burning up rubber. 
Mike burned the rear tires off the Viper chasing Johnny.  After the warm-up, Johnny changed to new tires and Mike went to the best of the leftovers from Road Atlanta.  During the qualifying session, Johnny turned a fast lap of 1:16.843 while Mike ran 1:19.177 conserving his tires for the race.  This would ultimately put the Liberto Cleaners Corvette on the pole for the race and the Viper in the 3rd position behind Scotty Bolduc's Porsche who qualified with a 1:18.821.

    The race strategy was simple.  Walter had to get the jump on Bolduc at the green flag and Poupart would do his best to slip in between them.  The plan almost worked.  Walter got a very good jump on Bolduc and Poupart followed closely going side by side with Bolduc through the first turn, but fell in behind Bolduc by the second turn after the start.  The race quickly turned into a "follow the leader"
chase with the Corvette, Porsche, and Viper running 1-2-3.  A little more than halfway through the race, on lap 10, the Viper's engine stalled entering turn 2.  Poupart coasted around to turn 5 and was able to get the engine re-fired just as he pulled off near the worker's station.  He immediately went back out onto the track and resumed chasing the leaders only losing about 1/2 a lap.  All three cars were running quick lap times during the race with Walter turning 1:17s while Bolduc and Poupart were in the 1:18s.  Meanwhile, Bolduc overheated or wore out his tires chasing Walter, never getting close enough to challenge for the lead.  The finish was about the same as the start.  Walter's Liberto Cleaners Corvette, Bolduc's Porsche, and Poupart in the Viper finished 1-2-3.


    It is always important to thank the help.  We'd like to thank Lori Vellutini, assisted by Patty Poupart, for taking over crew duties for the Corvette and the Viper.  We also want to thank Jason Clark, Brandon Egan, and Rebecca (Brandon's girlfriend) for their overall help during the day.  Patty did double duty as photographer for the day.

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