Racing News Archives
Grand Bayou Road Race Series -
By: Mike Poupart
Quality always out does quantity. We all knew
there would be a small turn out for the first 2005 "Subaru
Dealers of Louisiana, Grand Bayou Race Series" at No
due to conflicting car oriented events in the area. The World of
Wheels car show was in New Orleans. All of our Vintage class cars
and drivers and some of our GTO class cars and drivers were involved in
the filming of the Dukes of Hazard movie.
Mike Poupart Motorsports presented the only two
entries in Super Production; John Walter in the #98 Corvette and Mike
Poupart in Allan
McDonnel's #44 Viper GTS.
Both of us have a very competitive nature and intend to compete for
this year's Super Production championship, so points were very
McDonnel would drive his Viper in the Red Bracket class, so it would be
a very busy day. Patty Poupart also missed this event so we would
have to rely heavily on Robbie Poupart as crew to keep the Viper on the
best tires and full of fuel and also help Johnny with the Corvette.
Allan McDonnel confers
with Mike Poupart after qualifying
The morning practices for both cars and all three drivers
showed a few gremlins in both cars. Each item was quickly worked
out. Even with the Viper running in two classes, each driver got
enough practice. First, Allan would qualify the Viper for the Red
Bracket. He would then cut his qualifying session one lap short
and bring the car straight to the grid to swap drivers so I could
qualify in the next immediate session for Super Production. Allan
qualified third on the grid for the Red Bracket. John Walter put
the Corvette on the pole for Super Production, and I was only 4 tenths
of a second back on the outside of the front row.
while Robbie Poupart takes tire pressures before refueling.
Dennis Denuna Photo
Mike Poupart and John
Walter discuss race strategies
Super Production would race first during the day.
Besides the Corvette and the Viper, there would be four cars in the GTO
class on course, making a total of six for the race.
while Robbie Poupart gets a general overview of the car.
Dennis Denuna Photo
The battle started with the green flag. The corner
workers in the starter station were giving the slow down signal to keep
the field in order and I lifted on the throttle. The green flag flew
and Johnny was gone. I chased down the Corvette and filled
Johnny's mirrors with the Viper. This is when the race between us
started to get wild. First, we caught the last back marker and
would make the pass exiting Turn 3 and entering Turn 4. Johnny
took the Corvette way too deep in the brake zone and I followed.
Both cars would not make the turn. Johnny took the Corvette off
the outside into the grass and I all but spun the Viper. As we
raced to turn five, we were everywhere but where we belonged on the
track. I got there first and completed a pass on Johnny.
Now the pressure was being applied from the other way. Johnny's
Corvette filled the mirrors of the Viper. A couple of laps later,
I drove way deep into Turn 1, and dropped most of the car off the right
side of the second half of the turn, just leaving the left two wheels
on the edge of the track. With Johnny so close behind the Viper, he
followed me right off the edge. One lap later, Johnny got a great exit
off of Turn 14 leading onto the front straight and pulled along side
the Viper for the pass. At the end of the straight he chose not
to risk it through Turn 1 and ducked in close behind. Johnny's
momentum carried him through Turn 2 and into Turn 3 where he gained on
me so fast he thought he bumped the rear of the Viper. Trying to
avoid contact, Johnny spun the Corvette exiting Turn 3. You would
think this would take some of the pressure off. Johnny's 360
degree snap-spin would only cost him about 100 feet to the Viper.
He was back on my tail within half a lap. All of these antics
would prove to be a problem. Johnny would have a tire go down for the
next few laps, leaving me to take the win in the Viper - first overall
and first in class.
What a show! With only two cars battling in
the Super Production class, and both basically on the same team, the
race was just as competitive as any battle for any championship.
I'm sure the spectators and the corner workers alike enjoyed
watching. Even with our extracurricular driving that day, I can't
think of any one else I would race that close with and not worry about
getting together. It sure was fun!
Allan missed the final race for the Red Bracket as
he began to feel bad and left just after the Super Production
race. We hope to race the Viper in both classes all year.