Mike Poupart Motorsports

130 Veterans Boulevard, Suite E              Kenner, Louisiana  70062   USA
Phone: 504-472-0400                     E-mail: mpmotorworks@bellsouth.net

Motorsports ServicesParts & Equip For SaleRace Cars For SaleMotorsports Links
ScheduleSponsorsArchivesAggressive, Inc.MotorworksPoupart PhotosMapBlog

Racing News Archives

2005 Grand Bayou Road Race Series - Event #3

April 10, 2005

By:  Mike Poupart

    "A day racing is always better than. . ." no matter what the outcome.  The anticipation of the third event of the 2005 Grand Bayou Race Series sponsored by Subaru Dealers of Louisiana was very high with the promise of two Speed World Challenge Viper teams staying over from the Dodge SRT National event, held at the track the two days prior to our GBRS race, and two Ferrari Challenge cars also looking to attend.  Though none of the four teams showed on race day, the Super Production field would show it's own talent with five very fast entries.  Mike Poupart Motorsports would enter myself in Allan McDonnel's #44 Viper GTS and John Centanni in his #96 Corvette.  John Walter and his #98 Corvette would not make the race due to losing the motor in the second GBRS event.  We would have to face some very serious competition.  John Crosby was back in his GT-3 Porsche Cup 996, a great talent with a lot of experience and a well prepared team.  Scotty Buldoc returned after a long absence in his Porshce 996 and Mike Shetler in his GT-1 Thunderbird, both always a threat.  Pete Alimia, entered his #93 Corvette in the ever faster GTO class.

    No Problem Raceway recently put forth plenty of effort to get the track up to SCCA standards for the upcoming SCCA club race on June 24-26 of this year, and it showed.  The track was in great condition.  The morning practice session was uneventful.  The #44 Viper and the #96 Corvette, both  practiced on old tires.  At one point in the practice session, I laid back and waited for the Porsche driven by John Crosby, signaled him by for the pass and followed him for a few laps to see what he had to offer for the day or maybe even learn something new from another driver I respect.

    The qualifying session was again, uneventful.  We mounted our race rubber on both the #44 Viper and the #96 Corvette. Each team did their own program on the track, everyone staying away from each other, in order to get in the best qualifying time possible and not get wrapped up in racing each other.  I qualified on the pole with a time of 1.16.792.  The second spot was filled by John Crosby in the #3 Porsche with a time of 1.16.823, followed closely by Buldoc's Porsche at a 1.17.317, Mike Shetler's Thunderbird with a 1.18.766, and John Centanni's Corvette at a 1.19.494.  This proved we would a very competitive race to come.

    We had a total of twelve cars in three different classes make up the field for the race.  I knew if I had anything for Crosby and his Porsche it would have to be from the drop of the green flag.  I concentrated on the start, forming up early and bringing the field around very slowly, looking to take full advantage of the Viper's 8-Liter, 10 cylinder torque.  Well, it worked.  I got a good start and a car length on the Porsche entering the first turn. We immediately went single file and I went directly to driving a defensive line in a few corners where I expected Crosby to stick the nimble Porsche inside the Viper, knowing I needed a lap or so for the tires to come in.  I was able to fend off the Porche for a lap and a half.  As we entered the brake zone in Turn 1, Crosby looked to my left and then fell in behind the Viper, only to move to my right exiting the second half of the Turn 1 complex and was at my side braking for the right hand Turn 2.  I had unexpectedly just fallen victim to a move I have used on so many other drivers at this track.  Crosby completed the pass through Turns 2 and 3 and I ended up about four car lengths off the rear of the Porsche. For the majority of the race, all I could do was chase the tail of the Porsche, varying from three to seven seconds behind depending on which one of us made little mistakes.  On lap five Centanni's felt a vibration in the Corvette's engine and shut it off to protect it from major damage.  I knew my best chance to race Crosby would be towards the end of the race when we would catch lapped traffic.  Crosby got the better opportunities to move through the first of the slower cars we came upon, so it did not help me at all.  On the last lap, Crosby came upon a GTO Corvette that held him up and then closed the door on him at Turn 8. This put me bumper to bumper with the Porsche.  I had only half of a lap to do all I could, which was not much.  I did not have enough to try a move on Crosby through Turns 10-13.  As we exited Turn 14 on to the main straight, all I could do was follow the Porsche to the checkered flag.  At least, I turned the fast lap for the race on lap ten with a 117.128.  Crosby and I shared side-by-side thumbs up congratulations on the cool down lap.  Though this would break my five race winning streak and as they say "second place is the first loser," competitive racing with such a class act still makes it better than just about anything else.

Back to Archives