RAPHAËL LESSARD AND RAY JUNIOR COURTEMANCHE WILL SHARE CAR NUMBER 8 IN NASCAR PINTY’S
For the second year in a row, veteran driver and businessman Ray Junior Courtemanche will play a partial season in the Canadian NASCAR Pinty’s Series, with Team 3 Red/Ed Hakonson Racing.
Motivated for 2022 to be a memorable season, he offered Raphaël Lessard to join the team, offering him the wheel for all the races on the oval circuits, Courtemanche keeping the events on the road and urban circuits.
The car, which will be in the colors of Investissement Ray Junior, Choko, Fast Eddie and Transit, will be number 8. “Raphael is, in my eyes, the most talented driver in Quebec since Gilles Villeneuve. If he doesn’t race in NASCAR, it’s a bit like Sidney Crosby not playing in the NHL. It just doesn’t make sense!
According to him, with Raphaël in his ranks and a well-prepared car, the season will be exciting. Ray Junior Courtemanche recalls in passing that, “like number 87 of the Penguins who had been taken under the wing of Mario Lemieux in his early days, Raphaël had a similar and equally beneficial experience with Kyle Busch for a full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series. During the season, the young Quebec prodigy had pushed back all expectations, signing a historic victory in Tallageda, a first for a Canadian.
Courtemanche is already training to perform well on the road courses. “Last year was the first time I had been in the action of motor racing in almost five years.” Speaking of his second race of the 2021 season at ICAR, he adds: “Before the heavy rain, with just a few laps left, I was seven or eighth. For me it’s always about having fun, but I admit that in front of my family, in the city where I do all my real estate projects, it would have been nice to manage to keep my position for the last few laps”.
The 2022 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season kicks off May 14 at Sunset Speedway, Ontario. Three events take place in Quebec, namely the Autodrome Chaudière de Vallée-Jonction on June 11, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières on August 7 and the Complexe ICAR on August 27. Raphaël Lessard will contest the race at Chaudière and Ray Junior Courtemanche the GP3R and the event at ICAR.