Drivers the first hour

  • Photo Louis Butcher
    Marc Cantin and André Gervais have participated in the first Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, introduced in 1967.

    Louis Butcher

    Saturday, 12 August 2017 20:59

    Sunday, 13 August, 2017 00:35

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    THREE-RIVERS | Two former drivers are reminded of the beautiful memories when asked to describe their experience at the first Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, they have played 50 years ago.

    André Gervais is a figure known in the middle of the auto sport québec. He has been an employee of the first hour at the Canadian Grand Prix in 1978, as director of the assembly, a position he held until 1988.

    “I was flying a Datsun 1600,” he said. I came especially here for the fun of it, without knowing at the time if I off its harvest points in the Championship. “

    The Montreal was classified in 10th place, licensor when the same nine rounds for the winner, Jacques Duval, in the main event of the weekend, the Labatt Three-Rivers, who had 50… obviously. Nineteen involved had taken the start.

    In the opposite direction

    Marc Cantin is also still involved in racing, including as a analyst for the NASCAR on RDS.

    In 1967, at the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières, he has taken part in a race of support counting for the Championship of the Quebec and consisting of sedans of the group Has (with the engine of 1000 cm3 or less).

    “I remember it. I finished second at the edge of a Mini after I qualify in the first place, ” explains Cantin. I can say that today, my car was illegal : it had 1100 cm3 while the limit was 1000 cm3. “

    Cantin has also pointed out that, in this first edition of the Grand Prix, the race cars were driving… in the opposite direction. And that has been abandoned in the following year.

    The layout was also less long at the time. After the start/finish line, we turned to the right in the current area of the paddock, and behind the baseball stadium, before joining the boulevard du Carmel.

    “We turned right before crossing the door Duplessis, sue Cantin. I remember it very well, I had hit during the race and my battery had been moved. Of the acid was spilled in the cockpit and on my racing uniform. “

    Pole in the middle

    Cantin had managed to finish 45 seconds behind the winner, the owner of automobile dealerships Robert Coiteux. Only eight participants were enrolled in this race of 15 laps.

    “Not only are we travelling in the opposite direction,” said Gervais, but he also had to work around a pole in the middle of the track on the boulevard du Carmel. The mayor at the time [René Matteau] has never wanted to be the moves. To protect it, we had set up bales of hay. One went to each side of the pole ! “

    After 10 years in the Grand Prix of Canada, Gervais has accepted the position of director general of GP3R for three years. He then returned to Montreal to fill the position of technical director at the circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, in 1995.

    For more than 25 years, he is the appointed pilot of the lead car of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. For the passion.

    “It ends, he concluded. I’m going to be 80 years old in a month. I asked for a recount, but I have not yet received the results… “

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