TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. – The latest in a long line of Quebec road course aces has arrived in Kevin Lacroix, and his ascension has come faster than all of those before him.
Lacroix muscled his way past Andrew Ranger – one of the most successful of those road race experts – on the final lap Sunday (Aug. 2) to take the JuliaWine.com Le 50 Tours checkered flag at Circuit de Trois-Rivieres.
It was just the fourth start for the 26-year-old rookie, who became the fastest driver in the series’ nine-year history to record two wins. The Saint-Eustache native was victorious in his second appearance on July 5 at Circuit ICAR after six years away from the sport.
Lacroix, who started on the front row alongside Ranger, took the lead on Lap 5 and held it until Ranger regained the top spot on a caution restart on Lap 43. Ranger, of Roxton Pond, Que., looked strong for a fifth victory in the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres but Lacroix nudged him out of the lead on the final lap and held on for the win in a near photo finish by a margin of 0.048 seconds.
Following Ranger across the finish line at the famed 1.53-mile temporary street course was Alex Tagliani, Alex Labbe and L.P. Dumoulin. The remainder of the top 10 included Marc-Antoine Camirand, D.J. Kennington, Jason Hathaway, season points leader Scott Steckly and Simon Dion-Viens.
Cayden Lapcevich of Grimsby, Ont., finished 15th after starting from the No. 16 spot.
Each of the top six finishers, and seven of the top 10, were Quebec natives.
Prior to Sunday, the mark for the driver fastest to two victories was held by J.R. Fitzpatrick, who won the fourth and fifth races in series history during the inaugural 2007 season.
With three races remaining on the 2015 schedule, Steckly leads Ranger by six points with Hathaway 10 back and defending titlist Dumoulin 18 out.
The JuliaWine.com Le 50 Tours will be shown on TSN Aug. 15 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
The Canadian Tire Series will return to action Aug. 15 at Riverside International Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.