For the first time since February 2020, the tentative list of enrollees for the Camping World Vans series does not include the name Raphaël Lessard.
Also read: Lysard replaced in the GMS team?
Despite himself, the young Beauceron driver will ignore the upcoming championship race that will be held at Darlington Circuit in South Carolina on Friday evening.
Thus Lesard finished a series of 30 consecutive starts in the third division of NASCAR.
Due to a lack of funding, the GMS team, which he joined in early 2021, had no choice but to hand over the seat number 24 Chevrolet Silverado to another driver, American Ryan Reid.
According to our information, Quebec’s comeback is nonetheless more than likely next year in GMS. That team would lose two of their stints at Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith, who are expected to rise full time to the Xfinity series in 2022.
Especially since early investors now say they are ready to return and support it financially next year.
He has been there
Patrick Carpentier was not aware of the news we told him Monday morning that Lysard had to abandon his wheel in the GMS team.
“You’re not serious! He shouted. I’m so disappointed for him. It’s a shame to get there. It’s not worth it.”
Carpentier faced the same situation in 2008. He was recruited by Gillette Evernham Motorsport to the NASCAR Cup, and he, like Lesard, had to race full time. However, not having enough budget, he was released during the season.
“The sport is cruel,” added Carpenter. It’s all about money. Raphael’s talent is not in doubt, but it is not enough. It must also be said that the epidemic did not help.
“In most cases, he was restricted to racing only, with no training or qualification. It was a lot to ask him to get good results. He also had to participate in other series, such as ARCA or K&N at the same time to increase the track time.”
They were two Quebec actors for a full-time ride in one of NASCAR’s major divisions. Alex Labe is the only one now. Unlike Lesard, the pilot of St. Albert isn’t worried about his future in the Xfinity series, at least this year.
Recruited by the DGM team, led by Quebec citizen Mario Jocelyn, for his father realizes his budgets are not the same.
“There is no comparison that can be made,” Labe says, in an interview with magazine. We’re not talking about spending nearly $ 200,000 per race like the Raphal. We are far from that. Our ambitions, on the other hand, are not the same. “
Call to RDS
Labbé is supported by local businesses and is grateful to them. Now that no drivers from Quebec are participating in the pickup truck series, the public interest is no longer the same. The question now is whether RDS, Quebec’s NASCAR broadcaster, will keep this series in its programming.
“RDS didn’t offer any Xfinity racing this year and that’s a shame,” Labe said. Now that Rapha Rapl is no longer into Vans, I hope people think of us. Appeal to them. We need this vision. “
Jocelyn, his boss, doesn’t wish LeSard any bad luck, but he admits that the context is tough.
“No matter how talented you are, there are hundreds of young drivers, like Raphael, knocking on the doors of NASCAR. Most of them support massive family fortunes or major patrons.”
Alexander Tagliani, was not surprised by the fate that was booked for Lysard. Veteran Quebec Pilot is a former MA in Search of Sponsorships.
“I told him a few months ago that he lives on downtime and his business model is not applicable. The best school is to start with a team that costs less and hope you know yourself. We were aiming for a very high standard.”
“But the worst decision his entourage made, Tagliani says, was to signal, through a press release, that he would be participating in the Vans chain full-time in 2021, when he had the budget to do only half the shopping.”