Equipment for Race Day Requirements

Mike Poupart Motorsports has the equipment you need to meet your race day requirements!

AMBit Transponders (get your own and don't get left out!) 380.00 for hard-wired
420.00 for rechargeable

Call us for your HANS device and custom fitting. This is now required by GCRS! We can also order all safety equipment, belts, window nets helmets, Hoosier race tires, etc.

Mike Poupart Motorsports
504-472-0400
130 Veterans Blvd., Suite E Kenner, LA 70062 mikepoupartmotorsports.com

Friday, November 28, 2008

GBRS #3 Enduro Announcements

Mike Poupart Motorsports announced today that team driver, Patty Poupart, will be teaming up with Robert von Dullen in the #93 Mazda Miata for the Enduro race being run on November 30, 2008 in conjunction with the 2008-2009 Grand Bayou Race Series event #3. The deal was struck late this afternoon with Chris Wilken, of BCI Motorsports, who is brokering the Miata for owner, David Lastrapes.

Team principal, Mike Poupart, will be teaming up with car owner/driver Bob Jelly in the #77 Spec Miata for the upcoming Enduro event.

A deal was also struck with Mike Poupart Motorsports by Summers Racing to hire team hot-shoe, Robbie Poupart, as a co-driver in the #88 Smoothie King Camaro for the November 30th Enduro. Team/car owner, Mark Summers tapped Poupart early as his co-driver and both are looking forward to the race.

Other Enduro team-ups announced late today include Marshall St. Amant co-driving with Chris Wilken in the BCI Motorsports #0 Porsche 944; and Dennis Gros will be co-driving the #03 BMW with Ricky Ricks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

24 Hours of LeMons Coming to No Problem Raceway in '09!

Start scouring the junkyards and get your lies, bribes and BS in order. Word has it that a contract has been signed between Pat Joffrion of No Problem Raceway and Jam Lamm, Chief Perpetrator of the 24 Hours of LeMons with a race date set for June 5-7, 2009!

Wow! Crapcan racing in the bayou! Trust me when I tell you that the roughest-looking race car in the Grand Bayou Race Series would be the finest piece of automotive machinery in comparison with the cars that run in the 24 Hours of LeMons. Our GBRS drivers will have the "edge" because it is on our H-O-M-E track!

Check out the rules and start scouting for your LeMons racer. The price is $500 per team and $100 per driver with 4-6 drivers on a team. Be careful that you stay within the "spirit" of the rules or you will face the wrath of the LeMons Supreme Court Justices. Hopefully Judges Phil and Jonny (LeMons Texas '08) will make the trip to the bayou to receive various bribes and issue decrees of cruel & unusual penalties to violators. Who knows, maybe they'll come up with a couple of new penalties in honor of the first 24 Hours of LeMons race in Louisiana!

Stay tuned for more information as we get it!
~Patty

Sunday, November 2, 2008

2008-2009 Grand Bayou Race Series - Event #2

It was a GREAT weekend for racing! The weather was very cooperative and everyone involved in running the event did their job and everything came together as it should.

The Mike Poupart Motorsports team towed the #51 Crapsman Truck up to No Problem Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 1st. Half of the team that raced it in the 24 Hours of LeMons was there and ready to take a few practice laps around NPR to see how the truck handled. In addition to Mike Poupart, Chris Wilken, and Phil LaHaye taking turns, Richard Martin went out for a few laps. I got a little bit of practice in myself in preparation for the next day's race.

On Sunday, Nov. 2nd, I entered the "Danger Ranger" in the Blue Bracket of the Grand Bayou Race Series. I had a GREAT time even though the truck was S-L-O-W! I raced by myself most of the time and tried not to be a rolling road block and drive my line at the same time, especially when the faster traffic came around to pass me. A couple of times I got split on both sides at once! That was a lot of fun! Racing is always more fun in a group!

At least I made an improvement each time I went out in lap times and average speed and, even though it is a bit dejecting to know you are in the slowest vehicle out there, I continued to drive hard. A 4th place finish is nothing to get excited about, but seat time is seat time! Now we need to change to a posi-traction rear end so that the right rear wheel will stay on the ground. It helps to go faster if you have traction! Great race, guys! I enjoy being on the track with all of you!

In the Super Production class, there was an awesome battle going on between the #98 Liberto Cleaners Corvette of Johnny Walter and the #24 Wicker Building Supply Monte Carlo being co-driven by Ralph Wicker and Steven Melton. The Monte Carlo was on the pole for the feature race with Melon behind the wheel. Walter got the jump on him at the green flag and Melton hung on the bumper of the yellow Corvette running some of his fastest lap times. Unfortunately, the #98 expired early with a broken rear end leaving the race and the win to the #24 with an ecstatic Melton to celebrate a Super Production win.

Our next event is on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. See ya at the track!
~Patty

Saturday, October 25, 2008

#51 Danger Ranger / Lemon Hauler finishes in 9th place at 24 Hours of LeMons race in Texas

We raced the truck! Mike Poupart, Robbie Poupart, Chris Wilken, Dennis Gros, Mark Summers and Phil LaHaye teamed together as "The Professionals" and entered a 1995 Ford Ranger in the 24 Hours of LeMons race at Motor Sports Ranch - Houston. The race is a wildly ridiculous tongue-in-cheek attempt at mocking the real 24 Hours of Le Mans (24 Heures du Mans), the sports car endurance race held annually in France. The officials have their own special set of rules with safety being first and foremost. Teams are only allowed to spend $500 for their cars (safety equipment, wheels & tires are outside of that restriction). All cars have to pass through tech and BS, and those who are caught cheating have to endure the wrath of the LeMons Supreme Court Judges who could assess heavy penalties if not bribed. And yes, they took bribes! Its all about the game, the drama, the lies, and the cheating. If the Judges don't catch you cheating, other teams are quick to rat you out to the authorities.

The truck had many labels -Danger Ranger - Lemon Hauler - Crapsman Truck. Whatever the label, the truck was a blast to drive! The team finished in 9th place out of the 75 or so cars that actually started the race. The truck ended up being a huge surprise for everyone. It was the ONLY truck entry in the field of 75 cars accepted to run this race. It had not been run except to the corner and back a couple of times. It handled and turned like no one expected. It never overheated or had any brake failure. In 403 laps, not one of our team drivers spun out. Only 1 driver put 2 wheels off and it was an evasive move, not an out-of-control one. After starting 14 laps down, we actually got a top 10 finish!

We also won the No Prayer of Finishing class award. We were not expected to finish the race and, if we did, we weren't expected to make it into the top 40. How 'bout that!

The Lemon Hauler blog has posts from the entire weekend and several slideshows with lots of pictures. Additionally, the link to the results on the 24 Hours of LeMons website is: http://www.24hoursoflemons.com/results. There are complete resuts up on MyLaps: http://www.mylaps.com/results/showrun.jsp?id=996969. Jalopnik's coverage can be found at: http://jalopnik.com/tag/24-hours-of-lemons. There is also some great coverage on http://www.autofiends.com/ under "Great Moments in Texas LeMons Judging." Look for all 4 parts to the series of articles and a couple of other miscellaneous articles.

~Patty

P.S. We want to race the truck! I get to race the truck next on Nov. 1-2, 2008 in the Grand Bayou Race Series at No Problem Raceway. Check back here post-race for that report!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

24 Hours of LeMons Road Race

The Mike Poupart Motorsports have teamed up with BCI Motorsports and other Grand Bayou Race Series drivers in a 24 hour race in Houston, Texas on October 17-19, 2008. Go to the Project Lemon Hauler blog for all the news, stories and photos! The blog will be updated throughout the weekend as often as I can. We anticipate nothing but F-U-N!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

2008-2009 Grand Bayou Race Series - Event #1

The first event of the 2008-2009 Grand Bayou Race Series is in the books. It was a successful event that was well attended. This season, Chris Wilken, Chris Carver, and Mike & Patty Poupart will be running the series for No Problem Raceway. You will see improvements to the track like the new worker stations to replace the ones that were destroyed by Hurricane Gustav.

There are also improvements to the race series and how it is run. There are some new rules and stricter tech inspections, log books for drivers & vehicles, and a harder look at safety equipment. A new class (GTU) has been added and the Green Bracket has been eliminated. All in all, it is a step up for the Grand Bayou Race Series and everyone benefits from it.

For this first event of the series, Mike Poupart Motorsports assisted with Johnny Walter's #98 Liberto Cleaners Super Production Corvette. Johnny finished 1st in the Feature Race with a broken alternator. A simple fix and he'll be ready for the next event.

~Patty

Saturday, October 4, 2008

2008-2009 Grand Bayou Race Series Schedule

The 2008-2009 Grand Bayou Race Series is upon us and the first races are this weekend! There are 7 points events this year culminating with the Grand Bayou Charity Challenge in April, 2009. All events are at No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, LA.

Here's the race day schedule:
Race #1 - Sunday, October 5, 2008
Race #2 - Sunday, November 2, 2008
Race #3 - Sunday, November 30, 2008
Race #4 - Sunday, January 4, 2009
Race #5 - Sunday, February 1, 2009
Race #6 - Saturday, March 7, 2009
Race #7 - Sunday, April 19, 2009 (in conjunction with the Grand Bayou Charity Challenge)

Before each race day is a practice/lapping day for GBRS racers and non-series racers alike. The dates presently on the No Problem Raceway schedule are:
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008

Preregistration for the practice/lapping days and race days is at Clubregistration.net

You can always check the GBRS Web site for the latest information on any schedule changes:
http://www.grandbayouracingseries.com/schedule.html

And don't forget to check the Grand Bayou Race Series Website: http://grandbayouracingseries.com/

See ya at the track!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Poupart Photos & Mike Poupart Motorsports in Slidell, LA on September 27, 2008

In case anyone is in the Slidell area on Saturday, our Corvette club (Greater New Orleans Corvette Club) is holding its annual charity car show at Bayou Country Village just off the I-10 at the Oak Harbor exit in Slidell. This year's charity is the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, which is based in Jefferson, LA, so our donations of money and items stays local. If you would like to come and bring donations, the Center will have a collection box at the show. (Email us for the Center's Wish List.)

St Tammany Association for Retarded Citizens (STARC) will have an art display and art items for sale. Ochsner Blood Mobile will be on site for blood donations. We will also be supporting the Devin Funck Fund (the young boy whose arm was bitten off by an alligator).

For some added entertainment "South Down" Band will be playing along with the University of Southern Mississippi Dance Team performing for eveyone. There will be lots of auction items, door prizes, a 50/50 drawing and many other fun things to do.

Poupart Photos (Mike and Patty) will have a vendor's booth at the show to sell our photography and we'll be showing one of the Corvettes from our race team, Mike Poupart Motorsports/BCI Motorwports. We're asking our family, friends & co-workers to help us support some good causes and enjoy a great day with us and our Corvette friends. If you need more information, please let us know.

Thanks a bunch and we hope to see you on Saturday!
Patty & Mike
http://www.printroom.com/pro/poupartphotos
http://www.aggressiveinc.com
http://www.mikepoupartmotorsports.com

Thursday, May 29, 2008

2008-2009 Grand Bayou Race Series - A Look Ahead

After a meeting of interested parties and racers on 5/22/08 and a subsequent meeting of the Administrative Committee of the Grand Bayou Race Series on 5/27/08, there has been agreement to changes of rules affecting several areas including, but not limited to, scheduling, registration fee, safety requirements, licensing procedures, and vehicle classes.

A copy of the minutes from the 5/27/08 meeting have been posted on the web for viewing at http://www.aggressiveinc.com/GBRS_Meeting_2008-05-27-Minutes.pdf. If you have any comments, please feel free to comment on the GBRS Forum or you may email us privately.

Monday, May 26, 2008

2008 Grand Bayou Charity Challenge - The Story

Wow! What an event! As organizers, we can’t say enough to thank EVERYONE who participated in the Second Grand Bayou Charity Challenge held on April 11-12, 2008 at No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, LA to benefit UnlockingAutism.org. Funds brought in from sponsors, racers, spectators, door prize ticket sales, silent auctions, and donations from friends and from riders in the exotic chase cars totaled over $31,000.00! After expenses, the charity netted over $25,000.00!! We had hoped for another successful event, but the net donation was more than twice what we raised last year!!

We had a successful practice day for the sports car drivers on Friday afternoon at the track. Many drivers and race teams took advantage of the opportunity to bring in their rigs and set up their paddocks for the weekend. A reception was held for the event sponsors on Friday night at Café Lafourche in nearby Donaldsonville, LA. Following cocktails and refreshments at the bar, a buffet dinner of fried catfish, shrimp, jambalaya, muffaletta pasta, green salad, and bread pudding was prepared by owner and chef, Eric Weil.

The first event of the day on Saturday was the 2-mile fun run. Ben Cherbonnier handled the pre-event details and the Bayou Runners Association from Houma, LA set up their timing equipment and handled the day-of-event details for the run. With a start at the lights on the drag strip, the runners continued through the road course with a finish in the paddock area followed by food, fruit and refreshments. The winners were:

Overall 1st (Men) - Brian Marx - 12:41
Overall 1st (Women) - Marion Landry - 18:28
Masters (Men) - Craig Stephens - 17:52
Masters (Women) - Sandy Foret - 20:35
Grandmasters (Men) - Ben Cherbonnier - 14:41
Grandmasters (Women) - Sally Breaux - 24:18
Age Group 14 & Under (Men) - Leo Marx - 12:05 / Dexter Trosclair - 17:54
Age Group 20 – 24 (Men) - Jeff Ecgeranbe - 14:08 / Matt Dooner - 14:52 / Kyle Lindow - N.T.
Age Group 25 – 29 (Women) - Cindy Cavalier - 20:40
Age Group 35 – 39 (Women) - Lisa Hebert - 28:28
Age Group 45 – 49 (Men) - Marty Bordelon - 27:38
Age Group 50 – 54 (Women) - Barbara Graff - 28:27
Age Group 60 – 64 (Men) - Bill Phelps - 23:45
Age Group 60 - 64 (Women) - Jaime Phillips - 24:57 / Nancy Charlet - 27:11

Behind the spectator stands a “car club corral” was set up. In exchange for a donation, a spectator could park in this special parking area and be eligible to participate in a people’s choice car show. Awards, sponsored by Ron Gaubert Realtors, were given to the winners at the end of the day.

1st Place – Frank Davis – 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo (Gemballa version)
2nd Place – Kenneth Suite – 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo911
3rd Place – Elizabeth Hertzler – 2004 Porsche 911 Carrera

In between the practice and race sessions, small groups of exotic cars were sent out as “chase cars” giving free rides to sponsors. Donations from spectators could get them a ride as well in such exotic cars as a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Corvette Z06, Audi A4, and a selection of fast Porsches. The chase car rides turned out to be one of the most popular features of the event. The drivers stayed busy all day and never ran out of riders.

During the lunch break, a group of cyclists from the Tiger Cycling Foundation ran a short practice session on the track in preparation for their afternoon feature race. Meanwhile, the Super Production / GTO / Vintage V8 group of race cars quietly made their way to the grid in anticipation of the pre-race ceremonies. Our Master of Ceremonies, Steve Greenfield, did a great job of announcing all day constantly promoting the sponsors, vendors, and other things happening during the event as well as calling the race action for the feature races.

After being introduced, Jackie Baudier, a vocalist from Metairie, LA stepped out to the grid area to sing our national anthem. Without musical accompaniment, Jackie’s angelic voice proudly sang “The Star Spangled Banner” leaving the crowd with goose bumps and teary eyes when she was finished! All of the children present were gathered near the grid and together made the most famous call in motorsports, “Gentlemen, start your engines!”

The roar of engines came from the Super Production / GTO / Vintage V8 group. These are the cars with high horsepower engines, mostly V8s, that make the ground shake and your body vibrate when they start up next to you. Thirteen cars made their way from the grid onto the track led by the pace car driven by Mike Poupart who was filling in since his Viper developed engine trouble leaving him unable to run with his race group. The first race of the day, announced by Patty Poupart, was exciting as Super Production driver John Crosby (GT3 Porsche) led the action from green flag to checker flag with a fastest lap time of 1:15.167. Johnny Walter (Corvette) ran 2nd with a fastest lap time of 1:17.279 followed by Matt Patterson (Trans Am) in 3rd place, whose fastest lap time was 1:19.087.

The GTO class was won by Chris Wilken (Corvette). His fastest lap time was 1:20.698. 2nd place went to Ken Laborde (Porsche) and Steve Diniz (Mini Cooper) finished 3rd. Of the two entries in the Vintage V8 class, Michael Talbot (Corvette) finished 1st.

The microphone was handed back to Steve Greenfield as Patty Poupart readied herself to drive in the afternoon races. The heat races for the Spec Miata and Bracket classes were next. These races placed the drivers of those classes in order for their feature race. The Spec Miata heat race finished with Alex Ardoin, Kerry Brown, Jeff Mosing, Shane Fowler, and John Biabeff in the top five positions out of the 14 drivers.

The Bracket Group had 20 drivers take to the track for their heat race. There are 4 different bracket classes, each having a limit on how fast a driver can go in any one lap without “breaking out” and being bumped into the next fastest class: Green (1:34), Blue (1:30), Yellow (1:27) and Red (1:24) being the fastest. A driver breaking out of the Red class gets disqualified and bumped to GTO. The Red class was dominated by Dennis Paul (Porsche) and Julius Ridgeway (Porsche). Brent Mosing (Porsche) ran in the Yellow class, but broke out and was bumped to the Red class. That left Skeeter Cannon (Mustang) to finish 1st and Patty Poupart (Corvette) finishing 2nd to round out the Yellow class. Troy Marcello (Mazda) and Harold Gauthier (MG) battled furiously in the Blue class finishing 1st and 2nd respectively. Ken Mason (Porsche) was the sole entry in the Green class.

The spectators were then treated to a bicycle race by members of the Tiger Cycling Foundation. These cyclists, who also race in the Baton Rouge Velodrome, took to the track and ran “counter-race” or in the opposite direction of the race cars. We have some great photos and hopefully our friend, Marshall St. Amant, will get us some results. (Hint! Hint!)

The Formula cars were the next race group to take to the track. Eight cars broke down into 3 classes. Winning the Open Wheel class and having the fastest race lap of the day (1:12.381) was Mike Immel (Formula Mazda) with John Nehrer (Formula Mazda) and Jeff Dongieux (Formula SCCA) coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Sports Racer class was won by Ted Haas with Bill Ironside taking 2nd place. Hugh Lamb won the Formula V class.

The Spec Miata feature race gave the spectators a good show as the racing is always tight between the cars in this group. The battle for the first three positions was heated with Jeff Mosing finishing 1st, followed by Shane Fowler in 2nd, and Kerry Brown in 3rd.

The last race of the day was between the drivers of the Bracket classes. It was a wild start with faster drivers like Robbie Poupart (Camaro) and Steve Diniz (Mini Cooper) who started at the back of the field moving through quickly. They ran laps faster that the Red class limit and were scored as GTO entries. The winners of the Red class were Dennis Paul (Porsche) in 1st, Julius Ridgeway (Porsche) in 2nd and Jeff Lutz (BMW) in 3rd. Brent Mosing was fastest once again in the Yellow class, but broke out on lap 4, leaving Skeeter Cannon (Mustang) to take 1st place and Patty Poupart (Corvette) in 2nd. Harold Gauthier (MG) won in the Blue class and Ken Mason (Porsche) won in the Green class.

After the last car exited the track, the evening entertainment began with music by The Jay B. Elston Band. Door prizes and race awards were given out and a check was presented to UnlockingAutism.org. An awesome bar-b-que was cooked by gentlemen from Frank’s Casings who donated their time.

With a total of 67 entries, and 65 drivers actually racing, this was the largest road race since No Problem Raceway opened its gates. The event would not have been able to happen if it weren’t for the many volunteers who worked behind the scenes prior to the race as well as day of event. Special thanks goes to the corner workers and the other volunteers who handled timing & scoring, track safety, and grid.

The event was an overall HUGE success. We’re planning for an even bigger and better event next year!

Thanks again from your event organizers,
Patty & Mike Poupart
Lois & Chris Wilken

P.S. We'll be posting photos soon!

Monday, May 19, 2008

2008-2009 GBRS Meeting on Thursday, May 22, 2008

There will be a meeting regarding the 2008-2009 Grand Bayou Race Series at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday night, May 22, 2008 at Tommy's Pizza, 2103 N Morrison Blvd., Hammond, LA 70401. Phone: (985) 345-9726

Need a map?
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=2103+N+Morrison+Blv...4505&z=16&iwloc=addr

Agenda will include the following:
-Track Involvement for 2008/2009
-Proceeds from GBRS
-Rules & Safety
-Driver Progress Tracking
-Car/Driver Safety
-Corner workers
-Redneck Time Trials - Summer series
-Much needed worker days for track improvements.

If you have questions are you need help with directions or car pooling please email or call for help. Chris Carver (Local Redneck) 225-931-2290.

For those who are unable to make it, we will take minutes and post them on the NPR and GBRS forums and email them out to anyone who wants a copy.

Please make an effort to attend and spread the word to anyone else who might be interested. Thanks for your support for the upcoming year!

PLEASE PASS THE WORD!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

SCCA Board Approves NASA Licenses For Club Racing

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 9, 2008) – Sports Car Club of America’s Board of Directors approved today at its face-to-face meeting in Topeka the approval of National Auto Sport Association licenses for Regional Club Racing competition, effective immediately.

The NASA Competition License joins those of 13 other organizations approved for Regional competition. Any of these license holders may participate in a Regional event, providing they are a full, First Gear, family or weekend member.

The full list of organizations with licenses approved for competition are:
BMW CCA
CACC
FIA
HSR
ICSCC
IMSA
MCSCC
NASA
PCA
Ontario Region CASC
SCCA Pro Racing
SVRA
VMC
Waterford Hills
West Canada Motorsports Association

Detailed information on the licenses approved for each organization is available in the SCCA General Competition Rules, section 3.1.5.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

PCA Driver's Education at No Problem Raceway 4/27/08

PCA Mardi Gras Region is hosting a Drivers Education event on Sunday, April 27, 2008 at No Problem Raceway Park. Register for the event online at www.clubregistration.net.

If you have not been certified as a "Solo Driver" please register soon because the amount of Instructors is limited.

If you have questions, please refer to our website, www.mgpca.org. or email me, lois@buckeyecontractors.com.

Look forward to seeing you at the track!
Lois Wilken, Registrar

Monday, April 14, 2008

$24,400 Raised for UnlockingAutism.org!

The Second Grand Bayou Charity Challenge was a HUGE sucess! We brought in $33,000 in funds to the event and, after expenses, donated $24,400 to UnlockingAutism.org!!! We could not have done it without the help of the volunteers, corner workers, race participants, spectators and sponsors. We can't thank you all enough for all you did to help us for the event.

THANKS!!!
Mike & Patty Poupart
Chris & Lois Wilken

P.S. As soon as I get some sleep and my eyes come back into focus, I'll get a big story posted here. /pp

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Grand Bayou Charity Challenge - THIS WEEKEND!

Hey! We're looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend at the track! Thanks in advance to all the Volunteers who have stepped up to help us out for this event. We couldn't do it without you!!

Our fund raising has been very good, but we still need spectators at the gate. Everything counts towards the charity. The weather is promising to be very nice and we hope to see ya'll there.

Be sure to stop in at the BCI Motorsports / Mike Poupart Motorsports paddock and say "Hi"!

~Patty Poupart

P.S. I will be the "'RedheadinaVette" as I'll be driving the white #02 Corvette owned by BCI Motorsports in the Bracket races. Whoo Hoo!!

GBRS #6 - Pics are up on the web

Ta-Daaaaa!!! The pics for the Grand Bayou Race Series #6 (March 8, 2008) are up on the web for your viewing (and maybe purchasing) pleasure! These are what I consider to be the best out of what Mary Pat Walter and I took over the weekend. If you have ANY questions, or maybe you are looking for something in particular, email me and let me know.

Go to: www.printroom.com/pro/poupartphotos and then click on the link for the 2007-2008 Grand Bayou Race Series.

Thanks, ya'll!
Patty Poupart

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Grand Bayou Road Course Improvements

We now have two very important improvements to the road course that are essential to safety. Pat Joffrion, owner of No Problem Raceway Park, has installed rumple-style curbing to the driver's left at turn 14 the full length of the grass area from pit out to the straight-away wall. The red "stump" at driver's left in turn 1 has been removed and replaced with rumple-style curbing.

If you see Mr. Joffrion while you are at the track, be sure to stop him and say "thanks" for making continuous upgrades and improvements to the road course.

~Mike Poupart

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Word of Thanks

Now that another GBRS series is behind us, I've had a little time to reflect on all the people that are connected with Mike Poupart Motorsports and how they've all contributed to our success.

Patty Poupart - my wife, #1 supporter and fan, and team photographer. She not only lets me go play with cars, she's an essential part of the team and a driver as well. Unlike some spouses that complain about the race cars, she wants to know when we're getting a new one! She keeps everything organized and without her I know I would miss a lot of details. Its been so much fun to see her driving again this year, it makes it all worthwhile.

Robbie Poupart - my son and the best right hand man a team could have. He's a talented driver in his own right, can crew chief when needed, and helps keep all of the team cars running on race day. I really wish I could put him in a good race car and watch him express his talents.

Johnny Walter - our #1 team driver, best friend and supporter who lets us give him a quality race effort to keep him running at the top of his game. His family is just as important. His wife, Mary Pat, is a great supporter and helps with photo duties. His son, John, comes to every race to not only help his Dad, but pitches in to help everyone else wherever he can.

Chris Wilken and the BCI Motorsports team - They've allowed us to become a part of their racing efforts and created a partnership and team spirit that makes racing a whole lot of fun! Dennis Gros was a great sport by giving up some of his track time to Patty so she could practice in the #02 Corvette. We're looking forward to Katie Wilken joining the team as a driver in the future. Lois Wilken does her powerful magic behind the scenes and is a great supporter to the entire team.

Mark Summers is the newest member of the MPMotorsports team. He's dedicated to improving his race effort and looks to us for support. He fits in well with the team's spirit of commaraderie and having fun.

Allen McDonnel is to be thanked for giving me the opportunity to drive the #44 Viper. We would like to see him driving the car again real soon. In the meantime, that is one fun ride!

Christian Francois and John Centanni - long time team members who we've missed this last season. We hope to see them return as well.

Thanks to all of you for letting me have a good time racing!

~Mike Poupart

Saturday, March 8, 2008

GBRS Event #6 - March 8, 2008

Today was the final event of the 2007-2008 Grand Bayou Race Series at No Problem Raceway presented by Bryan Racing. The day started out cold and clear with few wet areas on the track from the previous day's rain.

The Mike Poupart Motorsports / BCI Motorsports paddock area was impressive! The three BCI Motorsports cars were lined up - the red #01 GTO Corvette driven by team owner, Chris Wilken; the white #02 Corvette driven by Dennis Gros in the Yellow Bracket; and the white #03 BMW driven by Patty Poupart in the Green Bracket. Johnny Walter, owner and driver of the yellow #98 Super Production Corvette sponsored by Liberto Cleaners, was across from us and Mark Summers, owner and driver of the red #88 GTO Camaro sponsored by Smoothie King, was nearby.

After the warm-up sessions, the track began to dry out and the lap times got faster for qualifying. Even though the sun was warming things up, the racing on the track was hotter than the afternoon temperatures.

The feature race in the Super Production/GTO/Vintage V8 group was exciting. Johnny Walter and Chris Wilken, with series championships already won, chose to start their Corvettes at the back of the entire field leaving Mark Summers on the pole for the race start. It didn't take long for them to work their way through the field. As Johnny was passing Mark in turn one (the fastest turn on the race course) to take over the lead in the race, the left front suspension broke on Mark's car leaving him unable to make the turn. Mark did a super job keeping the car under control and coming to a safe stop without further incident. It was unfortunate that the Summers Racing entry was unable to complete the race. Johnny took the win for Super Production and Chris took the win for GTO. Great job, guys!

There was a combined total of 23 drivers in the four bracket groups that took the green flag together for the heat and feature races. Although Dennis Gros had the Yellow Bracket championship in hand going into today's race, a problem with a brake caliper locking up on the #02 Corvette left him underpowered for the heat race and only able to complete 3 of 10 laps for a 3rd place finish in the feature race.

Now for my story. . . .
I was very excited to be making my first race start! The #03 BMW, which I nicknamed "the breadbox," has a 4-cylinder, 4-speed, 100 h.p. motor that is considerably slower than my 8-cylinder, 6-speed, 405 h.p daily driver. I had respectable lap times yesterday during the practice while learning to drive the BMW flat to the floor floating through the corners and using the brakes only when absolutely necessary. This little ride is truly a learning experience!

I was one of three entries in the Green Bracket driving against Gerald Arceneaux in a white #8 Miata and Ken Mason in a tangerine #173 Porsche. It became obvious during the qualifying session that Gerald and Ken had more horsepower and they qualified faster than me. I was near the back of the field for the start of the heat race. Wow! My first rolling start! That was exciting! Mike Hamza in a Porsche started next to me on the outside and when the field ahead of us launched at the green flag, Mike made a third lane and drove right up the side of several rows. I drove hard in the heat race and seemed to be faster than my competition in the corners. Ken missed a shift going into turn four and ran his Porsche off the track in front of me. I continued to run hard behind the Miata trying to catch Gerald. As I came down the front straight on my last lap, I looked up at the flag station and saw Mr. Everett pulling out the checkered flag. I did a double-take in the mirror and realized that the cars battling behind me were the race leaders, Steve Diniz in the MOT (Mini of Tomorrow) and Julius Ridgeway in the Porsche. I barely crossed the finish line ahead of them before getting lapped. It suddenly hit me - I was still on the lead lap! Go! Go! Go! I knocked almost four seconds off my fastest lap time of the previous session! Gerald pushed his Miata so hard to stay in front of me that he broke out and had to take a penalty that would make him start at the back of our bracket giving me the green bracket pole for the feature race. I made a point of thanking Mr. Diniz and Mr. Ridgeway for not lapping me as they battled to the checkered flag.

Even though the green bracket is the slowest class, there were a few people that broke out or had no times in the heat race and had to start behind everyone else. That put me a little more than halfway back in the field. Now I had to be on my toes at the start! Not only was there a lot happening in front of me, but I couldn't afford to cautionsly hang back because it would allow my competition to get a jump on me and I was hoping to hold them off as long as possible.

Ken got past me in lap one and Gerald passed both of us in lap two. So much for holding them off! I refused to give up and ran hard everywhere barely lifting for most corners. I stayed with them and when Ken missed a shift on the front straight in lap seven, I was right there and got past him before turn one and started putting distance between us. The faster traffic started moving through us and I held my race line not letting them intimidate me. I was determined to catch that white Miata and was closing in on him at the end of the race. Two more laps and I would have had him!

As it turned out, all three of us broke out of our class! The limit for our class is 1:34 and we all ran fastest laps in the 1:33 range. Ken & Gerald went too fast on only one of their laps and I went too fast on two laps. After penalties were assessed, Gerald got the win, Ken finished second and I finished third. What a fun race! Thanks guys!

Congrats to Gerald for also winning the Green Bracket Championship! He ran one other race this season and it was last month in the same car I drove today. That gave him enough points to grab a championship trophy along with his first place win all in the same day.

A HUGE thanks to Chris Wilken for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to start my first green flag race and giving me those "magic" tires for the feature race! Thanks to Robbie Poupart for his support and crewing for me. To my husband, Mike Poupart, thanks for your love and support and believing I have what it takes to run with the rest of 'em!

~Patty Poupart

We're B-B-B-Baaad!!

Today was a great day for the BCI Motorsports and Mike Poupart Motorsports teams! The 2007-2008 Grand Bayou Race Series came to a conclusion and the champagne corks were popping at the awards banquet as the teams celebrated a successful season!

Johnny Walter, owner and driver of the #98 Corvette sponsored by Liberto Cleaners took the Super Production class win for the day and brought home his 4th Grand Bayou Race Series Championship trophy.

BCI Motorsports sponsored three cars. The #01 Corvette was driven by team owner, Chris Wilken, for the GTO class win for the day and the GTO series championship. The #02 Corvette was driven by Dennis Gros for a 3rd place Yellow Bracket class finish for the day and the Yellow Bracket series championship. The #03 BMW was driven by Patty Poupart for a 3rd place Green Bracket class finish.

Congratulations to all of the drivers and crew members for a successful season! They'll be bigger, better, and faster next year!

~Staff Writer

Monday, March 3, 2008

PRESS RELEASE – Patty Poupart Starts First GBRS Race With BCI Motorsports

The Grand Bayou Race Series will have a relatively new driver in the field of the last race of the 2007-2008 series next weekend at No Problem Raceway. Poupart will be driving the BCI Motorsports #03 BMW E30 in the bracket group. Car owner, Chris Wilken, has two other cars in the field - the #01 and #02 Chevy Corvettes driven by Wilken and team driver, Dennis Gros, respectively.

A mid-season liason was struck between BCI and Mike Poupart Motorsports for driver and technical support. Mike Poupart is crew chief for several independent drivers in addition to the drivers of the BCI Motorsports team.

The race is scheduled for March 8, 2008. Warm-up and qualifying sessions are run in the morning. Heat and feature races start at 1:00 p.m. For more information on the Grand Bayou Race Series, point your browser to www.grandbayouraceseries.com.

~Staff writer

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Welcome Coastal Waste Services!

The Grand Bayou Charity Challenge welcomes Coastal Waste Services as the main sponsor for this year's charity race events to take place April 11-12, 2008! Additional sponsors are needed and we encourage you to join us to support UnlockingAutism.org, a very worthy cause. Please go to the Mike Poupart Motorsports web page for more information, event schedule, sponsor and registration forms.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2008 Grand Bayou Charity Challenge Race - Updated!

The Board of Governors of the Grand Bayou Charity Challenge met recently to begin putting plans in place and firming up details for this year's event which is slated for April 11-12, 2008. The event will be held once again at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, LA, and promises to be bigger and better than last year. All proceeds will benefit UnlockingAutism.org and we are hoping to top last year's donation of $12,000.00.

The festivities will start on Friday afternoon, April 11, 2008, with a lapping/practice day from 12-4 pm. A sponsor's reception will be held Friday night at Cafe Lafourche in Donaldsonville, LA featuring a buffet and a cash bar.

With assistance from the Club South Runners of Baton Rouge and the New Orleans Track Club, a 2-Mile Fun Run is being planned for Saturday morning followed by regular warm-up and qualifying sessions for the race car drivers. There will be preferred parking in the car club corral and food will be available at the concession stand. The track will open for touring laps during the lunch break followed by a practice session by the Tiger Cycling Foundation who will have their own race on the track during the afternoon heat and feature races by the Grand Bayou Race Series regulars.

Local vocalist, Jackie Baudier, will sing the national anthem prior to the start of the afternoon racing. Special Events Master of Ceremonies for the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino (Biloxi, MS), Steve Greenfield, will be on hand to emcee the days events.

Once the racing is finished, The Jay B. Elston Band will be crankin' it up Southern style with some classic rock, blues, and country music for the BBQ and awards presentation.

The pre-registration entry fee for one driver is $125 which includes an event t-shirt and 1 ticket (armband) for the Saturday BBQ. Tickets for the Friday sponsors reception will be sold for $20 each and extra tickets for the BBQ will cost only $8. Registration cut-off is April 9, 2008. These prices will increase after that date.

Sponsors are always needed and very welcome and there are special packages available at two levels. For $250, a sponsor will get a one-color logo on the back of the event t-shirts, advertising on the back of all event literature, 2 tickets for the Friday sponsors reception, 2 tickets for the Saturday races, and 2 tickets for the Saturday BBQ. New this year is the $500 sponsor level which offers double of everything included at the $250 level PLUS 1 passenger ride in the pace car at the start of one of the heat or feature races!

The hosts of the Grand Bayou Charity Challenge, Chris & Lois Wilken and Mike & Patty Poupart, are joined by many volunteers that are working to make this event happen. We ask that you join us on April 11-12, 2008 as we not only tap into the strength of our local communities, but help UnlockingAutism.org reach out across the nation to unify the parents of the nearly 550,000 autistic people in the U.S. in an effort to sort out the mystery of autism.

Monday, February 4, 2008

GBRS Event #5 - Feb. 2, 2008

We arrived at the track early with fewer butterflies swarming in my stomach than last month. That was a good sign. The windows of the #02 BCI Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette were wet inside and out from the car being outdoors uncovered all night. It took a while to get everything dry enough to put some new sponsor graphics on the car. Chris Wilken, the car owner, secured sponsorship from Eric Weil, owner of Cafe' Lafourche, one of our favorite restaurants in Donaldsonville, LA.

We were scheduled for the warm-up/practice session which went well. Another good sign. Our times were a little slower than the day before which is attributed to being in more traffic with less open track. Spending more time wheel-to-wheel with a lot more cars was good experience for us. With the car being warmed up for him, Dennis gets in for the qualifying session and then runs the heat and feature races. Maybe he is getting spoiled!

Dennis "broke out" during qualifying, with a lap .032 seconds faster than the limit of the Yellow Bracket, which would put him in the next faster bracket. To stay in the Yellow Bracket and not lose his points, he started at the back of the pack for the heat race, which he won. He thought he won the feature race as well, but didn't realize that Tommy Barrios switched classes from Spec Miata to Yellow Bracket prior to the heat race. Dennis gave Tommy the pass near the end of the race because he didn't know he was racing against him in the same class. A second place finish for Dennis Gros and the BCI Motorsports team was still a good finish.

Mike Poupart Motorsports was kept very busy looking after 5 different cars which included the #98 Liberto Cleaners Corvette owned and driven by Johnny Walter, the #88 Smoothie King Camaro owned and driven by Mark Summers, the #20 Allied Mortgage Panoz GTS owned and driven by Doug Boozer, and both of the #01 and #02 BCI Motorsports Corvettes owned by Chris Wilken and driven by Dennis Gros and Chris Wilken, respectively. Robbie Poupart assisted his Dad, Mike Poupart, wherever possible.

The Liberto Cleaners Corvette experienced a few problems throughout the day - a bad battery, a fuel pump - nothing that couldn't be fixed. The Panoz GTS had a minor wheel problem that was quickly resolved. Except for the #02 BCI Motorsports Corvette, all the rest of the cars we were looking after ran in the same group between the Super Production and the GTO classes.

The qualifying session for this group was pretty exciting due to an unfortunate incident in lap 3 when Byron Rome, driving the #44 Camaro in Vintage V8, blew his motor and the car caught fire. When the motor let go, he drove the car off course and into the grass and the flames "whooshed" up from under the car momentarily engulfing the sides of the car in a flash of flame. John Brannan, who had previously left the race course with his #13 Camaro, was nearby and rushed over with his fire extinguisher. Another driver rushed over with a fire extinguisher as Chris Carver drove his #76 Nissan straight off the track to offer his assistance. Meanwhile, the rest of the drivers came to a red flag stop. The spectators applauded! What great teamwork by the drivers!

With several cars being towed off the track from the previous session, the pace car was lacking a driver. Mike Poupart jumped in and took over the pace car duties for the start of the SP/GTO/Vintage V8 feature race. Johnny Walter, the only Super Production car, started on the pole with Chris Wilken on the outside front row in P2. It seemed like the starter held the field for a long time, but when he showed the green flag, Johnny launched and Chris fell in behind throwing out the tow rope for Mark Summers who was starting in P3. They ran closely for several laps until Mark passed Chris early in the race. Meanwhile, Doug Boozer started in P6 and dropped out of the race early. He was only credited with one race lap. Now, guarding his position with his competition behind him, Mark held Chris at bay for several more laps before losing it in turn 4 giving Chris the opportunity to go around him. Mark recovered and they finished the race 1-2 in GTO.

It was a great day with great weather for racing. We're looking ahead to the Bryan Racing Lapping Day on March 1st and the last race of the 2007-2008 Grand Bayou Race Series on March 2nd.

View and order photos taken at the GBRS Event #5 - Feb. 2, 2008 from Poupart Photos!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bryan Racing Lapping Day - Feb. 1, 2008

This was our 2nd lapping day in the #02 BCI Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette and it was a very good day! We got the seat belts and my seat insert adjusted to fit me right away so we were much more comfortable in the car from the beginning of the day. We took it easy at first letting everything warm up and checking the gauges. The new transmission (built and installed since the last race) worked to perfection. When we came in from the first session and opened the hood, we didn't know what to do. The car wasn't spitting, sputtering, choking, smoking or dripping. It was just fine! All the work done by the combined teams of BCI Motorsports and Mike Poupart Motorsports paid off! The only work done on the car all day (other than fueling) was changing the right rear tire which we corded around mid-day.

Confidence was high and smiles were big throughout the day. We tried a few new things to go faster and, although there were no "official" times, several people had stopwatches that showed we were running laps in the 1:28 range. That was about 8 seconds per lap faster than what we was running last month and that was good enough to run the car in the Yellow Bracket class where regular driver, Denis Gros, has been leading in the points race for this season's Grand Bayou Race Series.

Talking with the other drivers, we seem to be holding our own with them on the track and we are having fun racing together. We'll run the warm-up/practice session tomorrow and Dennis will run the qualifying session as well as the heat and feature races.

View and order photos taken at the Feb. 1, 2008 Bryan Racing Lapping Day from Poupart Photos!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rolex 24 at Daytona - January 24-27, 2008

The race teams needed a little R&R (rest & relaxation), so we got together for a trip to Daytona, Florida for the Rolex 24 hour race. The trip was the brainstorm of Mark Summers (Red #88 GTO Camaro) who thought it would be good fun for a "guys" weekend at the Rolex 24-hour race at Daytona Speedway. The only problem was that Mike wasn't going without me, especially since I've been begging him for about 10 years to take me to Daytona to watch the 24-hour race from the infield. So I was the only girl - which isn't a big deal because when you race with the guys, you are one of the guys.

The players on this weekend, besides Mike and I, are Mark Summers (a/k/a Mr. Summers in the important circles), Chris Wilken (Red #01 GTO Corvette), Johnny Walter (Yellow #98 Super Production Corvette) and his son - John Walter, Robbie Poupart, three of Mark's friends who I will name by nicknames for their protection - Tater, Herm & Chim-Chim, the pilot - Ben, and his co-pilot - Jim.

Mark's "original" idea was to have everyone take the 1.5 hour flight on his family's private jet on Friday (25th) after work and come back on Sunday (27th) right after the race. Mark has a very nice, very big motor home and it wasn't long before Mike & Chris were volunteering to leave a day earlier and drive the motor home to Daytona so we would have it parked in the infield. Everyone else planned to meet at 5:00 p.m. on Friday at the airport in Slidell, LA where the jet is kept in a private hangar. Somewhere along the way, I realized part of the true beauty of flying on a private jet. No security! No luggage restrictions! No lines! No time schedules! And no one would be left behind if they arrived a few minutes late!

I was the first to arrive 'cause if anyone was going to be late, it wasn't going to be me! I met the pilot standing on the steps in the open hatchway and, after introductions, he came to my car, took my luggage and got it ready to be put on board. He instructed me to park the Corvette inside the hangar. Sweet! Secure parking for the weekend! Everyone arrived within the next 30 minutes and we were boarded and off the ground just after 5:00 p.m. We hadn't been in the air 5 minutes when I realized another great thing about flying on a private jet. No alcohol or drink restrictions! The Crown was flowing and everyone was getting pretty wound up about going to Daytona. We moved around the plane swapping seats, getting to know "the new guys" and generally cuttin' up. We were all about half hammered by the time the jet touched the ground in Daytona!

We deplaned on the tarmac near the terminal and transferred our luggage to the Ford Excursion that was waiting for us. Another car was waiting for the flight crew. I made a cell phone call to Mike & Chris to let them know we were on the ground. They saw a jet land at the time we should have been arriving and were already making their way to the front gates to meet us. We picked them up outside the gates and Robbie drove us to dinner at a restaurant highly recommended by Chris. A round of drinks were ordered along with some great food and we started to catch up on the travel stories.

We got the story from Mike & Chris about how they parked the motor home inside the track a day earlier than they were supposed to. They arrived at the track around 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning to pick up all the tickets and pulled up at the gate to the infield because they didn't know where to leave the motor home. They told the gate personnel that they weren't sure where they were supposed to park, but "Mr. Summers" told them to bring the bus to the infield. When asked as to Mr. Summers' whereabouts, they responded that Mr. Summers was flying in on his jet later that evening and they had instructions to have the motor home set up and waiting for him. The attendant then ordered them to follow him and to park exactly where he told them and to stay put. They were then promptly escorted to a very nice spot in an area that had the hairpin on one side the the high banks on the other. Mr. Summers must have some clout!

After dinner, we made a fast run through the grocery store to get additional items for meals, snacks and drinks followed by a stop at a liquor store. Some members of our group don't remember being in the grocery store and I'm not sure they remember being in the liquor store either! The next stop was the hotel near the track where most of the group got dropped off. Chris then brought Mike, Robbie & I to the motor home inside the track. He would be back in the morning after breakfast. Being too excited to rest, the three of us walked all over the infield getting the "lay of the land" checking out where everything was located and seeing the campfires being stoked by other campers trying to keep warm. It was well after 1:00 a.m. before we settled down in the motor home to get some sleep. I was too excited and kept looking out of the window near the bed from which I could see the ferris wheel and other rides in the infield that stayed lit up all night. In total, I took several little naps that only added up to a couple of hours of sleep that night.

It was very early (before 7:30 a.m.) on Saturday morning when there was a knock at the door from Chris, Johnny & John. They got an early start and had breakfast while Mark and the rest of the crew were still passed out in their hotel room. Chris went back out a little while later to pick up Mark and would go back out of the track again around 11-12:00 to get the rest of the guys and shuttle them back to the motor home. We walked all over the grounds and garage area. All qualifying and practice sessions were completed on Friday and they were just making last minute adjustments prior to going to the grid pre-race. We went to the Fan Zone and also checked out the other infield displays by Pontiac, Toyota and Mazda.

There was a short exhibition race of the historic cars prior to the pre-race festivities that started at 1:00 p.m. The Daytona Prototypes (DP) and Grand Touring (GT) cars, 66 in all, rolled out of grid at 1:30 p.m. with an overhead fighter jet fly-by after the national anthem was sung. I filmed the start from the top of the motor home while others went to the International Corner to shoot photos of the cars on their first time by in a group. It was AWESOME! The atmosphere was super-charged! We whooped and hollered from the top of the motor home.

The next 24 hours were spent watching the most exciting racing I've seen in a long time. We watched from the stands, from atop the motor home, from behind the hot pits, and anywhere else we were. The race was on the big TV inside the motor home and on the smaller TV that slid out from one of the outside storage compartments. And, needless to say, we drank - a lot! Tater cooked some hot dogs & brats on the grill on Saturday afternoon and I whipped up a big pot of jambalaya for Saturday night. Before dinner, Chris, Robbie & I rode the ferris wheel which gave a great view especially when the operator stopped us at the top. Then we rode a wild ride that moved like a pendulum and spun us around in the process. Who was it that screamed like a girl?! We were dizzy when we got off which is why we rode before dinner! Ben & Jim (pilot & co-pilot) also came by to visit us, eat some jambalaya and watch a bit of racing.

Around 11:00 p.m., Mike, Robbie, Johnny, John, Mark and I walked over to the garage area. Things were hopping! Several teams came into the garage to make repairs that could not be made during a pit stop. The DP cars were doing all sorts of work. We watched the Kodak team change an axel shaft and hub. The Lowes/Gainsco team changed a gear set. We watched as several of the GT Porsche teams came in for service. The high-buck teams replaced major parts in a matter of minutes while the low-buck teams removed the broken parts, repaired and replaced them. The DP car sponsored by Dress for Less came into the garage with a broken rear differential. Unfortunately, they were now out of the race because the crew had no parts to change or make a repair.

It was early in the morning hours when everyone who had not gone back to the hotel was finding a place to settle down for the night. Soon it was "snoresville" and everyone was sleeping but me. I was just too excited to sleep! I wanted to go back outside, but it was very chilly and damp and then a short hard shower came down. No matter, I curled up on the sofa in the front of the motor home by a window where I could see a little piece of the track and the cars going past. I kept thinking, "I'm missing it! I'm missing the racing!" I stayed awake all night looking out of the window occasionally dozing for a few minutes here or there. Chris came by early and picked up Mark for breakfast. I grabbed about an hour of sleep from about 6:00-7:00 a.m. before getting up to fix some coffee and "fast food" breakfast.

Once everyone had showered, checked out of their hotel and returned to the track, we walked through the infield back to the garages to see what got destroyed during the night when we weren't watching and who was out of the race. We browsed the souvenier trailers and bought some shirts and stuff. Our ticket package gave us a free Rolex 24 hat which was cool.

We watched the last couple of hours of the race from the stands at the hairpin. It was exciting 'cause it was a good passing zone if the cars stayed on the track. The cars were filthy dirty, some were barely running and either missing body parts or the tape that was holding parts on was flapping in the wind. The Telmex team of Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas/Juan Pablo Montoya/Dario Franchitti won for the 3rd time in a row in the DP Lexus Riley. Second place went to the Lowes/Gainsco team of Jon Fogarty/Alex Gurney/Jimmy Vasser/Jimmie Johnson driving a DP Pontiac Riley; and third place went to the team of Ryan Briscoe/Helio Castroneves/Kurt Busch driving a DP Pontiac Riley sponsored by Toshiba. The GT class was won by the Castrol/Mazdaspeed Mazda RX-8 team of David Haskell/Sylvain Tremblay/Nick Ham/Raphael Matos that also placed 9th overall. Actor Patrick Dempsey (from Grey's Anatomy) was driving a GT Mazda RX-8 sponsored by Hyper Sport/Sobe Life Water that finished in 39th position but was still running at the end of the race.

It took only 30 minutes to pack up the motor home and get ready to pull it out of the track. We took a few photos before we piled into the Excursion to head for the airport with Chris & Mike in the motor home behind us. The trip home on the jet was pretty quiet. I think everyone was pretty wiped out but still smiling from ear to ear. We left the Daytona Airport around 3:00 p.m. and I was home in my jammies ready for a long nap by 5:00 p.m. Mike didn't get home until after midnight after co-driving with Chris to bring the motor home back.

What a great trip! A huge "THANKS" goes to our friend and teammate, Mark Summers, for inviting us on a first class trip - its the only way to go!

Check out the slideshow over on the left of the page. It is only "some" of the photos taken by Johnny Walter and Mike Poupart.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Gros Maintains Yellow Bracket Lead!

Like the Bowl Championship Series, it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you're there. Dennis Gros, driver of the #02 BCI / Mike Poupart Motorsports Corvette maintains a 7 point advantage over second place Paul Donovan. Kevin Romano, after making changes to his car, has moved up a class and will no longer be in yellow bracket contention.

Gros, who shared his driving duties with new teammate, Patty Poupart, was unable to take the feature race green flag due to a transmission failure. As is his demeanor, Gros took it in stride and is optimistic that the bugs will eventually get worked out. “This one was not for lack of effort,” said teammate/owner, Chris Wilken.

The team's next outing is a test session and series race on February 1 and 2, 2008.

~Staff writer

Monday, January 7, 2008

GBRS Event #4 - Jan. 6, 2008

"It’s great to be one of the drivers again!"
That's what I told Mike as we were getting ready to go to the track on Sunday morning. I was a little sore in the shoulders and hips, but I didn't care. I was going to drive the race car again today!!

In trying to diagnose the sputter the car developed on Saturday, it was decided that we'd throw all we could at the car and, hopefully, the issue would resolve. By the time Dennis arrived in the morning with a rotor, cap and wires, Mike had all the old stuff off and was ready for the replacement parts. Meanwhile, Chris was at the rear of the car taking apart the fuel filter in the gas tank. Feeling a little left out, I cleaned the windows and got the seat ready.

The call for the driver's meeting came. I filed into the driver's lounge with everyone else just like I always do, except I went to the back of the room behind the other drivers. When they asked for a show of hands of new drivers, I didn't put mine up. I was hoping no one would notice that I would be driving. I was only going to run the warm-up/practice session in the bracket group and there was no need for a fuss. Ya know, I've listened to the driver's meeting speech many, many times before, but this time I paid very close attention to all of the details.

The bracket group is the 2nd group out on the track in the morning after the driver's meeting. I was determined NOT to miss the start of the session this time, but somehow I did. I was already suited up when the 5 minute warning was announced. I got in the car and had a little trouble getting the belts buckled. By the time I got to the grid, everyone was gone! I knew I wasn't early, but I couldn't believe I was late! I later learned that the grid chief was making the 1st call only 5 minutes before the session was to go on track. I waited in grid at pit out because the entire field had just taken the green flag and I didn't want them to be chasing me into turn 1 with cold tires and brakes. That scenario had a high possibility of being very messy.

So I went out behind everyone and let them speed away while I got things warmed up. Mike gave me words of warning. "Do NOT go through turn 1 at speed the first time after you take the green flag." And I didn't. The car still had a little shimmy at full throttle on the front straight. As my helmet shimmied with the car, my eyes had trouble focusing on the orange cone on the wall for my brake zone. A few times I hit the brakes a little early so I would be able to make it through turn 1. I did get to race by myself for several laps before the faster racers caught me and began to pass. Speaking of passing, I did notice the "faster traffic approaching" flag several times during the session. Heck, I was surprised that I even noticed the flagging stations!


Being in traffic and being passed didn't bother me. Actually, I thought I handled all that rather well. Haven't you ever been in morning traffic with 17 other frantic drivers who would pass on the shoulder or blow through school zones and red lights just to make it to work on time?


As I ran down the front straight on the final lap and saw the checkered flag waving, I took a deep breath realizing that (1) I drove for an entire session; (2) I didn't go off track or damage the car; and (3) I didn't get passed by every driver that was on track with me. It was also great fun to wave to the corner workers from the driver's seat and thank them for the job they do. I've been out there to man the flags and know how important it is for them to be there.

Pulling up in the pit area, I couldn't wait to get out of the car and celebrate my mini victories. After debriefing with Mike & Chris, a few of the other drivers came up to find out that it was me in the car. I guess they didn't notice the blue "x" on the back of the car and thought it was the regular driver of the #02 Corvette, Dennis Gros, who runs the car in the yellow bracket. A few apologized for buzzing me so close in the turns, that they would have given more room if they had known it was me. The apologies weren't necessary. I didn't want to be treated any differently. When the times were posted for the practice session, I had one more little victory to celebrate - I wasn't the slowest one on the track! My fastest lap time was a 1:36.567 which placed me 17th out of 18 drivers.

In spite of the issues with the car on Saturday, which we cured, I felt the car ran great and would be fine for Dennis for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, the car developed a couple of new issues after practice on Sunday. The radiator cap leaked. We fixed that. We ran over a piece of debris and cut a tire. We fixed that. Ironically, the debris was our own radiator support bracket. When we went to the driver's lounge to see what it was and who was going to claim it, Dennis recognized the part. We quickly grabbed it and snuck back to our pit before anyone noticed! Then the transmission failed and refused to go in a forward gear and the car didn't make it off the grid for the feature race. Since they probably wouldn't let Dennis run backwards, we were done. Dennis was leading in the yellow group and should be able to recover over the next two races to retain his points lead.

This whole weekend was the most fun I've had on 4 wheels in a LONG time! I can't thank Chris Wilken enough for the opportunity to drive his car and Denis Gros for sharing his ride time with me. I'm looking forward to the next practice day to get some more seat time and work on my lines, cornering and speed.

Still grinning from ear-to-ear!
~Patty Poupart

View and order photos taken at the GBRS Event #4 - Jan. 6, 2008 from Poupart Photos!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Bryan Racing Lapping Day - Jan. 5, 2008

Three words - "What a blast!"
That's how I would describe my initial seat time today in the BCI Motorsports #02 Corvette at No Problem Raceway. I was pretty nervous at first since I was driving someone else's car and didn't want anything to go wrong. After all, Dennis Gros, who is the regular driver in the Grand Bayou Race Series, is still running for series points and I didn't want anything to mess that up for him. I think I actually had a mini anxiety attack while I was suiting up before my first session out in the car. I kept reminding myself to 'breathe.'

We actually missed the first session for the the group I was scheduled to run with. We had trouble getting me high enough in the car and getting the seat belts adjusted properly. After getting in and out of the car at least six times, unbolting the seat from the floor to access the sub belt, trying two different seat inserts and borrowing a towel for added padding, I finally found the magic combination to fit comfortably in the car.

I drove the car around in the pit area before heading for the grid. My initial goal was to get a feel for the car and see how it handled. As I pulled up to the line and waited for the signal to enter the track, Chris Wilken (the car owner) comes over to the car, leans in towards the window net and tells me that the tires are "Flintstonian" so be prepared to run on old hard slicks. Great - not like I wasn't nervous enough!

After a few laps, I came in to let Chris and Mike check the fluid levels and temperatures and went back out for a few more laps. The car sputtered a bit here and there and, since I didn't want to push it too hard without letting the guys check it out, I came on it and called an end to that session. I was a bit shaky getting out of the car, which I sort of expected. The car is loud compared to other cars I've taken around the track at NPR and gives a false sense of going fast just because it is loud. Actually, I wasn't going that fast - not yet anyway.

The passenger seat was bolted in so that Mike & Chris could ride with me on track and critique my driving lines and braking zones. We had a few little mechnical issues that were worked on throughout the day. Later, brake pads were changed and the "big" tires were put on. Having sticky tires and knowing the brakes were fresh gave me a lot more confidence and I started going faster.

Having two people that I respect with varying driving styles work with me was very special. With Mike & Chris you get compliments and critisism all coated with a good dose of teasing. Mike drove with me as a passenger for several laps. Chris went out in the same session in the red #01 BCI Motorsports Corvette to do a bit of lead/follow with me. Chris rode with me in the last session and teased that he had time to get out for a burger when I went through turn 3 and, after he gently grabbed the steering wheel to pull me closer to the wall on the front straight, I got closer on each successive lap. Tom Walter later told me he put a stop watch on me and I had gone from very slow mid 1:40s in the morning to consistent 1:36s by the end of the day. All in all, I got high marks from my instructors and lots of support and compliments from the other racers and course workers who were watching.

The ear-to-ear grin on my face at the end of the day was well worth it for everyone. I even did a little dance 'cause I passed two people in the last session. It really is the little things in life that make it all worthwhile! I'm looking forward to running one more session in the car tomorrow during the red group practice/warm-up of the Grand Bayou Race Series.

Thanks to Chris Wilken for giving me a great day in the race car and to my loving husband, Mike, for supporting me, for working hard on the car and with me so I would have fun, and for picking up the camera and taking some photos of me racing! You guys are great! I also want to thank my friends, Meg & Karl, for coming out in the morning to give moral support for my first session in the car. It was great to have them there!

View and order photos taken at the Jan. 5, 2008 Bryan Racing Lapping Day from Poupart Photos!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Press Release

Contact: Chris Wilken Director of Race Operations for BCI Motorsports
Phone: 504-616-3064 (cell)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9 A.M. CDT, December 4, 2007


LOCAL ROAD RACING TEAM ADDS DRIVER

BCI Motorsports announces the addition of Patty Poupart as a practice/warm-up driver in the #02 Corvette for the remaining three races of the 2007-2008 Grand Bayou Race Series held at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, LA. Poupart will provide driver support to regular series driver, Dennis Gros.

Chris Wilken, Director of Race Operations for the team which is sponsored by Buckeye Contractors, Inc., finalized negotiations for driver and mechanical support with Mike Poupart Motorsports late Monday. Financial details were not released.

A three-time SCCA Solo2 National Champion, Patty has been racing since 1987. Her SCCA championships were captured in the B-Prepared class driving a race-prepared Corvette built and maintained by local race car fabricator, Mike Poupart Motorsports. “I’m very excited about this wonderful opportunity to be affiliated with BCI Motorsports and am looking forward to contributing whatever I can to their team,” said Ms. Poupart.


-End-

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome!

Happy New Year and Welcome to our Blog! Can you believe that the year is 2008?! Mike Poupart Motorsports is movin' up in the technological world and we thought it would be fun to start a blog so that we could throw out thoughts, racing stories and progress reports as they come up. If you have any comments on something we post, please feel free to do so.

We'll be catching up with comments and posting photos from the first few events of the 2007-2008 Grand Bayou Race Series as soon as we can. Life got pretty busy with getting the gig of being the official photographer of the Mardi Gras Region Porsche Club's Blastin' on the Bayou event the week before Thanksgiving. Creating and mailing the photo disks was very time consuming, but it was a successful event for Poupart Photos.

We got a nice offer to help the BCI Motorsports team with some practice and testing, which means a bit of seat time and some fun for us! We'll keep you posted on the progress there.

As the new year was approaching, we figured it was time to get to work on making some serious changes to our web pages. Web design and maintenance involves quite a bit of work and I learn something new each time we do some major changes. We still have a lot of ideas that we hope to implement soon. So, if you want to stick with us, just buckle yourself into the passenger seat and hang on. We promise it'll be a fun ride!

T-Shirts For Sale!

These t-shirts are printed with our logos. The cost is $10.00 each for the short sleeve Aggressive t-shirts and $15.00 each for the long sleeve Mike Poupart Motorsports shirts - plus shipping of $4.00. You can order via e-mail and we accept money orders and Paypal.

#AG1005 - Aggressive Logo Front - 100% Cotton - Ash with Black/Red Silkscreen Logo or Brown/Green/Silver Silkscreen Logo - Sizes L, XL, XXL (Back of Shirt is Blank) - $10.00

#MPM101 - Mike Poupart Motorsports Logo Left Chest - 100% Heavy Cotton - Navy Blue with Embroidered Logo - Sizes XL, XXL (Back of Shirt is Blank) - $15.00

(Photo to be added)