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

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!

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(Photo to be added)