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
130 Veterans Blvd., Suite E Kenner, LA 70062

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

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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)