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June 27, 2012
PROgression: Lazare Strong in F1600 Championship Debut

Jesse Lazare scored an impressive two podium finishes in his F1600 Championship debut (Photo: Russ Bond)
Jesse Lazare scored an impressive two podium finishes in his F1600 Championship debut
(Photo: Russ Bond)

BOWMANVILLE, ONT. (June 26, 2012) - Quebec based racer Jesse Lazare kicked off his car racing career this weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park doubleHeader weekend at the wheel of a Brian Graham Racing Team Grote No. 21 Door Doctor Piper DF5/Honda entry.

Before the race weekend, Lazare had tested the brand new Piper DF6/Honda and was happy with the outcome.

"I am fairly comfortable in the car," Lazare said. "The challenge for me will be getting more familiar with the car, learning a new track for me at Mosport and also racing a car versus a kart."

Friday's test day was a chance for Lazare to come to grips with the historic Mosport track.

"Having the chance to talk to Kyle Marcelli and do some track driving yesterday in a street car really helped me today, so the track wasn't completely new to me. I improved every session, and I am ready for the challenges of the race weekend."

Team Principal Brian Graham was happy with the Friday's sessions.

"Jesse did well today," Graham said. "He progressed very well for his first day on this track."

Saturday's qualifying ended a little early when Lazare slipped off the track in turn three, but he still managed to put in a time that was seventh quickest. At the start of the F1600 race, Lazare settled into a pace, but unfortunately lost the draft of the lead pack. Some dnf's ahead of him elevated his position to third, which put him on the podium, but the youngster was already looking forward to Sunday's race.

"I realized what I did wrong right at the start," Lazare said, "Now I am really ready for tomorrow."

Sunday was a totally different story for Lazare. At the start, Lazare was able to hang on to the lead draft and was able to match the pace of the leader.

"I knew that it was a long race and Brian had told me how important it was for me to hang on to the lead group," Lazare said.

As the race progressed, Lazare became more comfortable and the 'karting' Lazare came out. On the last lap heading into turn three, he saw his opportunity to move up to second.

"I saw the opening and I went for it," Lazare said.

Then on the final back straight, Lazare made his bid for the lead, but he just couldn't pull it off and had to settle for second place.

"That was so much fun," Lazare said after the race. "It was a lot of hard work and learning this weekend but it all paid off. I really want to thank Brian Graham and the rest of the team for all their hard work and help. Also, I have to thank Door Doctor and my Dad for all their support. It is great to be on the podium twice in the first weekend."

Graham was also happy.

"We were thrilled with the progress he made though the test day up to the final race on Sunday," Graham said. "To be challenging for a win on opening weekend almost unheard of, but Jesse did just that and I am really happy for him and his family."

Lazare will be back at Mosport this weekend as he contests the next rounds of the ECKC championship.

Jesse Lazare is a 15-year old kart racer from Dollard des Ormeaux, Que., and he is the current Coupe de Montreal Rotax Max Jr Champion. Lazare's meteoric rise up the karting ranks has been nothing short of amazing. In 2006, as a Cadet, he was second in the Coupe Vega. In 2007, as the youngest driver in Mini Max he was the Champion in both the Coupe Vega and Coupe de Montreal. Lazare set new records in 2008 by starting out as vice-champion in the Florida Winter Tour, then winning both Honda Jr and Mini Max in both the Coupe Vega and Coupe de Montreal. He was also Canadian National Champion in Mini Max. In 2010, Lazare won the ECKC Rotax Jr championship and the Coupe de Quebec Rotax Max Jr Champion. He also was runner up in the Coupe de Montreal championship.

Away from the track, Lazare enjoys skiing and hockey, and he attends Lindsay Place High School, (Pointe Claire, Que.). For more information on Jesse Lazare, visit http://www.jesselazare.com
United States Quebec Ontario Manitoba Saskatchewan Alberta British Columbia New Brunswick Nova Scotia

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