Jean-François Dumoulin aboard his No. 04 Spectra Premium | Bernier Crépeau Chrysler Fiat | Groupe Bellemare | MIA | Trois-Rivières Mitsubishi race car and Frédéric Gabillon driving the No. 07 Spectra Premium sister car fought their way to fourth and eighth overall, respectively, on Sunday in the feature event of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières.
Both drivers in the exchange program, organized by Dumoulin Compétition with the active support from Spectra Premium, pushed their cars from start to finish, fighting for every spot on the track and surviving eight physically contested over the 50-lap race, says the company. The show put on by Dumoulin, a regular from the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, and Gabillon, championship leader in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, was a spectacular one in the history of NASCAR racing at the GP3R.
Gabillon spun on lap 24 moving from 8th to 16th after a hard bump from a competitor. “I knew that the race was going to be pretty ‘busy,’ and that spin put me behind several slower cars. Then I hit someone in front of me on a later restart, closing up the opening that brought air to my Spectra Premium radiator. The radiator was not damaged so there was no leak and I could continue and finish the race,” said Gabillon.
For his part, Dumoulin jumped from a third-row start up to 5th, then up to 3rd, which he held on to for the better part of the race. His No. 04 racer worked perfectly, says the company, allowing Dumoulin to use his experience to fend off attacks from behind right up to the last few laps, when he lost one position, just missing a podium finish with a fourth-place finish.
”My car worked great throughout the 50-lap race, especially when fighting off typical NASCAR bumps and pushes over the eight restarts. Passing people on the tight Trois-Rivières layout was never easy but I had the car to do it! I enjoy these hard fights and we will be back for more – and for podium finishes – next weekend at Antigonish,” said Dumoulin.
Everyone at Dumoulin Compétition, NASCAR Whelen Euro and Spectra Premium went all out to ensure the sporting and commercial success of the project by creating the best possible environment and car for Gabillon to ensure the success of this first half of the exchange program.
“We are very proud to have contributed to this magnificent effort. Both drivers put on a great show, providing us with major exposure for our company and our high-performance radiator. The unique concept and construction of the radiator allowed it to survive a hard hit to the front of the 07 car. Spectra Premium radiator, Top-4 sweep for the race included Alex Labbé’s third-place finish. Everyone is now looking toward the conclusion of the program this October in Belgium,” said Jason Best, senior vice president, Aftermarket, Spectra Premium Industries.
“We are very happy and proud of this first international exchange and we wish to thank all the partners involved: Spectra Premium, Dumoulin Competition and the GP3R organization. Frédéric Gabillon showed great speed and the ability to adapt quickly to a new car. The potential for a top finish was there, but contacts are part of racing. I’m really happy about this entire operation: it couldn’t have been better and I’m really optimistic about continuing with this kind of programs in the future,” said Jerome Galpin, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series president and CEO.
The second half of this exchange program will take place over the Oct. 19 weekend at Zolder (Belgium), where Dumoulin will drive in the two-race final event of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, aboard the No. 04 Spectra Premium car.