Raphaël Lessard crowned champion of the 2016 CARS Super Late Model Tour

Lessard concludes his season with a 4th win at the Southern National Motorsports Park!

LUCAMA, NC, Nov. 12, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Raphaël Lessard,  from Saint-Joseph-de-Beauce, was crowned champion of the CARS Super Late Model Tour on Saturday in North Carolina.  Lessard only had to take the start of the race to secure the title due to his point lead. Raphaël, only 15 years old, is the 1st non-American  to win this title since Mario Gosselin in 1997. Lessard also became the youngest Canadian ever to win an American-based stock car series.

"I cannot thank David Gilliland Racing Team enough; my Toyota Camry was once again perfect. I could have never won the championship without them, I could have not asked for better. I also want to thank my crew chief, Seth Smith, who believed in me since day 1, as well as my parents who have supported me through the years. I would also like to thank my agent Robert Desrosiers without whom all this would not have been possible, as well as Toyota, TRD, CSX, Team Coach Imaging and JBL Audio" said Raphaël.

As usual, Raphaël had a really good start, passing from the 7th place up to the 2nd position in the first 10 laps of the CSX Play it Safe 250 presented by MMIA, a 125-laps race. It is at the Southern National Motorsports Park that Raphaël started his season on April 3rd, when he finished 3rd, setting the tone for the rest of the season.

The driver of the car #99 FRL Express/Team Coach Imaging/Toyota/JBLAudio prepared by David Gilliland Racing had an amazing race. It is at lap 82 that Lessard was able to grab the pole position while having a great battle with Brandon Setzer and Matt Craig. The race went smoothly until halfway through when, during a restart, Brandon Setzer and Raphaël made contact. Lessard was able to keep the lead on Setzer and Craig.

Afterwards, it is with Cole Tim, Raphaël's teammate, that he fought for the lead. In the end, Raphaël had a perfect race, creating a significant gap between him and the 2nd place car, and winning his 4th race of the Super Late Model season.

" The start of the race went very well, the #54 car of Matt Craig was very fast so I tried to follow him and make him burn his tires. It worked since he started to slow down, and when I saw Brandon Setzer in my rear view mirror I thought it was time to pass Craig for the first place. The rest of the race went well. I had a small contact with Setzer at the restart, but honestly I do not know what happened, at least he didn't have any damage on his car," says Raphaël.

Raphaël's next race will be during the Snowball Derby on December 4th at the 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.

Raphael Lessard is returning to Montreal on Sunday evening to meet with the media on Monday morning in Montreal (10:30 am) and in Quebec City in late afternoon (4:30 pm).

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Image with caption: "Raphaël Lessard, from St-Joseph-de- Beauce, stands on his Toyota Camry prepared by Gilliland Racing, next to the CARS Super Late Model Tour trophy and the CSX 250 trophy earned on Saturday at the Southern National Motorsports Park, in Lucama, North Carolina. (CNW Group/Raphaël Lessard)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161112_C8868_PHOTO_EN_816938.jpg

For further information: For interview requests or to have more information on his media tour, please contact: Lauriane Ayivi, Torchia Communications, lauriane@torchiacom.com, Cell: 514 567 1892 ; Paul Vaillancourt III, Torchia Communications, Cell: 514 996-6224 paulv@torchiacom.com

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