September 7, 2010 (Francais)
The Montreal race went by way to fast but what a great weather we had for the race. No rain this time! I contested my second race in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series in Montreal. This made me fall in love even deeper with the series and the stock car in general. I didn't want the weekend to end!! My weekend started with an appointment with Dr Sylvain Guimond on Thursday before the weekend to check my shoulder. I am really grateful that he took the time to see me with his very busy schedule. Dr Guimond worked in the past with many athletes such as Tiger Wood and Mario Lemieux. We had the opportunity to sit and talk about sport psychology. It was really helpful to understand how get in the "zone" quickly and to focus on the race itself despite everything that's going on. Friday morning started for me at 4am, as I had to get to the track for the "Salut Bonjour" TV show. I was a little nervous because the show is live but I followed Dr Guimond's advice; I stayed calm and everything went very well. The day continued with a series of interview, photos and in the afternoon, I took part in the autograph session with other Quebec drivers such as Jacques Villeneuve, Patrick Carpentier and Andrew Ranger. It really was an amazing experience to be sitting at the same table as them and to meet hundreds of race fans! Now let's go racing!
Saturday's first practice session ended little early for me as we had little issue with air in the brakes system, and then the transmission broke. The guys fortunately had the time to change the gearbox before the qualifying session. Unfortunately, that put me at the bottom of the qualifying order. Not ideal. My first timed lap -- on cold tires -- was okay but I knew there was more to come from the car and from myself. On the next lap, I got stuck behind a slower car. I expected to pass him as soon as possible. I managed to get in front but then the yellow flag came out. I had done just three laps and that was it! That gave me the 28th spot of the starting grid for Sunday's race. However, I felt good about the changes we made to the car, I was ready for action and so excited to get going. Green green green! I had a great start and passed a few competitors despite running on cold tires. Maybe because we were racing in front of the Nationwide crews and drivers, I found that the other drivers were pretty aggressive. It was pretty wild out there! On lap 4, coming into the last chicane (the infamous Quebec wall), I turned in but the guy behind me did not, went straight, and pushed me onto the green area outside of the race track. I had to get in action at the back of the pack. A yellow came out few moments after the incident and that bunched up the field, luckily. Back to green. I caught a rival who had no intentions of letting me by despite the fact that I was faster. This driver started doing dangerous moves for almost an entire lap. These moves could have taken both of us out of the race. My blood was just boiling. After the hairpin, on the long straight, I tried move ahead to this competitor who started moving to the right towards the concrete wall to not let me pass by. I back off a bit; we touched and the other car spun out. It was a crazy race, and by then my car started to be difficult to drive. But I badly wanted to get to the finish. Near the end, another full course yellow bunched up the field with just three laps to go. At the restart, I got squeezed in the middle of two cars and there was nowhere to go. The car on my left hit my front suspension, bending some components. I restarted the engine and I could hear the crowd yelling so loud for me! Unfortunately, my Dodge was badly damaged and impossible to drive. I drove back slowly to the pits and sadly retired. But Montreal was a really fantastic experience. I must admit it takes a lot of guts for a woman to succeed in motorsport. But don't worry, as I have guts, I took my place and I am determined to make it work!! On a final note, I managed to collect $5,000 for the Breast Cancer Foundation of Quebec, a foundation I want to support as best as I can. I want to thank the Dodge Dealers of Quebec to put me in the No. 10 Dodge in these two races and help this important cause.
Thanks for reading. Take care. Maryeve
August 16, 2010 (Francais)
Phew! I just had my first taste of stock car racing in the streets of Trois-Rivieres at the prestigious Grand Prix. Being born in nearby Sorel, it was really great to race in front of the members of my family, my friends and my fans.
It was my first race in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series. I was driving the No. 10 Dodge sponsored by the Dodge dealers of Quebec. From the first laps on the twisty street circuit, I saw how the handling and the raw power of the Dodge were enormously different from the light, fragile but nimble formula cars I am used to!
Practice went okay. I spent the time getting to grips with the car and learning the corners. Things got a little more complicated in qualifying as a faulty spark plug wire caused the engine to run on just 7 cylinders instead of 8. I also encountered traffic on my quick lap and I had to be content with 27th place on the grid. I must admit I was a bit disappointed. But I knew I was to be a long race with several yellows.
It was a great experience. I learned so many things in just one race! I believe that without the two pit stops during the race, we might have been able to achieve a top 10 finish.
We found a great set up, good speed and my team did a great job, and the car felt great.
I pushed hard after the green to gain a few spots. Unfortunately, after just a few laps, the same spark plug problems reappeared. I'm glad I was able to detect it quickly. We pitted under the green, got it fixed but that put me back at the back of the pack. I lost the position I gained prior to the pit stop…
I went through a lot of action during the race and I loved it!
I then came up to pass a slower car for position. That guy blocked me for an entire lap! I was faster but could not get by him! In a formula race, the officials would have flagged and penalized a driver like that.
Going into a corner, he over braked. I got bumped little and I bumped him, bending my front hood. I could not see where I was going for the rest of the lap! Unfortunately, no caution came out and I was forced to pit under the green for quick repairs.
I was happy that we won the VTECH Award given to the driver that logs the highest race finish after the free pass. Of course, I was upset on lap 38 when a competitor bumped me, causing me to spin and losing my free pass. That was a shame because I left him plenty of room to drive around me. But I'm getting to know every competitor and it’s part of racing a new series.
I eventually finished the race in 19th position. It was really great! I truly enjoyed myself and like I said, I learned a lot. After 43 laps of hard physical driving, I must admit I didn’t want to stop! It found the race was too short! I believe my hard physical training with Simon Hayes at Performance Physixx during the last six months definitely helped me immensely.
Now I have a lot of confidence going to Montreal. I broke the ice and took Trois-Rivieres as a great warm up. Let’s go racing!
See you in Montreal for my next race in the No. 10 Dodge!
March 23, 2007
I hope you are as much excited as I am about the new racing season.
I created a diary page to keep you updated on my latest news. I
apologize for not having answered all your questions lately. For
that reason, I will be putting some of your questions on my diary
page. So don't be shy to ask me whatever you are curious to know.
are some details about my last races at Infineon Raceway in February.
It was a big weekend for me at Infineon Raceway, competing in the
Pro Mazda series. I knew they were going to be though races, because
all those guys have been testing and lapping this technical track
for more than 100 times.
In comparison, I'd never drove the track aboard the Pro Mazda car.
just one day of testing this past winter, so that put a lot of pressure
on myself to try to have a good race and absorb a lot of information
Friday, we started the weekend by making some adjustments to the
car such as fitting me snugly, adjusting the seat, the pedals and
the steering wheel. Despite the team's efforts, the pedals and the
steering wheel remained a little to far away for me but I had to
be content with it.
Originally, we were supposed to test the week before the race but
the weather was really bad, so we forced to cancel it.
race started out hectically...
Just before the start of the race, we faced some issues with the
throttle. The spring throttle came off twice during practice and
qualification and unfortunately, the throttle cable broke during
the warm lap of the first race. That ended up my day quickly. :(
Sunday morning, I messed up my qualification run when I spun. I
had to go back to the pits to have the car checked and that put
an end to my qualification attempt. I may have put too much pressure
on my shoulders and tried to rush things a little too much, but
I guess it comes down to getting more experience.
I was really nervous for the start of the race. I knew I only had
a few laps of practice while those experienced guys were really
ready. Eventually, I felt good. My concentration was good and I
was finally focused on driving well despite the difficulties. I
had a clean start. My lap times were good and consistent, still
trying to figure out the quick way around this difficult racetrack.
But I put all this behind me and I drove as hard as I could. During
the entire race, there were no places for making mistakes. One competitor
I had passed on the first lap remained glued to my rear wing for
the whole race. He was really consistent and wasn't doing any mistakes.
Since there were no corner cautions or yellow flags for the whole
was really intense and Infineon Raceway is a really difficult track
physically. I was glad to feel the efforts of my physical preparation.
the last lap of the race, I made a driving mistake in corner 9A.
My pursuer moved ahead of me in the hairpin corner, the last corner
of the last lap. In my head, a voice shouted "There's NO WAY
he's going to beat me on the last lap! After all that fighting,
I don't want to end up after him".
I managed to pass him back on the inside. I got him on the line!
It was a photo finish final. It was so intense! I loved every moment
of it. I remember hearing in my headset
"Good job! I love your style" after that pass in the last
I was happy! We had such a good battle between the two of us. I
think we were the action of the race on "How those two will
end up?" I though he was really kind. He came to me after the
race to shake hands and he said, "You are a really consistent
driver. Congratulation!" Respect. I finished the race in 8th
place after having started 11th.
was my weekend and I can't wait to go back in action. If only I
could get just a few more days of testing before the next race,
to work on myself and learn more about the feel of the car, then
I could be at 100%. We all know that, but it's my thing, rushing.
like the Formula BMW races I did last year. I jumped in the car
for the first time in Montreal during the weekend of the Canadian
Grand Prix. I had not tested the new car the team had just purchased,
fitted with my teammate's old engine. I wanted to do these races
so badly. But on the first day of practice, I realised I rushed
thing a little too much. I had no radio communication and unfortunately,
a faulty throttle sensor made me lose 9 miles per hour in top speed
during the whole weekend. We only discovered that on the following
then, other problems appeared such as gearbox and electronic gremlins.
It was all down to small details. But due to budgetary limitations,
I wasn't able to test the car before the races. Testing would have
allowed me to pinpoint mechanical and electronic problems and find
the limits of the car.