Oliver, British Columbia (Canada), September 20, 2021 — Jean-Philippe "Bergy" Bergeron made his first start in an Avion Motorsports RS1 stock car on Saturday at the Area 27 road course in Oliver, BC. The NASCAR Late Model driver announced a partnership with the owner of the #19 Aero Skills Tournament car, Jay Logie, in August. Under the same concept as the European Nascar races (Whelen Euro Series), Avion Motorsports offers two series: the RS1 Cup, reserved for more experienced drivers and the RS1 Challenge for novices. As in Europe, both series are run with the same cars, but with different drivers.
For the last race weekend of the season, Mr. Jay Logie drove his own car in the RS1 Challenge series, while Jean-Philippe Bergeron drove the RS1 Cup series (which also featured Quebec's Andrew Ranger). "I wanted to see an experienced driver behind the wheel of my car to represent our sponsors in the RS1 Cup series. If at the same time, I could help a young driver gain experience on the road course and contribute to the development of his career, then I'm happy,” underlines Jay Logie.
Test Drive in a Camaro
Jean-Philippe was first welcomed on Friday by the owner of Area 27, Mr. Bill Drossos, who offered him a tour of the circuit. "I was impressed by the quality of the facilities and the scenery! A race track through the vineyards is not very common,” said the driver from Saint-Donat (Quebec, Canada). The latter had the opportunity to do a few laps of the track aboard a Camaro from the Area 27 Driving Academy. Designed by none other than Jacques Villeneuve, the Area 27 road course is known to be one of the most technical in Canada. Jean-Philippe benefited from the generosity of driver Andrew Ranger who helped him master each corner. "I had the chance to drive on this track a few times this summer. It's a track that challenges even the most experienced drivers. It was a pleasure to share my experience with Jean-Philippe and I'm proud of what he accomplished," said Andrew Ranger, who was crowned the RS1 Cup Series Grand Champion for the 2021 season.
A Nice Calling Card for Jean-Philippe Bergeron in the West
Saturday's program was somewhat altered due to the weather. The rain in the morning caused a delay in the schedule and the practice session was canceled. So the drivers went straight to qualifying on their first outing. "My stress level went up a little bit when they announced that we would do qualifying first" said Jean-Philippe Bergeron who still qualified 12th out of 22 cars. Avion RS1's cars weigh 2,600 lbs and are powered by a GM 604 Crate engine. "It's different from anything I've driven before," he adds. Jean-Philippe finished 8th in the first race. On the first lap of the second race, a brake adjustment was necessary and Jean-Philippe had to enter the pits. A few minutes later, he was at the back of the pack on a restart. Jean-Philippe managed to climb back up to 7th place where he finished the race. "I was starting to adapt to the car and the track, it was going pretty well! If I hadn't had to stop for the brakes, I would certainly have achieved at least a top 5" says the driver still excited about his experience.
In the RS1 Challenge Series, the owner and driver of the #19 Aero Skills Tournament car, Jay Logie achieved his best result of the season in the second race with a 6th place finish. "This was the first time I shared my car with another driver and I'm proud of my teammate! He is a serious guy with great talent. I intend to continue to support him in his career," he said.
Next step: ARCA Menards Series
As announced a month ago, Jean-Philippe is continuing his apprenticeship at high speed, this time in the United States where he will compete in three races of the ARCA Menards Series in 2021 with David Gilliland Racing team. Bergeron will make his first start in the No. 46 Ford Fusion on October 2 at Salem, Indiana. He will then travel to Kansas Speedway on Oct. 23 and finish in Phoenix on Nov. 6.
About Aviation NETWorx and the Aero Skills Tournament
Founded by Jay Logie and ATG, Aviation NETWorX, is a continuously improving pipeline of skilled people, connects technicians and employers in the aircraft manufacturing and maintenance industry. Using a proactive approach to better identify proven technicians and teams, Aviation NETWorX is committed to the success of its partner, aviation employers and NETWorX technicians. The Aero Skills Tournament, established in 2016, showcases the expertise of aviation workers across North America, while planting the Aero Trade Seed. These trades person competition events are open to the public, help attract potential technicians, young and old, to the aviation careers, in an effort to address the shortage of skilled people. https://AviationNETWorX.com