Carpentier could drive in Montreal UPDATE #7 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today as it was announced that Patrick Carpentier will drive in the Grand-Am race at Infineon Raceway this weekend.
08/10/06 Patrick Carpentier told autosport.com: "Yeah, it would be fantastic to be back in a Champ Car, especially at Montreal, but it depends on what the deal is.
"If RuSPORT couldn't offer me a day of testing first, then it wouldn't be so interesting. I want the chance to do a good job for them and a good job for me."
However, asked whether Montreal Champ Car race organizer Alan Labrosse has been working on his behalf to get him in the No. 10 RuSPORT car, Carpentier told autosport.com: "I think Labrosse is trying to get Jacques Villeneuve in the car, actually. Certainly it's getting the race a lot of attention having that possibility out there."
Carpentier, who has been linked with NASCAR Busch drives for 2007 also said that test sessions in Busch or ARCA cars may preclude his participation in Champ Cars this year.
"It depends what [personal sponsor] Mecachrome want. I know they're very keen for me to do Busch next year, so if NASCAR confirmed a Busch race in Montreal in 2007, then testing for a Busch team would have to take priority over Champ Cars."
06/28/06 Patrick Carpentier -- the former Champ Car World Series star -- told the Toronto Sun that the next time his home fans see him in a race car it will be in the NASCAR Busch Series. "I have had discussions with (sponsor) Mecachrome about my future and we agree it is to go stock car racing," the 1997 Champ Car rookie of the year said. The 34-year-old native of Joliette, Que., said that he also is in negotiations to race in the ARCA series next season as a prelude to moving up to the Craftsman Truck Series and then to Busch. His immediate goal, he said, is to be on the grid when the NASCAR Busch Series comes to Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve next season. "I don't want it to be just a one-off deal, though," Carpentier said. "I would like to have a program in place that would take me beyond just running in Montreal." Toronto Sun
06/25/06 The next time we see Patrick Carpentier behind the wheel of a race car here (Montreal) should be next summer, in a 3,400-pound Busch Series stock car. And that's very difficult to digest for Alan Labrosse, Carpentier's ex-agent and perhaps former friend.
Labrosse says that on May 28, Carpentier was "99 per cent committed" to slide into a Rocketsports car for the Aug. 27 Montreal Champ Car Grand Prix, a seat Labrosse had arranged for an event he is promoting. Less than a day later, hours before a meeting that Labrosse and Carpentier had scheduled with a potential sponsor, he says the driver rejected the offer.
And on June 1, the day after Labrosse had hoped to announce at a news conference that he had a third Quebecer to join Roxton Pond's Andrew Ranger and Lachenaie's Alex Tagliani on the grid, Carpentier said he wasn't willing to turn laps for an uncompetitive team, merely to sell tickets, but was seriously keen on NASCAR.
"I was told that other parties were conversing with Patrick at the same time I was," Labrosse said tersely. "That was a personal disappointment I've not yet forgotten."
Those "parties," as read between Labrosse's lines, would be Normand Legault, the longtime promoter of Formula One's Grand Prix of Canada. Legault will promote a NASCAR Busch Series race in Montreal that's expected to be confirmed soon. More at Montreal Gazette
04/19/06 The following excerpt from an article on ChampCar.ws tells how Alan Labrosse took over promotion of the Montreal Champ Car race again, and leads one to believe that he expects to be the promoter for years to come and hopes to get Patrick Carpentier a ride for this race. The untold story here is how Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerald Forsythe and Labrosse maneuvered to retake control of the event from Normand Legault who wields a lot of power in Montreal.
A month ago it appeared there would only be two races in Canada this season but that's when Alan Labrosse rolled up his sleeves.
A longtime driver agent who represented Carpentier and now takes care of Andrew Ranger, Labrosse also had years of experience managing race tracks and sanction bodies as well as a pretty impressive racing career of his own. He'd been the promoter of the Champ Car event in Montreal in '04 and knew it needed immediate attention.
"I felt it was important for the city of Montreal that we keep up with major sporting events and the Champ Car race had been a big one," said the 44-year-old Montreal native.
"When Gerry (Forsythe) and I met in Chicago, I told him I was willing to be the promoter again so here we are. I don't think we'd be racing in Montreal had I not stepped in so I'm glad I did."
Of course it's a daunting assignment. Molson pulled out as the title sponsor last November and nobody bothered looking for a replacement until Labrosse and his mighty staff of four people showed up.
"Obviously, we've got a real late start and there's so many things to do," he continued. "But I'm optimistic we'll succeed in bringing back the Canadian corporate world.
"It's going to be a challenge but that's just part of motorsports."
Not only does Champ Car have an ally in Labrosse, it's got a racer well versed in all aspects of the business. He was a multi-time Canadian champion and nationally-ranked motorcycle road racer in the USA (third) by the time he was 24 before he turned to race cars.
"In 1986 I was competing in the Canadian F2000 Championships and I remember one race at Sanair Speedway. We were the support show for CART and I won the pole and finished on the podium.
"But I got passed for second place on the last turn of the last lap by a kid named Paul Tracy."
Labrosse, Tracy and Claude Bourbonnais went to England for the BBC winter series and raced against Eddie Irvine and Johnny Herbert.
By 1988, Alan was managing Shannonville Motorsports Park and a series that ran Mosport, Calgary and Nova Scotia. He also became an agent and signed his first client -- Miguel Duhamel, one of the greatest road racer bikers of all time.
"He's still my client and we're best of friends," said Labrosse. "Miguel is amazing. He's 38 years old and still kicking butt."
That's exactly what Labrosse must do to restore Champ Car back to Montreal's radar. One of his goals is to make sure Carpentier is in a Champ Car come Aug. 25-26-27 because he reckons that's going to sell a bunch of tickets. Tagliani and Ranger are popular but Patrick "is like Elvis" with the French-Canadians.
"I'm confident I can get the race back to where it was in '04 and that's better than '05," he said. "To really re-build it, it's going to take a year or two.
"But I have no doubt we can return it to where it was and where it should be." More at ChampCar.ws04/10/06 Champ Car confirms this report: The Champ Car World Series today announced a change in the promoter for its Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford event to take place August 27 in Montreal.
Alan Labrosse will take over the duties as promoter of the Montreal event, revising his role from 2004 when he promoted the successful Molson Indy Montreal.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to promote the race again and present another international event to the city of Montreal this year,” said Labrosse. “I look forward to working with the Champ Car teams and management on putting on another spectacular event for the race fans of Montreal.” Champ Car04/08/06 This rumor is now upgraded to 'fact.' We spoke to Alan Labrosse this morning in Long Beach who informed us that indeed his company has acquired the rights to hold a Champ Car race at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal starting this year. Labrosse's company had the rights to the race in 2004.
04/08/06 We asked Kevin Kalkhoven Friday in Long Beach what was happening with the Montreal race for 2006 as it was clear Normand Legault was no friend of Camp Car and to continue with him as a race promoter would be ridiculous. He said "we should have an announcement in about a week."
Today this Journal de Montreal article says that Champ Car has essentially moved Legault aside and Alan Labrosse, who promoted the race in 2004 will take over the promotion of the event that will ensure the race continues well into the future. Kalkhoven was quoted as saying, ''There will be a race in Montreal on August 27th. As a matter of fact, there never has been any doubt about it. I know the efforts weren't there last year... we want to do a lot better job of promotion this year, and if we have to take things into our own hands, we will." Normand Legault would not return telephone calls yesterday.