Overtime!: August 2009
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Saturday, August 29, 2009

My 2009 GP3R pictures.

It took me a week to gather all my pictures from the 40th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres but they are finally here and ready to be posted.

The whole weekend was perfect for racing fans. It was sunny and very hot for the entire weekend. The crowd was gathered on the site to take pictures of the cars and take pictures with the drivers who were very accessible this year.

The most popular pilots were Jacques Villeneuve, Alexandre Tagliani, Andrew Ranger and Patrice Brisebois. The four drivers were running in the NASCAR Canadian Tire series. Ranger took the checkered flag at the end of the weekend, his second consecutive victory in Trois-Rivieres.

I had a blast this year. I was ready to take many great pictures and I did just that. I was fortunate on a couple of occasions and the results are very satisfying. I botched only a few ones during the whole weekend.

I took pictures of the main cars and drivers of this last weekend. A lot of NASCAR and Koni challenge cars along with a few Mazda series cars and then a couple of the best looking touring cars. I even took shots of the best looking cars of the parking lot and a couple of shots of gorgeous womens that were passing by.

I am particulary proud of my pictures of Jacques Villeneuve, Andrew Ranger and Alexandre Tagliani. The trio was very accessible for the fans. I was fortunate enough to meet Andrew Ranger and exchange with him for a few minutes on Friday. The pilots were signing autographs, smiling and posing for the racing fans all weekend long.

This weekend the NASCAR Nationwide series is running in Montreal for the NAPA 200. The same drivers are present to this event along with a couple of regular Nationwide drivers such as Patrick Carpentier and Kyle Busch.

The weather unfortunatly could cause problems as heavy raining is forecasted for the whole weekend. Last year, the NAPA 200 NASCAR race was also shortened because of rain.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

2009 GP3R: Andrew Ranger wins for a second time.

The main event of this 2009 Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres was exciting from start to finish. At the end, Andrew Ranger crossed the finish line in first place and won for a second year in a row in Trois-Rivieres.

The fans gathered around the circuit were in for an exciting event as Alexandre Tagliani, Andrew Ranger and Jacques Villeneuve were respectively starting for the pole, third and fifth place.

After exchanging the lead with pole sitter Alexandre Tagliani during the first half of the event, Ranger saw Tagliani's engine fail at the exit of turn three of lap 18 and took the lead until the end of the race. Some serious pressure at the end of the race came from the car No. 95 driven by the young Anthony Simone who finished in second place. DJ Kennington finished in third place.

Andrew Ranger extended his lead atop of the NASCAR Canada championship. His closest opponent, Scott Steckley retired himself from the race when his transmission failed on lap 12.

As for Jacques Villeneuve, he wasn't able to follow the pace set by the leaders and settled for a fourth place finish. His car wasn't competitive during the restarts and forced the former Formula One champion to protect his position.

Congratulations Andrew for your second win in a row at Trois-Rivieres.

(Pictures: Andrew Ranger, Overtime!)

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

GP3R 2009: Andrew Ranger going for two in a row.

The main event of the 40th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres promises a lot of action. The NASCAR Canada race scheduled for tomorrow will be very disputed from start to finish.

Yesterday morning, I was lucky enough to briefly meet last year's winner, Andrew Ranger. The young and talented driver from Roxton Pond, Quebec looked in a great mood and in a good physical shape.

Ranger shook my hand as if I was an important reporter and once again this year he accepted to take a minute of his time to talk with me and posed with me. As my ''special photograph'' took the shot, I said: ''Second win in a row!''

By saying this, I knew that Andrew would feel a bit uncomfortable. And he did.

His victory in last year's race caught everyone by surprise. Sitting in third place for the major lenght of the race, Ranger took the lead during the last corner of the final lap when the second place car took out the leader in a desperate overtaking attempt.

The NASCAR Canada series is a very competitive one and many drivers have a legitimate chance to win it all. Winning at Trois-Rivieres in these race cars is not an easy task. You need a good starting position, a good setup, a great line and a bit of luck. Any hesitation or mistake results in a collision in the fences.

Andrew Ranger is well aware of this, he knows that repeating won't be easy, especially with the opposition this year. The pressure will be coming from both the inside and outside. The former Formula One champion and fan favorite, Jacques Villeneuve, will be seating in the Number 7 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford.

I can hardly wait for tomorrow.

(Picture: Andrew Ranger and yours truly, Overtime!)

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Friday, August 14, 2009

At the GP3R.

This weekend I will be at the 40th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.

I am leaving right now for the practice sessions and I will be on the site all weekend long. I will take pictures of this great event and I will post them in here. I should be able to post you today's pictures on saturday and so on.

I hope that I will be able to stand close enough from Jacques Villeneuve for a quick snapshot. I bet that he will draw a huge crowd all weekend long. I will probably take another picture with Andrew Ranger, the winner of last year's NASCAR Canada race.

I will also try to post as many car -and girls!- pictures as possible after this weekend.

Now if you don't mind, I have to go now. ;)

Have a great weekend dear readers!

(Pictures: The 2008 GP3R, Overtime!.)


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

2009 Rogers Cup: Honorable exit for Frederic Niemeyer.

Yesterday evening on the center court of the Uniprix stadium in Montreal, Frederic Niemeyer played a very good match versus Roger Federer. An honorable 6-7, 4-6 loss to the number one player in the world.

Only a handful of points separated the two players during the lenght of this match. Niemeyer who will retire at the end of this season, probably played one of his best match in career. Both players exited the stadium under a standing ovation given by the spectators who filled the center court to capacity.

Federer had very good words for his opponent as he said that the match was played at a very high quality level. Roger had to give his best on important points during the second set. A couple of spectacular shots were made by Federer to finally break Niemeyer's serve at the seventh game of the second set.

Federer will continue his march towards the title tomorrow in his third round match. As for the second seeded player of the tournament, Rafael Nadal, his second round match is scheduled this afternoon.

(Picture: Roger Federer and Frederic Niemeyer, Canadian Press.)


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Monday, August 10, 2009

2009 Rogers Cup: Niemeyer to face Federer tomorrow.

The 2009 Rogers Cup held in Montreal promises to be an exciting event for tennis fans. 19 of the top 20 ranked players are in town to play this week.

Among the Canadian players invited, Frederic Niemeyer played a great first round match today. The fans gathered at the Uniprix stadium saw him defeat Igor Kunitsyn in two sets of 7-5 and 6-1.

In his second round match, Niemeyer will face the number one player in the world, Roger Federer. The matchup looks like an uneven one as Niemeyer is only ranked 691th in the world. But the home crowd will support him and it will probably give him a boost of energy.

The match is scheduled for tomorrow evening on the center court.

(Picture: Frederic Niemeyer, Canadian Press.)


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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Death of Arturo Gatti: Brazilian police concludes to a suicide.

The life and times of Arturo Gatti were memorable. The story surrounding his death will also be memorable as new elements of this intruguing affair were discovered in the last hours.

First of all, the most shocking news came from the Brazilian police conclusions. According to them, Arturo Gatti commited suicide by hanging himself with a purse strap. Some clear evidence on the walls are said tobe enough to conclude to a suicide according to the local police and coroner.

His wife, Amanda Rodrigues, was the primary suspect a few hours after the events, was taken in and interrogated but was released only a few hours ago by the Brazilian authorities.

The Gatti family and entourage is scandalized by the police conclusions. Nobody inside the circle of Arturo Gatti believes that the former champion would ever go down this road. Some family members even claimed that the police is wrongly protecting a Brazilian citizen from serious charges.

On a brighter side, a second autopsy will be performed in Montreal tomorrow to try to gather more details.

The Canadian Government, more specifically Minister Lawrence Cannon, asked the Brazilian authorities and coroner to give more specific details in order to sort this story out. Some clear proof that Gatti committed suicide were vaguely allegated, enough to rise suspicions on the police conclusions. Those proofs are what the Canadian authorities are looking to validate.

The re-opening of this case is imminent. The mystery fog is still very thick, twenty days after Arturo Gatti's death. I personally can't believe the police conclusions at all.

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