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Portrait of a Driver: Jonathan Guitard

Not often does a first-year driver perform well enough in Pro Am to graduate to the Pro series.

This is exactly what Jonathan Guitard did behind the wheel of his Toyota Soarer. He drifted for the first time on April 27th, 2013 at ICAR. After his first Pro Am competition, he jumped right into Pro, as of the 2nd round.

Guitard raced in every leg of the 2013 DMCC Pro Am Championship, and is very proud of his 5th place ranking.

Here’s what I’ve learned about the Terrebonne driver.

Auto123: Where does your passion for drifting come from ?
JG: I was a member of Marc Landreville’s team a few years back. We’re buddies, so I was always happy to lend him a hand on race day. That’s how I discovered this sport.

A while later, Francis Tassé was looking to add a member to his team. I learned a lot while there. I got the bug from being so close to the people and the race-day action, so last winter I decided to prepare a car to run in the DMCC series.

Auto123: What are some of the modifications to your car?
JG: My Toyota Soarer was completely unmodified when I purchased it. I replaced the V8 with a Supra engine. APS Performance did all the work. The only modification on my part was the lower skirts on the rocker panels. My friend, François Tassé, helped, but I needed to do at least a small bit of work for my ego’s sake!

Auto123: What is the engine output now?
JG: The first engine suffered damage from a lack of fuel at the Ste-Croix event at the start of the season. I now have a new engine. I’ve squeezed out 475 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque running on racing fuel.

Auto123: Did you set a goal for this season?

JG: No, not really. I just wanted to qualify at each event. I’m pleased with my season. The results were quite surprising, enough to encourage me to enter the Pro category. Why not? I’m lucky to be surrounded by a great group of friends, as I don’t have any sponsors. I actually bought the car with Frédéric Marineau, who rarely drifts, so I’m behind the wheel much more often than he is.

One of my goals is to improve every time I’m on the track. The fact that I’ve participated in a number of Pro events pushed me to improve even faster.

Auto123: What are your plans for next year ?

JG: Realistically, I need to find sponsors for next season. But I’m so motivated and pleased with what went on this year that, whatever happens, I’ll find a way to participate in the 2014 campaign. I plan to participate in every Pro event next year. I’ll have to modify my car in order to get the proper front-wheel angles if I want to be more competitive. Above everything else, I want to continue to progress and improve, as I’ve done these past few months.

Jonathan Guitard
Photo: Antoine de Cardaillac