Quebec’s Richard St-Pierre made some impressive strides forward during the just past 2014 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing season…..
Competing within the very demanding Top Alcohol dragster category in a car which was formally raced by fellow Quebec native Daniel Mercier, St-Pierre’s 2014 season featured his quickest and fastest career runs and his first ever NHRA national event appearance.
The owner and operator of Atelier HP has drag racing interests that first date back to 1979. After toying with a Competition eliminator and Super Comp dragster during the 1980’s and then taking a hiatus from the sport, he made his move into the much swifter Top Alcohol Dragster class during 2008 when he first acquired a Brad Hadman-built dragster from Daniel Mericer. That was followed by a couple of seasons running that car with a supercharged BB Chevy motor while he and his team cut their teeth learning how to race it – mostly locally in Quebec.
Things then became to ramp up. During 2011 and for 2012 Richard’s team made a significant upgrade to their program when they purchased a TFX Hemi and PSI supercharger engine program also from Daniel Mercier and continued their class education with that combination. During 2012 they ventured outside of Quebec to race within the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Divisional scene attending events at Northeast U.S. tracks. Maple Grove, Lebanon Valley, Epping and Cecil County.
Following a curtailed 2013 season which saw Richard attend only one event due to business and family demands, his team re-bounded with their most aggressive season yet last year, competing at four NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional races during the summer, before capping their campaign with a solid qualifying effort during the NHRA Nationals held at Maple Grove in early October. At that race the very promising Canadian team was rewarded with some career best math – 5.478 secs and 257.97 mph – to qualify #14 at their first ever event attempt at the NHRA national event level.
“We are very encouraged by our progress last season and in 2015 we should be doing all of the Division One regional races and some out of division events,” Richard confirmed. “We also have some improvements planned – including a new 470 CID engine combination with even more modern cylinder heads. I think that once we get used to those new components — I’m confident we will improve our performances even further.”
St-Pierre added that his racing program receives a lot of valued support behind the scenes, both at the races and between events.
“Without those hard-core guys — my racing wouldn’t be possible,” he affirmed. “Serge Dufresne is the truck driver and does general work on the car, Bernard Leblanc works on the upper end of the engine and is also one of my sponsors, Denis St-Pierre, is my crew chief and does the lower end of the engine and Raymond Binette, Mathieu Daigle and Alain Daigle all play very important roles with the dragster’s drivetrain and car maintenance.”
Richard funds his racing operation as a 100% independent from his very successful Atelier HP facility which is located at ST-Lin-Laurentides, Quebec (about 20 minutes north of Montreal).
“Atelier HP is a team of four very creative guys, he added. “We are a very versatile company and almost no task is impossible. We do mostly performance and modified cars and some antique car work. We sell parts, do machine work, welding and custom fabrications. We rebuild turbochargers and superchargers and during the winter our focus is doing a lot of custom stuff for snowmobiles.”
For more information on Atelier HP visit their website : HERE
Post by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Steve Embling & Bruce Biegler