North Saanich resident

North Saanich resident

Cormier hits 100

Cormier, 53, a North Saanich resident, drove his 2008 Porsche GT3 Cup Car to victory with his 100th race career win.

Dave Cormier is giving the young bucks a run for their money.

Cormier, 53, a North Saanich resident, drove his 2008 Porsche GT3 Cup Car to victory with his 100th race career win. Cormier competed in an event held on Aug. 6 and 7 at Portland International Raceway. The weekend proved to be a huge success for the local driver and his #24 car backed by VI Fitness. Cormier won all four races, and clinched the 2011 Sports Car Club of America Oregon PCA1 Championship. Cormier also managed to set a new track record in the PCA1 Class.

He began his racing career in stock cars 14 years ago, but really geared up a few years ago. “Four or five years ago I started pushing along harder,” said Cormier. “I was getting near 50 and I really wanted VI Fitness to work so I was working hard on branding and it got me a little more involved. Until then I did one or two races a year. In the the last four or five years I’ve made a more concerted effort.”

Cormier said racing has proven to be a good way to help promote his company. “One of the reasons I got into racing was because racing has been proven to increase brand awareness. I own all the VI Fitness locations on Vancouver Island and it has really helped build brand awareness,” he said.

Cormier spends several weekends a year racing in SCCA events and the Pirelli Cup, a semipro Porsche racing series.

While he admits he “started late” in racing, once he began, he was hooked.

“I started in stock cars on road courses in Canada then went to race school in Vancouver. A friend talked me into going with him to do it and once I started, I realized how much I enjoyed it,” he said.

In the last four years Cormier and his team, crew chief Lamont ‘Stan’ Stanley and (new to the crew) Gunter Zeiser have started in 150 races and to date, won 103. “It’s a very small team. Lots of the time we’re going into the States to race. We have nowhere near the budget of most guys running,” he said.

Some teams have several cars, motor homes and elaborate set-ups they bring to the track. “It’s just me and my buddy Stan — it’s pretty low key from our end. I guess we just have a knack for it,” Cormier said.

Along with the elaborate set-ups most of the drivers are at least half Cormier’s age as well. “It’s a funny thought, a 53-year-old — a lot of the guys are young guys, 19 or in their early 20s or 30s. Sometimes they don’t know what to make of us.”

His 100th career win was a thrilling moment for Cormier. “That weekend there were four races and we won them all.

“The thing that made it a bit special for me was that we set a new track record by more than a second — it was pretty awesome to get that track record.”

The turn workers all got out on the track and waved multinational flags to help him celebrate the win. “Really, it was the coolest thing. Every turn worker waving six flags …”

Cormier and his team have won nine SCCA championships since they started racing. “We’re leading the points with Pirelli Cup — it’s nice to think I can steal that from one of the young guys,” said Cormier.