Canadian driver Raphael Lessard back with David Gilliland Racing in 2016

(Image courtesy David Gilliland Racing)
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Canadian driver Raphael Lessard will return for a second season of driving a Super Late Model in the 2016 CARS Tour for David Gilliland Racing.

A native of Quebec, Lessard will once again pilot the No. 99 Toyota Camry as a development driver. Gilliland, a veteran NASCAR driver, began a development driver program in 2015 to offer a path for aspiring racers to transition from Karts or Legend Cars to larger NASCAR-style race cars.

Lessard learned his lessons from Gilliland well last season, finishing seventh in the points, including three top-10 finishes in the PASS North Super Late Model Series.

“David put together a great program with amazing people and I can’t wait to start where we left off last season,” Lessard said in a media release. “I am also looking forward to continue working with my crew chief Seth Smith and everybody at DGR.”

Lessard’s first race of 2016 is next week at New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway in the 50th annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing in the Pro Late Model division.

In addition to competing on the Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) circuit (first race will be the CARS Tour 300 on April 2 at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, North Carolina), Lessard will also compete in several PASS South Series Super Late Model races.

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