Charles Lacarre talked about his debut in the V8 Oval Series at Raceway Venray, the role of his family, his goals und how an accident changed his life
In June 2019, the 19-year-old Frenchman from Nimes made his debut in the V8 Oval Series at Raceway Venray, driving the #22 car of Bachor Racingteam. 15 heats later Lacarre already has six wins under his belt, exceeding all expectations and making a name for himself at Raceway Venray as a rookie.
Lying seventh in the Dutch championship, he hopes to find sponsorship to be able to complete the season with Bachor Racingteam.
During the WorldCup weekend at Raceway Venray ‘leadlap.net’ had the chance for an exclusive interview with the rookie from Southern France.
Chris Liemann (CL): “Congratulations on your successful debut in the V8 Oval Series! You must be happy with your results, having won six heats in succession in the meantime, right?”
Charles Lacarre: “Thank you! I am very happy for my wins indeed! Especially my win yesterday on a wet track means a lot to me, I am usually not too comfortable in these conditions. The team has been fantastic too, they fully supported me and made me feel comfortable from the get-go. It is just a downer that today I made contact with the wall twice, ultimately taking my chances of a good finish to the weekend. I still have a lot to learn, as those rookie mistakes show.”
CL: “As a rookie you had to start from the back of the grid in June and also on the first race day in July. How did you cope with it?”
Lacarre: „It really was a big challenge! Especially as the championship leading drivers start from the back as well, thanks to the reverse grid rule. But the close battles and the traffic gave me some good experience. Those first races were also vital to get used to the track and the different racing lines here. I was able to make good progress on the car’s setup with my team, too.“
Options are limited without sponsors
CL: “Your agreement to five race days with Bachor Racingteam is over with the end of this weekend [17th/18th August 2019]. What are the chances of extending that agreement, in order for you to finish the season in the #22 car in September and October?”
Lacarre: “I am hungry for more! I would love to return to the team for the remaining races. However, that is mostly out of my hand. It all depends on [finding] funds. Sadly, doing motorsport does not come cheap and I am strongly reliant on my family’s support so far.”
CL: “Your family is your principal supporter?”
Lacarre: “Exactly, my parents have been backing and supporting me from when I started and I am so grateful for that! Ever since starting with kart races, they have been there for me. They have been sacrificing everything so I could race, even family holidays.”
Rapid rise almost ends in disaster
CL: “Your parents had no history nor connection to motorsports until then. Still, you were able to draw attention to you quickly.”
Lacarre: “It all started when I was ten. I was given my first used kart, which I fondly called ‘Hold’. The name relates to the kart being old, yet always holding on to me. Together we won the first race we competed in, I learned so much in my first year of karting. In the end, ‘Hold’ and I managed ninth at the French championship race, despite the much newer and superior karts that my competitors had.”
CL: “That result must have put you onto some people’s radars!”
Lacarre: “Yes, it drew the attention of the team ‘Praga Kart France’. They signed me for the 2013 season. Going into that year I had high hopes, as for the first time I could compete with a new and fully competitive kart. Sadly, the year was overshadowed by lots of tension within the team and by struggling to find the right setups for my new kart.”
“In July 2013, I then had a serious accident in a practice run with my new kart as a result of brake failure. I suffered mostly head and back injuries, my kart was destroyed by the impact, too. Thus, the season ended right there for me, both physically and financially! It was a really tough time which surely brought up some doubts inside me.“
CL: “However, towards the end of 2013 and just shy of your 14th birthday, you were given the chance to drive a NASCAR on the legendary Le Mans circuit. Was that what made you realise that you would want to chase after a career in stockcars?”
Lacarre: “Totally! Thankfully the ‘NASCAR Whelen Euro Series recruitment program’ for young drivers enabled me to make that experience. The V8-cars have rekindled my passion for racing. The sheer power of the cars, the instinctive, pure driving – it fascinated me! The prior karting accident had put me out of action for several months and at the time it had also traumatised me. It was the NASCAR test that relighted my fire.”
CL: “Now that you have made a successful debut in the V8 Oval Series this year, what are your career wishes going into the next two years?”
Lacarre: “First of all, I would really like to complete this season, if we are able to find sponsors! Beside that it is my goal to do a full season with Bachor Racingteam here in Venray in 2020. What is possible then needs to be seen. For sure I would love to start in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at some point. Who knows, maybe even together with my current team mate, Philipp Bachor [laughs].”
“My biggest wish is though to make the big leap to the United States! After already gaining some NASCAR experience at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2016, I cannot wait to get back to the States!“
At Raceway Venray, the last two race days of the V8 Oval Series season will take place on 29th September and 27th October 2019. On 29th September there will also be the race for the prestigious EuroCup title. It remains uncertain at this point whether Lacarre can secure the needed sponsoring package to see the remainder of the season with Bachor Racingteam and the number 22 Chevrolet.