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Heart of Louisiana: Nola Motorsports

If you feel the need for speed, a Jefferson Parish auto raceway is back in business.
Published: Apr. 10, 2022 at 7:14 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - If you feel the need for speed, a Jefferson Parish auto raceway is back in business.

When Phil Daigrepont goes to work, he’s in a hurry, and he’ll hit speeds of nearly 200 miles an hour.

“Are you ready? Yeah, let’s do it. Here we go,” said Daigrepont.

Daigrepont, an experienced race car driver, takes a high-speed spin around the Nola Motorsport track in Avondale.

Experienced race car driver Phil Daigrepont takes a high-speed spin around the Nola Motorsport...
Experienced race car driver Phil Daigrepont takes a high-speed spin around the Nola Motorsport track in Avondale.(Dave McNamara)

“Already over a hundred miles an hour, 130 almost. So you want to go as wide as you can. And you want to turn into the apex, which is where the red and white lines are. You want to drift out a little bit. This is another apex right up here. You wanna take this apex right here and drift out again,” said Daigrepont.

The Avondale raceway has undergone several million dollars in repairs and upgrades as competitive events return to the Jefferson Parish track.

Nola Motorsports manager David Pace said, “We are a grade two certified track, so that, and that’s an FIA rating system that allows us to have anything other than formula one here. This one’s a lot flatter, but one of the unique things about this track is you don’t lose sight of the cars. So you could see all the turns, all the cars, so you’re never gonna lose sight of it.”

So what kind of speeds does he get on the track?

“I mean, most of the cars are probably hitting about 180 coming down the front stretch,” said Pace.

A Jefferson Parish auto raceway is back in business.
A Jefferson Parish auto raceway is back in business.(Dave McNamara)

And next to the auto track is a revamped go-kart facility. Operators claim this is the fastest cart track in the south.

“Go-karting is obviously something here that everybody takes advantage of where you can battle your best friend. And see who’s got the bragging rights at the end of the day,” said Pace.

And for more experienced drivers who want higher speeds, Nola Motorsports will occasionally host events that allow amateurs to get on the big track.

Daigrepont was asked if he wants to give a little sample of what it feels like to be in a race.

Experienced race car driver Phil Daigrepont gives a sample of what it feels like to be in a race.
Experienced race car driver Phil Daigrepont gives a sample of what it feels like to be in a race.(Dave McNamara)

“I can roll. Okay. Ready? Here we go. Here we go. Oh my goodness. You going right now? Whoa. Okay. Can I get this turn real easy? Turn here. You want break? You can definitely feel this,” said Daigrepont.

Not having to ask twice, Daigrepont pushes his car through high-speed turns, but he says, this is only half the speed of a regular race. This is him in a winning run at a road race in Atlanta four years ago.

Race car driver Phil Daigrepont is shown in a winning run at a road race in Atlanta four years...
Race car driver Phil Daigrepont is shown in a winning run at a road race in Atlanta four years ago.(Phil Daigrepont)

And here at Avondale, they are getting up to speed with a series of races already planned for this year at nola motorsports park.

There will be vintage car racing at Nola Motorsports this Friday through Sunday. For more information, click here.

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