About Raphael

About Raphael


Born on July 5th, 2001in St-Joseph-de-Beauce, Quebec, Canada, Raphaël Lessard is one of the hottest prospects in auto racing today.

In 2013, Raphaël made his debut as a race car driver, first in the Amateur Sport Compact class (formerly Kamikazes) and he participated in a few races in the Sport Compact Elite class at his local tracks. At the age of 12 he became the youngest driver in history to race in the Quebec Sportsman Series.

In 2014, Raphaël entered the Sportsman Quebec Series supported by his father who raced with him to help develop his driving abilities and made his first test in a super late model car.

In 2015, Raphaël began his first full season with PASS North in his own car. Raphaël won the confidence of NASCAR driver David Gilliland to race for his team, David Gilliland Racing, for the last 4 races of 2015 in the PASS North tour. He finished the season in 7th position with three top-ten finishes.

In 2016, his first full-time season with David Gilliland Racing, Raphaël won the CARS Super Late Model Tour championship with four wins, eight top-five and nine top-ten finishes in his No. 99 Toyota Camry. He also became the youngest Canadian race car driver to win in a USA-based major stock car series.

In 2017 Raphael, now part of the Toyota-TRD drivers development program is returning with David Gilliland Racing in his Super Late Model to race in 20 of the biggest racing events in 3 the top US major SLM racing series, CARS TOURS, SOUTHERN SUPER SERIES AND CRA-PRO SERIES. He will also do 3 races in the ARCA Series with Venturini Motorsports.

In 2018, Raphael, who is one of the few drivers of the Toyota-TRD driver development program will follow in the foot step of the other Toyota-TRD development drivers and compete in a total of 18 of the most prestigious Super Late Model races in the USA for Kyle Busch Motorsports, including the Southern Super Series, ARCA-CRA Super Series and the CARS RACING TOUR that he won in 2016.


I was impressed with Raphaël from the first time I saw him race at Speedway 660. From his on-track talents to his fan interactions off the track, he is the complete package. His quick progression up the ladder of stock car racing has not surprised me and I am looking forward to the day he is racing alongside the best in the business in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Tim Terry
Tim TerryOwner, TimsCorner.ca

The first time I saw Raphaël Lessard race was at Hickory Motor Speedway in 2016. By the time the race was over, Raphaël was in victory lane and there were fans in the stands cheering in French. That's something I never thought I'd hear at Hickory, and also a sign of big things to come for this young Canadian.

Adam Fenwick
Adam FenwickEditor, SPEEDSPORT.com

Raphaël has been one of the most impressive talents to come through late model racing during my involvement over the last decade. His drive to succeed, his friendly personality, and his ability behind the wheel create a perfect package for any car owner or sponsor. He is a rare breed behind the wheel and if everything goes right, has every bit of potential to make it to the top levels of NASCAR sooner rather than later.

Tony Stevens
Tony StevensAnnouncer & Multimedia Coordinator, CARS Tour


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