Marie-Soleil shows early signs of improvement in first four races
Now four races into her first season of the Nissan Sentra Cup’s inaugural Micra Class series, Aylmer’s own Marie-Soleil Labelle (Sunny) has demonstrated considerable improvements in her young motorsport career.
Recently cutting almost 20 seconds from her best-timed lap from last year’s now defunct Nissan Micra Cup series in June 2020 – just over two minutes and 29 seconds – Sunny’s father, Maxime Labelle, told the Aylmer Bulletin he was very impressed with his daughter’s ability to overcome challenges and adapt to tough situations during her first sets of races in Shannonville, Ontario and Mont-Tremblant.
“It’s quite amazing,” Labelle said, noting that Sunny completed her quickest lap in approximately two minutes and 11 seconds on July 25. “The same car, the same track, but more training amounts to enormous success … typically people only shave around three of four seconds. This means that she got out of her comfort zone considerably.”
Remaining the youngest driver and just one of two women in the series, Sunny is currently ranked ninth out of 18 drivers in the Micra Class, while her veteran teammate with the Gilles Villeneuve Museum (GVM) racing team, Nicolas Barrette, stands in seventh.
Optimistic about what’s to come, Labelle said he’s proud to see his daughter muscling her way up the ranks and seeing her grow into a well-respected and highly-competitive driver in the series.
Most of all, Labelle says he’s very proud of his daughter’s unbreakable tenacity and never-quit mentality on and off the track.
Proudly an ambassador for Make-a-Wish Canada, Sunny says she prides herself on being altruistic and using her platform to give back to the community.
Growing up with a language learning disability, she is dedicated to helping people struggling with similar issues as hers.
As a way of highlighting useful tools and solutions to help people with language learning disability (in French, trouble développemental du langage - TDL), Sunny looks forward to featuring in a promotional video as spokesperson for Regroupement Langage Québec’s (RLQ) TDL awareness week – Semaine québécoise du trouble développemental du langage – from October 10 to 16.
Sunny is also participating in creating the second volume of a French TDL-related book titled Non aux Étiquettes to share her story and explain that she’s more than capable of succeeding despite her linguistic learning difficulties.
Authored by Martine Latulippe and Phil Poulin and published by Dominique et Compagnie, the book will be distributed in several countries, including Canada, France, and Belgium.
Recently accepted at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Engineering and prioritizing education above all, the 17-year-old lives with a strictly regimented schedule revolving around school work, family, and training.
For her next two races (5 and 6), on August 13-15, Sunny will travel to Trois-Rivières for the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières race weekend.