Champion Download: A few minutes with Ross Chouest

Champion Download:  A few minutes with Ross Chouest

Ross Chouest was one of a handful of racers competing in both the two-driver Pirelli GT4 America championship AND solo in the GT4 class within the GT America powered by AWS championship. 

Chouest and his Choest Poveledo Racing teammate Aaron Povoledo finished seventh among the Pro-Am Pirelli GT4 teams with three podium finishes, including a win in the final race at IMS. 

In the single driver GT America series, Chouest was Mr. Consistency in the early season with four top-five finishes in the first six races, before stepping up to the podium at Watkins Glen and Nashville.  This was an ultra-close championship fight between six racers over the final four races.  After scoring points in 11 of the first 12 races, Chouest experienced his worst weekend of the year at Sebring before breaking out in style at Indianapolis for two wins and the championship.

SRO: What were your expectations entering 2022?

ROSS: Entering the 2022 season I really had high hopes to win both championships like I would imagine every other driver did.  My more realistic expectations were to finish in the top-three in both Pirelli GT4 and GT America. We had some bad luck in a few of the races for GT4 and were not able to finish the season quite as well as I hoped for. I am obviously really happy with winning the GT America Championship and all of the time and effort we put in this season made it worthwhile

SRO: What was your favorite on-track moment?

ROSS: Without a doubt it was the final weekend at Indy. Having the clean sweep in GT America and winning the championship in such a dramatic fashion at the most historic track in the U.S. was a picture-perfect ending. As a kid, I would go the Indy 500 every year and at that time I could not even imagine racing at Indy, much less winning a championship there. Aaron and I also won the second Pirelli GT4 race and should have won both of those for a clean four-race weekend sweep but we had a defective GPS unit that caused us a drive through penalty. 

SRO:  Any memorable off-track adventures?

ROSS: My pregnant wife and I were able to travel to Greece during our Summer break. We are expecting our first child in January (which just conveniently happens to be during the racing offseason!) and she has been very supportive. I was recently reading an article about the Celtics championship and Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett had daughters that year and refer to them as their championship babies so I guess my daughter will forever be "our championship baby."

SRO: What does this championship mean to you?

ROSS: This championship means the world to me. Coming in to the final weekend I knew I would have an outside chance but I knew it would be extremely difficult. Ironically the most recent championship I won before this one came down to the final race in a very familiar circumstance and I was down a few points and had to gain points in the final race and I was able to achieve that. I know how close it was this year and I do not take it for granted. I am very proud of my performance in that pressure situation but I also know it could have easily gone in the other direction.

SRO: Who are the unsung heroes who helped make this happen?

ROSS: My entire team did an amazing job all season. We had some turnover during the season but it seemed like a natural progression and I would really like to thank everyone that was part of the journey this year. I could not have done it without them. I would especially like to thank Aaron Povoledo who convinced me to start our own team during the 2021 season. I knew it would be a challenging undertaking but I put lots of faith in him and we made many calculated decisions that made the championship that much more rewarding. 

SRO:  What are your plans for 2023?

ROSS: My plans for 2023 is to race with SRO again in both GT America and Pirelli GT4. Of course, successfully defending my championship would be great but I realize how close this championship was and I anticipate it will be even harder to repeat so I will have to definitely have to bring my "A" game every event.  

SRO: Thank you Ross.