Mitsubishi Brigade comes away with two class wins in toughest ever Baie des Chaleurs rally
New Richmond (July 5th, 2010) - The 45 teams entered for the 33rd Edition of the Rallye Baie des Chaleurs, 3rd round of the Canadian Rally Championship, will have to mind their wounds when they return home from their Gaspe Peninsula trip. Attrition was very high with more than half the field not crossing the final stripe after two days of sheer speed over the rocky and dusty forest roads around New-Richmond. The Mitsubishi Brigade had ten Lancers fighting in three classes and came out victorious in two of them.
Returning 2WD champions, Jan and Jody Zedril from Winnipeg took Group 2 class in flying colors and earned 10th place overall ahead of rally stalwart Sylvain Vincent, increasing their lead in the national standings. Production Sport class saw two Lancers leading the category with Jeffrey Dowell from Windsor, Ontario taking the win codriven by Yavor Klostranec and rookie Grant Ridell from Milton and Emily Dowell following two minutes behind in his first ever national rally. Dowell and Mitsubishi now lead the national standings in Production Sport.
Best overall Mitsubishi were Mathieu L'Estage and Yanick Napert with a seventh place. An absolutely outstanding performance considering Mathieu had to drive the Saturday speed stages with only his hand brake to slow his EVO V machine! Others finishers include Maxime Losier and Philippe Poirier in eighth, the lady team of Michelle Laframboise and Élise Racette in 16th. The event was won by defending Canadian champions Patrick Richard from Squamish, BC and Alan Ockwell in their Subaru even if they badly rolled their car in the last stage!
The story of the event was Antoine L'Estage and codriver Nathalie who encountered mechanical problems with their 2009 Evolution Lancer before the start of the event forcing them to swap cockpits to a back-up car. They nevertheless raced to a deserving 6th place with an underpowered car. Brother Mathieu regains the lead in the Mitsubishi Cup from Antoine.
"This must have been the toughest experience for our teams in the last three years. Still, we had seven entries finishing the event while more than half the field dropped out, showing the reliability of our products", said Koji Soga, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada. "We lead in two national categories and still have half the season to go to put a team on top of the overall standings."
Next event profile: Rallye Défi in September
The next round of the Canadian Rally Championship will take place north of Montreal in the Laurentians with the running of the Rallye Défi on September 10 and 11. The Défi has been the September rendezvous for rally teams for more than 30 years and always draws a large field for its two-day speed fest.