Antoine L'Estage wins the Baie-des-Chaleurs Rally New Richmond (Quebec), July 3, 2005. -- Quebec rally driver Antoine L'Estage -- who has been fairly unlucky so far this season -- took a sweet revenge this past weekend by winning the North ...
Antoine L'Estage wins the Baie-des-Chaleurs Rally
New Richmond (Quebec), July 3, 2005. -- Quebec rally driver Antoine L'Estage -- who has been fairly unlucky so far this season -- took a sweet revenge this past weekend by winning the North American Baie-des-Chaleurs Rally, Round 3 of the Canadian Rally Championship held in Gaspesia, Quebec.
Co-driven by Ontarian Brian Maxwell, L'Estage set a blazing pace from the word go. Driving a Hyundai Tiburon 4WD, L'Estage took the lead of the rally on Friday night, setting the fastest times on the dusty gravel roads. At the end of the first day of competition, he enjoyed an impressive one-minute gap over their pursuers!
On day two, Antoine L'Estage continued to push hard to maintain a comfortable lead over his rivals, mainly American Matthew Iorio and Quebecer Sylvain Erickson. At the finish, L'Estage of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, PQ, finished first with a 57-second lead ahead of Iorio. This victory puts L'Estage back in hunt for the 2005 title.
By finishing in second place aboard his Subaru Impreza WRX, Iorio greatly impressed everyone, as this was his first participation to the Baie-des-Chaleurs Rally, an event known as one of the most competitive on the schedule. Iorio followed by Erickson (who was co-driven by his daughter Chloe) fought hard all event long. Finishing in third place may decide Erickson to compete in the next event, the Defi Ste-Agathe/Duhamel Rally.
Toronto, Ontario's Peter Thomson, the winner of the opening two rounds of the season and point standings' leader before the event started, drove his Group N Subaru Impreza to fourth place ahead of a trio of American competitors. Thomson is still first in the championship standings, 23 points ahead of John Cassidy.
Frederick Labrie finished 8th and the Sprongl brothers 10th, scoring a class victory and bringing home their "skowroom stock" Suzuki Swift + in first place in the two-wheel drive division. In Group 2, Eric Lapointe (Honda Civic) and Alberta's Gord Olsen (VW Golf) were both classified in first place.
The next round of the Canadian Rally Championship will be the Defi Ste-Agathe/Duhamel Rally held September 9 and 10. Information about this rally can be found at www.rallyedefi.com. The Canadian Rally Championship is now in its 49th year of running and information about the series and other rallies in Canada can be found at www.carsrally.ca.