L'ESTAGE AND RICHARD LOOK FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE WIN AT DeFI
St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, September 4, 2007 -- Antoine L'Estage and his co-driver Nathalie Richard are the favourites this coming weekend in the fourth round of the Canadian Rally Championship, on September 7th and 8th. They already have two victories each at the Rallye Defi Ste-Agathe/Montpellier and they will attempt to come out victorious once again at the wheel of their Concerto Yokohama Hyundai Tiburon, sporting a new livery in the Korean manufacturer's colours. L'Estage, the reigning 2006 Canadian Champion and current points leader, recently made his agreement with Hyundai Canada official by taking part in the launch of the new Tiburon and the manufacturer's new Performance Parts Line. Winner of the last two editions of the Defi rally, which has taken place in the Laurentians since the 1970s, L'Estage will try to complete a hat-trick and maintain his lead in the race for the Canadian title. In doing so, he will join his mentor and friend, John Buffum, as the only drivers in the history of the rally to win more than two back-to-back years.
" I'm very excited for Defi -- It's my home event!, exclaimed Antoine. There are several new stages this year, which will add to the enjoyment of one of my favourite rallies. The rally's official start will take place on Friday afternoon in Ste-Agathe and will restart in the Petite Nation region on Saturday morning. Nathalie and I will be doing our reconnaissance of the stage roads on Thursday and we will get an idea of how we will want to attack them once we start racing against the clock come Friday. Among others, there will be four asphalt stages on Saturday morning, which is a rarity in the North American rally scene. This whole weekend will be an excellent opportunity for us to flash our car's new look to all the spectators that will be in attendance and the new compound of Yokohama tires will be fantastic on the type of road surface in the Laurentians. It is important to take home the maximum amount of points from this rally -- the last two events in the championship are in B.C. and Ontario and their weather and road conditions are often very unpredictable. "
18 Stages over two days
There will be one day of route reconnaissance on Thursday, with technical inspection taking place Friday morning. The start of the rally will be on Friday afternoon with five stages taking place in and around Ste-Agathe. Saturday will be an early start as the crews head to Montpellier to set up the service area that will remain in place the entire day. There will be no less than 13 stages in the nearby municipalities of Montpellier, Ripon and Duhamel. " It'll be very different, suggests L'Estage, but always as exciting to compete in this region. "
Antoine L'Estage is the defending 2006 Canadian Rally Champion and he and his co-driver, Nathalie Richard, are the current 2007 points leaders. Rallye Defi Ste-Agathe Montellier will be on September 7th and 8th in the Laurentians region of Quebec.
Antoine L'Estage participates in the 2007 Canadian Rally Championship thanks to the assistance of : Hyundai Canada, les Fenêtres Concerto, Yokohama Tires, Energie Cardio, Libra Racing, OMP Racewear, Belle Gueule beer, Castrol Canada and MBF Racing. For more information, please visit Coyote Rallye, a source on rally and the Coyote Rallye Team.