Antoine L'Estage wins a spectacular Defi!
Ripon (Quebec), September 9, 2007.- Rally driver Antoine L'Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard, both from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, won Defi Ste-Agathe/Duhamel rally in their Hyundai Tiburon 4WD. With this third straight win, they increase their lead in the championship.
An event with a long history in the world of Canadian performance rallying, this edition of Defi was nothing less than spectacular from start to finish, competitors trading places several times among the 42 teams entered. But in the lead, Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard never looked back, leading from end to end and winning 16 of the 18 special stages and finishing with more than 2 minutes over the second team.
Andrew Comrie-Picard, from Toronto, ON, and American co-driver Marc Goldfarb in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 RS, take the second place. This result keeps them in the race to the title, only seven points behind L'Estage/Richard. Throughout the event, Comrie-Picard had to resist attacks from numerous teams behind him that were battling for third place. Among the teams that made the show by trading places many times are Mathieu L'Estage/Yannick Napert (Subaru Impreza WRX) and Torontonian Peter Thomson and American co-driver Rod Hendricksen in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8. After 13 special stages, Mathieu L'Estage was forced to retire with a broken transmission, which left 2005 Canadian champion Peter Thomson to finish on the podium. It bodes well for his return to the national championship, after an 18 month leave.
Rookies Craig Henderson and Lyne Murphy, in a Subaru Impreza WRX, come in a mere 47 seconds behind Thomson/Hendricksen. Coming from Gaspesie (Baie-des-Chaleurs Rally region) but living on the Montreal Southshore, Henderson and Murphy accomplished an exceptional feat after only three national events. They finish fourth after mingling with more experienced competitors, four seconds ahead of John Vanos (Markham,ON) and Alan Ockwell (Stouffville, ON) in a Subaru Impreza WRX. Martin Gauvin and Daniel Duchesneau, also in a Subaru Impreza WRX, finish 6th and win the P4 class.
Rejean Losier/Philippe Poirier (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5), Americans Randy Zimmer/Adam Vokes (Subaru Impreza RS), Bruno Carre/Yvan Joyal (Subaru Impreza WRX) and Group 2 winners Colin Armstrong/Ryan Warrington (Volkswagen Golf), from Calgary (AB), complete the top 10. With 27 competitors finishing out of 42 starters, the event unfolded under a blazing sun and midsummer temperatures, to the crowd's content that lined the stages in Sainte-Agathe on Friday and in Montpellier, Duhamel and Ripon on Saturday.
The next round of the Canadian Rally Championship presented by Subaru and Castrol, will take place on October 19 and 20 in Western Canada, with the Pacific Forest Rally, in Merritt, BC. It will be the penultimate event of the 2007 season. The filming of the series for TV broadcasting is provided by ATV Productions. Information on the Canadian Rally Championship and the various Canadian rally competitions is available at www.carsrally.ca.
Rallye Defi final results (complete results on www.rallyedefi.com) :
1) Antoine L'Estage -- Nathalie Richard (Hyundai Tiburon 4WD) -- 1 hour 21 min. 44 sec.
2) Andrew Comrie-Picard -- Marc Goldfarb (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.9) -- 1h24'02
3) Peter Thomson -- Rod Hendricksen (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.8) -- 1h26'48
4) Craig Henderson -- Lyne Murphy (Subaru Impreza WRX) -- 1h27'35
5) John Vanos -- Alan Ockwell (Subaru Impreza WRX) -- 1h27'41
6) Martin Gauvin -- Daniel Duchesneau (Subaru Impreza WRX) -- 1h29'31
7) Rejean Losier -- Philippe Poirier (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.5) -- 1h32'43
8) Randy Zimmer -- Adam Vokes (Subaru Impreza RS) -- 1h34'07
9) Bruno Carre -- Yvan Joyal (Subaru Impreza WRX) -- 1h31'27
10) Colin Armstrong -- Ryan Warrington (Volkswagen Golf GTI) -- 1h35'00
-credit: Canadian Association of Rallysport