L'Estage aims for second 2007 title at Tall Pines

L'ESTAGE CROWNED NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, November 20, 2007 -- Antoine L'Estage has been named the overall North American Rally Champion thanks to four outright wins in Canada and a second place in the United States (New...

L'ESTAGE CROWNED NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION

St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, November 20, 2007 -- Antoine L'Estage has been named the overall North American Rally Champion thanks to four outright wins in Canada and a second place in the United States (New England Forest Rally).

" The North American Rally Cup is a dream come true, explains Antoine L'Estage. I have an excellent score with four wins in Canada and a second place finish in Maine. These high finishing points allowed me to clinch the title before the official end of the season. It's a great accomplishment but a second Canadian title is also a huge motivation factor for us this weekend. The Coyote Rally Team only needs a sixth place finish to win the overall Canadian Championship.", adds L'Estage.

Last round of the Canadian Championship : 179 kms of speed in one day

There is only one round remaining in the Canadian rally calendar, which will decide the Canadian champion. The Rally of the Tall Pines will be contested this weekend in the Bancroft area of Ontario. The L'Estage-Richard duo could come away with another national title, making it a second for the driver and the co-driver. Already very familiar with the Ontario region's forest roads -- after winning in 2004 and again in 2006 -- the team is ensuring that everything is ready for the weekend's competition, which could see them crowned champions for a second year in a row. Once again the preparation of the Concerto Yokohama Hyundai was left in the very capable hands of rally legend John Buffum.

"Tall Pines always comes with a lot of uncertainty, namely the weather and road conditions. This time of year, the gravel roads around Bancroft could easily be covered in snow or ice. I have several types of Yokohama tires to go up against these conditions and I count on my co-driver, Nathalie, to perfectly deliver the notes that we made during the two reconnaissance passes", adds L'Estage. " At Tall Pines, it's also important to identify the spots where the ground may stay frozen, which may cause an additional challenge", comments Nathalie Richard.

Over 45 teams are already registered for this event which takes place in and around the small town of Bancroft, two hours west of Ottawa, on November 23 and 24, 2007. In total, 179 kms of racing against the clock await the participants, who will travel a total of 524 kms. There will be reconnaissance of the roads on Thrusday and Friday afternoons, followed by the technical inspection. The official start will be Saturday morning at 9am with 15 timed stages planned for the day, finishing around 10pm.

-credit: Coyote Rallye

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Series RALLY