ANTOINE L'ESTAGE AND NATHALIE RICHARD 2008 NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONS
Bancroft (Ontario), November 23, 2008.-- Quebec driver Antoine L'Estage and his co-driver Nathalie Richard, both from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (QC), won the 2008 North American Rally Cup in their Royal Group Yokohama Hyundai for the second consecutive year. With an equal amount of victories in the United States as in Canada, the team clinched the title irrespective of the fact that mechanical problems forced them to retire from the final round of the Canadian series, Ontario's Rally of the Tall Pines.
With two wins in six Canadian starts and two wins in four American races, the duo of Antoine L'Estage/Nathalie Richard is the only team to have won more than one rally on each side of the boarder. They, along with Block/Gelsomino, have won four rallies in 2008 -- more than any other North American team. " It's a very positive record, especially given the high level of competition in the American and Canadian rally championships this year.
Antoine L'Estage and Ken Block were ready to battle it out for the North American title amidst very difficult road conditions at Tall Pines but after Block went off road and L'Estage lost a wheel, neither driver finished the rally. Heading into the event, L'Estage had a four point lead over Block and with both teams out of the race, the final standings for the North American Rally Cup went unchanged. " The rally got off to a fantastic start but then on the second stage, we got a flat and lost a lot of time when we stopped to change it. When we saw Ken sidelined on the stage, from that point on we knew the championship was ours. " explained Antoine. He added : " we were able to make back some of the time we had lost and climbed back to second place before we lost our wheel. I would've much rather had a good fight for top spot in the rally as well as for the title -- but we'll take it ".
"It's the fourth time Nathalie's won the North American title and she does an amazing job at my side. I definitely have to thank John Buffum as well as our entire team of mechanics for their impressive work on the Tiburon before and during the rallies -- I couldn't ask for a better team " L'Estage concludes.
Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard are already getting ready for next year : " we will be back for the 2009 Canadian championship and we'll attempt to make it three-in-a-row for the North American title. " indicated L'Estage. Details for their 2009 plans will be announced in the near future
Antoine et Nathalie compete in the Canadian Rally Championship and the North American Rally Cup with the proud support of : Hyundai Canada, Royal Group, Yokohama Tires, Energie Cardio, Libra Racing, OMP Racewear, and MBF Racing. You can also visit the team's site Coyote Rallye for more specific information on the team or as a general rally reference.
-credit: coyote rallye