ANTOINE L'ESTAGE AND NATHALIE RICHARD 2010 RALLY AMERICA CHAMPIONS! Bethel (Maine), July 18, 2010.- At the wheel of their Rockstar Energy Drink Royal Group Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard won this past...
ANTOINE L'ESTAGE AND NATHALIE RICHARD 2010 RALLY AMERICA CHAMPIONS!
Bethel (Maine), July 18, 2010.- At the wheel of their Rockstar Energy Drink Royal Group Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard won this past weekend's New England Forest Rally (Maine), the last round of the 2010 Rally America season. With this victory, the duo from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Qc) clinch the overall 2010 Rally America title. This marks the first time in history that a Quebec driver has won an American rally championship, a big feat for the already two-time Canadian and two-time North American champion. As for his co-driver Nathalie Richard, this is the third overall American title she has earned, making her the most decorated Canadian rally competitor in US competition.
Antoine L'Estage was contesting the full Rally America season in 2010 for his first time. Despite that, he, Nathalie Richard, and the entire team successfully finished every round of the series on the podium, with three second places, one third place, and capped off the season with victories here in Maine and in Pennsylvania last month. " I don't think it's sunk in yet. A few months ago we set out to win the championship and winning the last two rallies of the season is just the icing on the cake. It's the first national rally championship title for Rockstar Energy Drink and we're proud to give Royal Group, Yokohama, and Mitsubishi Canada another title " explains Antoine. The new Rally America champion adds : " we started the season planning a program for the entire Canadian Rally Championship and only four of the six Rally America rounds. But with the help of our sponsors and John Buffum, we were able to make it to all of the six events to go for the title. "
Coming back to the final round of the 2010 Rally America series, Antoine L'Estage explains : " this was an interesting rally because all of the front-runners had problems at one point or another during the weekend. On our end, we had turbo problems during the last two stages on Friday night, dropping us to fifth place. After that, we had to cautiously try to make our way further up the leaderboard without taking any risks. On the second last stage we were in second place when Travis Pastrana's mechanical DNF put us in the lead " explains Antoine, who ended Pastrana's four-year reign as Rally America champion.
This marks a fifth rally title in as many years for Antoine L'Estage, who comments : " we're a small team of never more than five people, including Nathalie and I, and we're battling top factory teams for titles on both sides of the border. It's fantastic to see what we can accomplish and my hat goes off to Bill Bacon, another privateer (also in a Mitsubishi) finishing the season in second place. This championship is thanks to my co-driver Nathalie, of course John Buffum, and our mechanics Paul and Mathieu. I thank the whole team, our families, and our sponsors for all their support " mentions the Rockstar Royal Group driver.
In addition to this new title, Antoine L'Estage already holds two Canadian titles (2006 and 2007), two North American titles (2007 and 2008) and twenty-two overall victories in Canada and the United States. Co-driver Nathalie Richard just earned her fifth national championship title (two Canadian and three American) and her thirty-first outright national rally victory. In 2009, she won her fifth North American Championship for co-driver.
The Rockstar Royal Group team heads to Los Angeles, California next week to compete in the popular 16th edition of the X Games on July 31st. Antoine L'Estage will contest the Rally Car Racing event as well as Super Rally, a rallycross-type event new to this year. This will be the Quebec driver's third time participating in the X Games, which will be televised live on ABC.
-source: coyote rallye