L'ESTAGE AND RICHARD HUNGRY FOR VICTORY
St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, October 14, 2008 - The championship has not yet played out for Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard. As they aim for their fourth victory of the year, with already one in Canada and two in the United States, the defending Canadian and North American Champions will take the start in their Royal Group Yokohama Hyundai Tiburon in Merritt, British Columbia for the fifth round of the Canadian Rally Championship. Currently in second place in the Canadian rankings, the duo from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, still have a chance of defending their Canadian title. The team suffered two mechanical disappointments resulting in DNFs (Did Not Finish) on their first western outing at the Rocky Mountain Rally in May and again during the last round at Quebec's Rallye Défi, each time while the team was leading the competition. With a strong finish to the season, Antoine and Nathalie also have very high chances of taking home the North American Rally Championship for a second consecutive year.
" We know that mechanical issues are part of motorsports, notes L'Estage, but when we work so hard and it's something completely unforeseeable during the car preparation process, it's even more frustrating. Right before each DNF we were leading the rally by as much as almost a minute, so it's a hard pill to swallow. All the rallies in the championship count towards the title so we now only have a slight chance at winning for a third year in a row. We hope our bad luck is over and we plan to finish the last two events in the Canadian calendar on a high note. The Pacific Forest Rally is a great event with exciting roads. We've already won here in the past and we are very confident with our pacenotes. We also have Yokohama tires that have proven to work very well on this type of surface - we have all the pieces of the puzzle to win this rally and hopefully luck will be on our side this time instead of against us. "
Two days and 154 km of competition
After a day and a half of reconnaissance, Antoine and Nathalie will start the rally on Friday, October 17th at 6:30pm for a series of competitive stages in and around Merritt lasting until 11:30pm. Competition will continue on the forest roads the following morning at 9am for another ten hours. " As is the case with the Baie des Chaleurs and Défi rallies, adds Antoine, we need to push just enough on the first day to be amongst the first cars on the road for the longer and faster stages on Day 2. We're arriving in British Columbia very confident and determined to take home the victory. " Over thirty cars are expected to take to the start of the Pacific Forest Rally. More detailed information can be obtained on the bilingual website www.pacificforestrally.com
-credit: coyote rallye