ANTOINE L'ESTAGE WINS PACIFIC FOREST RALLY, TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD MERRITT, BC, OCTOBER 2 , 2010 Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard (Ste-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC) took the early lead at the Pacific Forest Rally, and won the event with more...
ANTOINE L'ESTAGE WINS PACIFIC FOREST RALLY, TAKES CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
MERRITT, BC, OCTOBER 2 , 2010 Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard (Ste-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC) took the early lead at the Pacific Forest Rally, and won the event with more than a minute advantage over their closest competitors. The rally is the fifth event of the Canadian Rally Championship, presented by Subaru and supported by Yokohama.
"This was a very important win for us," said L'Estage. Counting events he has run in the United States of America, L'Estage has won five of the last six rallies he has entered. "It was a real win, fair and square and now we lead the Canadian Rally Championship. The Rockstar EVO X has been great and John Buffum has built it into an excellent rally car."
L'Estage and Richard now lead the championship by two points. The team has already been crowned 2010 Rally America champions and won the North American Rally Cup. L'Estage also won a bronze medal in Rally Car Racing at X Games.
Pat Richard (Squamish, BC) and Alan Ockwell (Toronto, ON) of Subaru Rally Team Canada suffered multiple problems throughout the rally, yet were still able to finish second overall. The two are also second place in the championship standings.
"It is good points for the championship," said Richard. "We had problems all rally but to come away with second place is pretty good. Subaru is leading the Manufacturer's Championship, which was a big goal for this weekend."
Third went to Leo Urlichich (Toronto, ON) and Chrissie Beavis (San Diego, USA). After a nearly trouble free run, the last two stages of the event threw multiple challenges at the team, costing time but not positions.
"We couldn't make it boring," joked Urlichich. "We had some throttle problems, and brake problems and a flat tire, but we had a great rally." Urlichich has also managed to put himself into the thick of things for third place in the championship.
Bruno Carré and Yvan Joyal (Laval, QC), of Team Swap Shop came to the Pacific Forest Rally in a close championship battle, along with teammates Craig Henderson and Lyne Murphy. Both teams suffered severe problems, and only Henderson was able to complete the rally, finishing in a disappointing sixth place. Two wheel drive went to Jan and Jody Zedril (Winnipeg) in their Mitsubishi Lancer. The brothers have also secured the two wheel drive championship for drivers and co-drivers as well as the manufacturer's two wheel drive title for Mitsubishi.
"We came and did what we had to do," said Jody. "There is so much to learn in two wheel drive, and it's a great place to perfect skills before moving on to the bigger cars."
The 2010 edition of the Pacific Forest Rally featured a reworked schedule with two new stages that were a hit with drivers. Nighttime stages and dusty conditions proved to be a challenge through the weekend, demanding the utmost of drivers and co-drivers.
"We're delighted with how the rally has gone," said Paul Westwick, organiser of the 2010 Pacific Forest Rally. "We had amazing conditions, and the new roads proved to be a great addition."
The final round of the Canadian Rally Championship, the Rally of the Tall Pines, is staged in the twisty roads surrounding Bancroft, ON, just three hours from Toronto. Known for winter roads and summer ditches, drivers must be at their peak in order to win the event. With tight battles overall and across classes, teams will be pushing flat out to win the title of Champion.
The Canadian Rally Championship is comprised of six events held nationwide in a season that extends from February to November. The series is presented by Subaru Canada, supported by Yokohama Tire Canada, and features contingency programs from Subaru Canada and Mitsubishi Canada. The Canadian Association of Rallysport (CARS) is the official sanctioning body for rallying in Canada.
Rally car racing is often described simply as "real cars, real roads, real fast." The all-season motorsport sees drivers and their co-drivers take modified road cars to the limit as they achieve blistering speeds over closed-road courses that typically cover more than 150 kilometers of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads. Fans can get up close to the cars in the service areas and catch all the action from specially designated spectator points located at the best spots on the route.
Full coverage of the championship will air on RDS and TSN. Check local listings. For more information: www.carsrally.ca or www.pacificforestrally.com