La Malbaie (Québec, Canada), October 28, 2000.- After the summertime weather that eased competitors into the first leg yesterday, it was a whole new setup that was dealt to them today, with a severe snowstorm that fell in late afternoon and caused numerous disagreements, especially for the thousands of spectators that invaded the area.
Sportswise, the day moved by leaps and bounds with the retirement of three of the favorites and the maintaining lead of Tom McGeer, ahead of the two young Belgian drivers. François Duval, now in second place, ahead of Bob Colsoul, 3rd pushed to catch Tom McGeer on his Subaru Impreza WRX/TNT Racing. With tens of thousands of spectators, multiple Québec champion Sylvain Vincent was forced to retire because of a broken shaft after hitting a rock. He was to be the first of the three favorites to retire during the morning stages run on forest roads. Snow had not yet played its part.
Star driver of this edition, Frenchman Erik Comas was the second one to go, after an off-road sent his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4 rolling.His rally is done but the Frenchman promised to be back next year for the 2001 edition. Then it was the turn of six-time Canadian champion Frank Sprongl to go off-road two stages later. Fortunately, no one was injured.
These events helped Belgian drivers François Duval and Bob Colsoul. Duval made the most best times of the day, which is surprising since he is only 19 years-old and it is the first time that he races on gravel roads.
Besides Tom McGeer, who is leading comfortably the event, and who could clinch the national title right here if he wins tomorrow, Canadian Patrick Richard, a Quebecker residing in Vancouver and driving a production Subaru Impreza RS (a very slightly modified model) is fourth, ahead of Brian Scott and David Watts. Only 27 of the 64 competitors at the start, are still running.
The third and last leg will be run tomorrow. But, due to important snowfalls during the evening, the two forest road stages will not be run. Everything will play out on two passes of a short 6 km stage.