Rocky Mountain: Antoine L'Estage preview

L'ESTAGE AND RICHARD READY TO TAKE ON THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, May 20, 2008. -- Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard will have tough competition when they take to the start of Calgary's Rocky Mountain Rally on May 23rd...

L'ESTAGE AND RICHARD READY TO TAKE ON THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN

St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, May 20, 2008. -- Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard will have tough competition when they take to the start of Calgary's Rocky Mountain Rally on May 23rd and 24th. Winner of this rally the previous two years, the defending Canadian and North American champion knows he can not sit on his heels this weekend, neither in Kananaskis on Friday evening nor in the foothills of the Porcupine Hills for the majority of the competition the following day. Their Royal Group Yokohama Hyundai benefited from the calendar's down time, receiving an engine rebuild at John Buffum's Libra Racing shop in Colchester, Vermont. The duo from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu is one of the favourites to win the rally but the team is very aware that there is no room for error.

"We know the battle for the victory will be between just a few teams and none of us can come to the rally unprepared. John Buffum has one of the best rally-prep shops in North America and the Tiburon is constantly being checked and re-checked. After the last rally, we made a few changes and we're confident we were able to improve the performance of the car.

In addition, Nathalie is a master at delivering the notes and she knows exactly how I need to hear them in order for us to go our fastest. Unlike the other Canadian national rallies, we don't get to do reconnaissance of these roads prior to racing them at full speed but between the two of us, we have competed in this rally ten times and that experience is key when it comes to the few tricky junctions. Yokohama provides us with great tire choices for any condition Mother Nature throws at us and when you put all these factors together, coming to the rally ready and well prepared builds our confidence. We've won this rally the past two years so expect to have a bulls eye on our backs this weekend. "

Two-day schedule

The official start of the rally will be on Friday afternoon as the rally cars head out to Kananaskis for 65 competitive kilometres. Spectators at Calgary's Race City Speedway will be treated to two super special stages, starting at 7pm, before the teams call it a night. Saturday will take the rally to the foothills of the Porcupine Hills for another 130 kilometres of competition, with intermittent service breaks and the podium finish at the Skyline Ranch. For more general information about the rally or its VIP program, consult www.rockymountainrally.com .

-credit: Coyote Rallye

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Antoine L'Estage , Nathalie Richard , John Buffum