Last round of the 2010 Canadian Rally Championship
Mission accomplished: L'Estage and Richard win Canadian title and Triple Crown with Mitsubishi
Bancroft, Ontario, November 22, 2010 -- The 6th and final round of the Canadian Rally Championship took place over the weekend in Bancroft, Ontario, and the best team in North America in 2010 came out on top to capture the last title they were racing for: with an outright victory in the 40th running of the Rally of the Tall Pines, Antoine L'Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC drove their Mitsubishi Evolution to their third Canadian championship. They already had secured the Rally America and North American Rally Cup titles, becoming the second team to earn the coveted Triple Crown in America. They also earned the bronze at the X-Games last summer in Los Angeles.
Attrition was high this year and only half the 50-car starting grid completed the event. L'Estage and Richard took the lead after the very first stage and never looked back. Beside the Triple Crown, L'Estage and Richard gave Mitsubishi the Open class title and Nathalie takes another Ladies Cup. They win the Mitsubishi Cup for a second year.
Synchro Racing with Simon Losier and Brian Maxwell took sixth overall in their EVO VIII. Michelle Laframboise and codriver Elise Racette, the only female team to compete, finished in 14th place with their EVO IV just ahead of the American pair Demetri Andreou and Jon Dunning.
Finally, Jeffrey Dowell and Yavor Klostranec took their third Production Sport victory of the season with their stock Lancer, confirming their class championship and another title for Mitsubishi. The Ontario pair matches the feat of Jan and Jody Zedril who had already clinched the 2WD and Group 2 championships, earning Mitsubishi two Constructor titles by the same token.
"The Canadian rally championship could not have ended in a better way with two more teams of our brigade winning titles. But our leaders, Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard, are extremely deserving with their achievement north and south of the border. This is an historic season for Mitsubishi in Canada", declares Koji Soga, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada (MMSCAN). "The 2011 season is just a few months away and we wish our Mitsubishi Brigade all the best in the off-season and hope to see them back in February for the start of a new championship."
2011 Calendar: Championship profile
CARS -- Canadian Association of Rally Sport -- the sanctioning body in Canada released the 2011 calendar with the same six events returning. Competitors will take to the icy logging roads around Maniwaki, Quebec in early February. Two events will be run out West: the Rocky Mountain in May out of Calgary and the Pacific Forest in October out of Merritt, B.C. Two more events are confirmed in Quebec, with Baie des Chaleurs taking place in the Gaspe Peninsula in early July while Defi will be staged in September in the Laurentians. The season finale will again be held out of Bancroft, Ontario with Tall Pines rally.
For a team entering all events, it means hundreds of hours preparing the rally car, thousands of kilometres traveling across the country and for a driver and codriver team close to a hundred stages driving flat out.