Tall Pines Rally
Final round of the 2005 Canadian Rally Championship
Stouffville (Ontario), November 21, 2005.-- The 2005 Canadian Rally Championship will conclude this weekend with the presentation of the Tall Pines Rally in Bancroft, Ontario. Quebec's Antoine L'Estage and Ontario's Peter Thomson will be fighting hard for supremacy in Canadian rallying.
With just one round to go, L'Estage and Thomson are tied on top of the points' chart but the rules state that only the best four results out of the six events can be calculated in the championship race. For that reason, several scenarios are possible. For Antoine L'Estage, the driver of the 4WD Hyundai Tiburon the situation is extremely simple as a victory, a second or a third provides him with the title, whatever Thomson's finishing position is. However if L'Estage retires from the event, Peter Thomson, the driver of a Subaru Impreza WRX, automatically becomes champion if he finishes third or higher. If both score no points at the Tall Pines, L'Estage would win the championship based on his three wins to Thomson's two wins.
The Tall Pines has always been one of the most demanding and challenging rallies in North America. The battle for victory is always hard fought. Last year, L'Estage and his co-driver Yannick Napert won their first national rally at the Tall Pines but this year the conditions are expected to be more difficult than ever. The winding forest roads that surround the town of Bancroft, located North of Peterborough will probably be muddy, icy and sometimes even covered with snow.
Other competitors will be in the hunt for victory, including Americans Matthew Iorio (Impreza WRX), who came close from winning his maiden Canadian rally in the last three events and North-American rally star John Buffum in a second Hyundaï Tiburon 4WD . Other favourites include two former rally aces, Jean-Paul Perusse and Andrew Comrie-Picard, both driving Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions.
A two-time Canadian rally Champion in 1975 and 76, Perusse has concentrated on running the winter rallies in recent years. The return of Perusse this weekend behind the wheel of a mighty Lancer Evo 6 at the Tall Pines will undoubtedly please the spectators. Since he began rallying in 2000, Andrew Comrie-Picard is considered to be one of the most spectacular rally drivers in Canada. Both competitors can win the Tall Pines.
Jon Nichols of Quebec is the favourite to claim victory in the Group 2 class. Nichols, the driver of a VW Golf GTi will again battle fiercely against other two-wheel drive cars, including the Sprongl brothers aboard their Production 2 class Suzuki Swift +.
More than 40 teams are entered in this exciting rally, which will kick off Saturday at 9 a.m. in Bancroft, Ontario. The arrival is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. that evening. Race fans will be able to follow the event live by downloading the results from www.rallyscoring.com. The official web site of the rally is: www.tallpinesrally.com.