Brandon Semenuk scores maiden Canadian rally victory
Brandon Semenuk and John Hall drove their Subaru Crosstrek to first place in round 2 of the Canadian Rally Championship, the Rocky Mountain Rally held in British Columbia.
That was first Canadian Rally Championship win for Brandon Semenuk and a first in North America for the Subaru Crosstrek. Semenuk and Hall have been helping Patrick Richard’s Rocket Rally to develop the new Crosstrek platform.
It was Antoine L’Estage and Alan Ockwell who took a decisive lead on the first day of the event. Competing for Subaru Rally Team Canada, the pair greatly benefitted from being first on the road, facing no dust and only marginal road sweeping on the hard packed gravel roads.
However, L’Estage and Ockwell discovered a suspension problem with their Impreza WRX STI in the final stages, and attempted to make field repairs to hold together to the finish. Yet, on the final stage the suspension failed, sending the car off the road and into an embankment. Both were uninjured, but it marks their second retirement in succession.
The incident, which happened about five kilometres before the finish, gave Semenuk the overall victory.
Wim van der Poel and Bryan Lord finished second overall in their 2003 Mitsubishi Evolution 8. The crew discovered a damaged brake line during the service on day one, and made the repairs.
Third place overall went to Production 4WD winners Nicholas Spencer and Peter Brook ina 2004 Subaru STI. Although the pair took penalties on the first day, the local knowledge of these roads and smooth driving propelled them up the order into the final podium spot.
American Dave Clark won the two-wheel drive class with co-driver Jamie Willetts.
Next round on the Canadian Rally Championship will be staged in New Richmond, Québec at the famed Rallye Baie des Chaleurs, June 30 to July 2nd.