Large Mitsubishi Brigade will attack Perce-Neige this weekend Toronto (February 4, 2009) -- Starting the second year of its National Rally Support Program for the Canadian Rally Championship, Mitsubishi has never before been represented by so...
Large Mitsubishi Brigade will attack Perce-Neige this weekend
Toronto (February 4, 2009) -- Starting the second year of its National Rally Support Program for the Canadian Rally Championship, Mitsubishi has never before been represented by so many individual entrants and so many competitive teams for a Canadian event. The season opener for the Canadian Rally Championship will take to the logging roads this weekend with the 42nd edition of Rallye Perce-Neige in Maniwaki, Quebec. No less than 13 of the 40 entries will be competing in Mitsubishi products and 10 of the top 15 seeded teams will use Lancer Evolutions of various generations, with four of them being previous event winners. First on the road will be defending North American champion Antoine L'Estage, debuting a brand new 2009 Evolution RS prepared by rally icon John Buffum. With 36 overall victories and four national championships, Frank Sprongl from Toronto will drive an EVO VI. Fresh from a podium finish in Michigan at the first Rally America round, will be 2007 winner Andrew 'ACP' Comrie-Picard with a 2008 Evolution GSR. The other former winner and previous national title holder is Peter Thomson with an EVO VIII.
"Based on our initial objectives, the first year of the Mitsubishi National Rally Support Program was a qualified success", stated Koji Soga, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada. "Most importantly, we officially got involved as a company with the Canadian Rally Championship and began to develop ongoing relationships with the participants and the volunteers who make this great series possible. For 2009, we have increased our commitment to the series and the participants, and are very pleased that the number of competitors using Mitsubishi products has increased dramatically over last year. Mitsubishi, as a brand, has been involved in competitive rallying for many years and our Canadian program reflects the excitement and athleticism of our current products."
Other strong entries will vie for a place on the podium. Jon Nichols from Montreal was 4th overall last year; Mathieu L'Estage -- Antoine's brother -- lead the Mitsubishi Cup for a long time last year and was 5th at Perce-Neige. The first title won by a Mitsubishi product in Canada was due to Jean-Sebastien Besner back in 2001 and Besner is making a comeback this year in a Synchro Racing EVO. Boisvert Mitsubishi with three more teams have been regular top 10 finishers: defending Mitsubishi Cup winner, Simon will head the Evo posse with Rejean and Martin in hot pursuit. Finally, 2008 Production class champions, Manitobans Jan and Jody Zedril will be back to defend their title again.
Perce-Neige is the longest event of the 2009 schedule. The 14 stages total close to 200 kilometres on narrow icy logging roads out of 430 kilometres for the whole distance. The 40 cars entered will leave Maniwaki Saturday morning at 9:30 and will return late in the evening around 11:00 pm. For more information, please visit www.rallyeperceneige.com .