Third consecutive podium
After finishing second in this past weekend’s Olympus Rally, based out of Ocean Shores, Washington, Quebec driver Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard maintain the lead of the Rally American Championship.
Driving their Rockstar Energy Drink Royal Group Mitsubishi Evo X, L’Estage and Richard finished a strong second at every event in the series to date this year. With three rallies remaining in the 2010 Rally America title hunt, the two-time Canadian and North American champion holds a six point lead over Travis Pastrana.
L’Estage, who normally competes in limited events in the United States, is trying to contest the full Rally America Championship for the first time. In doing so, this makes him a new addition to one third of the events in the 2010 series. « It can definitely be a disadvantage not ever having seen the competition roads before but we have confidence in our ability to make the most of the reconnaissance day preceding each rally » indicates the Yokohama driver from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Qc.
« Antoine was really eager to get back in the rally car and was especially looking forward to a challenging event, in terms of the roads and because of the competition » confides L’Estage’s co-driver, five-time North American champion Nathalie Richard. « We started off well but had a problem early on in the rally, losing half a minute.
“It was pretty much impossible to catch Pastrana after that so I had to tighten the reigns a little bit to ensure Antoine slowed down and drove a smart and less risky rally. It may have dampened his fun a little bit but sometimes my job is to get him to think of the big picture. » The L’Estage/Richard duo maintained their second place position until the very end, earning them their third podium in three rallies.
In two weeks, the Rockstar Energy Drink team will head west once again to the Oregon Trail Rally, where L’Estage will look forward to his first overall victory of the year. With the lead of the Rally America championship, L’Estage is now anticipating an invitation to his third trip to the popular Summer X Games in Los Angeles.
Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard participate in the entire 2010 Rally America and Canadian Rally Championships with the support of Rockstar Energy Drink, Royal Group, Yokohama Tires, Mitsubishi Canada, Drenth Motorsport Gearboxes, Garrett Turbos, Énergie Cardio, Libra Racing, Driver’s Edge Autosport (OMP), VP Racing Fuels, and MBF Racing. For more information on the team or on rallying in general, visit www.CoyoteRallye.com
Source : Coyote Rallye Media Services, photo: Timm Von Derau