Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs information and results
The ever popular Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs saw L’Estage and Richard, the North American and Canadian title holders, beat the record for most wins in the event. Second place finishers Patrick Richard and Rob Fagg kept their lead in the 2013 championship.
Rain made for tough sledding on muddy and slippery roads throughout this 36th edition of the “Rallye Auto nord-américain de la Baie-des-Chaleurs”, which certainly made for an exciting show. Multiple incidents and surprises amongst the front runners kept spectators and participants on their toes throughout the event.
Championship leaders Patrick Richard (Squamish, BC), and British co-driver Rob Fagg won the first event of the 2013 season, the Rallye Perce-Neige, and showed up with their Subaru Impreza WRX STi with one single objective in mind: to win this rally. Unfortunately for the team, driver Pat Richard injured an ankle and heel in a snowboard accident this past March and the team knew that winning their fifth Baie-des-chaleurs was more than a tall order.
And it was, as showed at the first Saturday morning special stages, when Antoine L’Estage (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC) and co-driver Nathalie Richard (Halifax, NS) went onto full-attack mode and built up an apparently insurmountable lead after the first stage. Mechanical gremlins stuck the L’Estage/Richard duo in the second part of the day, forcing the driver ease up on the overheating engine, the result of a blown head gasket. The Rockstar team thus gave up a 10 seconds lead to Richard and the Subaru team by the end of the first day.
The Can-Jam Motorsports team of Leo Urlichich (Toronto, ON) and Welsh co-driver Martin Brady would have loved to be part of the fight amongst the leaders, climbing momentarily into 2nd place before mechanical trouble forced them out of the event.
The final part Sunday afternoon saw the Antoine L’Estage / Nathalie Richard team drive back into the lead, and win their 5th Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs, thus adding to their record of excellence in this event. It was not all bad news for Pat Richard and the Subaru Canada Rally Team, as their second-place finish helped them add to their overall Championship lead.
The third step on the podium went to Maxime Labrie (La Prairie, QC) and his co-driving father, Robert Labrie (Montmagny, QC) in a Subaru Impreza WRX. The Labrie team gained third place when Urlichich was forced to withdraw from the event, and kept the position despite a late attack from the Steeve Hobbs/Jean-Mathieu Tremblay tandem. Max Riddle (Vancouver, BC) and co-driver Darren Garrod (Squamish, BC) rounded out the Top 5.
Another family affair, Sylvain Vincent and his son Simon (Terrebonne, QC), experienced some turbo issues with their Subaru Impreza WRX in the first stages, and then clawed their way back up to sixth at the finish. Hardy Schmidtke (Cochrane, AB) and John Hall (Sherwood Park, AB) came in 7th, followed by the Brossard (QC) pair of Frank and Larissa Lognay.
Marc-André Larose (Rougemont, QC) and Yves Lafrenière (St-Basile, QC) won the 2WD Production class handily, with an excellent 11th overall result that places them 9th in the Canadian Championship and leading rookies, aboard their BMW 318. Other class winners include Martin Walter (North Gower, ON) and Ferdinand Trautsmandorff (Nepean, ON) in Open 2WD.
The next event in the 2013 Canadian Rally Championship Presented by Subaru and Supported by Yokohama, the Rallye Défi, will take place in Ste-Agathe (QC), September 6 and 7.
Final Results (Canadian Championship) Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs 2013
1) Antoine L’Estage – Nathalie Richard (Mitsubishi Lancer Évo.10) – 1h39’03,0″
2) Patrick Richard – Robert Fagg (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h39’56,5″
3) Maxime Labrie – Robert Labrie (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h45’12,6″
4) Steeve Hobbs – Jean-Mathieu Tremblay (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h46’08,6″
5) Max Riddle – Darren Garrod (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h47’32,8″
6) Sylvain Vincent – Simon Vincent (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h50’08,0″
7) Hardy Schmidtke – John Hall (Mitsubishi RKT Évo.9) – 1h53’09,7″
8) Frank Lognay – Larissa Lognay (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 2h02’34,5″
9) Marc-André Larose – Yves Lafrenière (BMW 318Ti) – 2h08’28,5″
10) Patrick Marcoux – Chantal Villeneuve (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 2h11’40,4″
“Top 5″ 2WD
1) Marc-André Larose – Yves Lafrenière (BMW) – 2h08’28,5″ (1st 2WD Production)
2) Jeffrey Dowell – Emily Dowell (Mitsubishi) – 2h13’12,3″ (2nd 2WD Production)
3) Martin Walter – Ferdinand Trauttmansdorff (Nissan) – 2h22’58,4″
4) Éric Deschênes – Catherine Asselin (Toyota) – 2h23’20,2″ (3rd 2WD Production)
5) Paul Hartl – Chuck Norris (Volkswagen) – 2h23’22,5″
Complete finishing order and stats at www.rallyscoring.com
source: Service Presse, poleposition.ca
Round Two: Canadian Rally Championship
L’Estage and Richard win Rallye Baie des Chaleurs,
Set the event record
The second round of the Canadian Rally Championship (CRC) was held last weekend around New Richmond, the rally capital in Eastern Canada for 36 years. Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard in their Mitsubishi Evolution were back in the winner circle with a record-setting fifth overall victory in the Quebec Peninsula. The defending North American and Canadian champions set the best time in 13 of the 20 stages and lead most of the event, overcoming mechanical issues in the last leg but finishing strong with a 53 second lead. Antoine and Nathalie are the first to earn five victories at this event, recognized by many as the most difficult in the country.
“We are very happy with this victory”, declared L’Estage, “probably the hardest to clinch compared to our first four here. The roads were really slippery with all that rain and we had to drive our Evolution with caution through the last stages even if we made the best time! We are now third in the overall standings and will aim for more victories when we start a series of four events in four months later this Fall.”
Wet conditions prevailed for two days and made the rocky logging roads even more slippery and treacherous. After a slow start, Hardy Schmidtke and John Hall from Alberta came back from 16th place and finished a rewarding 7th in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. The Synchro Racing teams from Blainville were gunning for Top 5 places like they did at the first event earlier this season but came out empty as all three cars did not complete the event plagued with attrition.
Finally, Jeffrey and Emily Dowell in their production-based Lancer had one of their best outings ever with an 11th place finish, but above all a superb second place in the two-wheel drive class.
Next event in September with Rallye Défi
The next round of the CRC will be held north of Montreal in the Quebec Laurentians in early September with the Rallye Défi welcoming rally teams for a two-day event. Défi will be the first of a series of four events in as many months that will determine the next Canadian champions.
New Event Record …
Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard clinch the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs !
At the wheel of their Rockstar Energy Drink Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, Quebec driver Antoine L’Estage (of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu) and his co-driver Nathalie Richard (of Halifax, Nova Scotia) won this past long weekend’s Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs, an event counting towards the North American Rally Cup and the Canadian Rally Championship. In doing so, the duo set a new record of five victories at this event.
« It’s a really big win for the entire Rockstar Energy Drink Team » exclaimed the multiple Canadian and North American champion Antoine L’Estage. « We gave up big points by not finishing the Rallye Perce-Neige at the beginning of the season and it was really important for us to reclaim as many points as we could against our rivals in order to remain in the hunt for another title this year. Seeing as the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs was just the second round of the season, the series is still young and this victory comes at a really crucial time for us » he adds.
In addition to dominating the event, the more notable achievement by Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard is a new record of five victories each at the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs. « We really wanted to win this one and we’re both thrilled that we could deliver » indicates Nathalie Richard.
Antoine L’Estage adds : « It’s a result that puts us back in the saddle. This victory is excellent for my confidence following the difficult obstacles that we had to overcome in the past few months. It’s also a great win for the whole team after working so hard ».
This 2013 edition of the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs was not an easy one for the teams to contest, with weather conditions ranging from humid sunny skies to pouring rain, leaving mixed conditions of muddy, slippery, or even dry competitive road conditions. « The conditions were atrocious under really heavy rain on Saturday during the second leg. We decided to use soft compound Yokohama tires which work particularly well, even in extremely muddy conditions ».
From the start of the event, the Rockstar Energy Drink Team pushed hard, winning the first eight competitive stages of the rally. Their big lead almost completely dwindled away towards the end of the first day, after they incurred a head gasket problem. Restarting Day 2 in second position by over 10 seconds, Antoine and Nathalie quickly took back the lead : « we decreased the boost to minimum and surprisingly enough, our biggest rival was going through the same type of problem (overheating). The last few stages were stressful but we eventually won the rally by a margin of just under 54 seconds » explains Antoine L’Estage, who concludes : « It really is an exceptional rally and again, I have to congratulate the organization. It’s our fifth win here, and our third consecutive. I keep repeating myself but it really is one of the best rallies in North American and I’m proud that we hold the record ».
Antoine L’Estage holds five North American championship titles (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012), five Canadian titles (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012), one American title (2010), and thirty-nine overall victories in Canada and the US. Nathalie Richard holds eight overall national championship titles (2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 in Canada and 2004, 2005, 2010 in the US), as well as forty-five overall rally wins on both sides of the border. She also holds a record eight North American Co-Driving Championship titles (2004 – 2012, excluding 2006).
Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard participate in the 2013 Rally America and Canadian Rally Championships with the support of Rockstar Energy Drink, Fenetres Concerto, Mitsubishi Canada, Yokohama Tires, Drenth Motorsport Gearboxes, Énergie Cardio, Formica Group, Alpinestars, VP Racing Fuels, Exe-Tc Suspensions, Driver’s Edge Autosport, and Libra Racing. For more information on the team or on rallying in general, visit antoinelestage.com.
source : Coyote Rallye Media Services