Feb 09

Canadian Rally Championship: Antoine L’Estage dominates the Rallye Perce-Neige

6th victory, a new record…

Claude LamoureuxQuebec driver Antoine L’Estage (of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu) and his co-driver John Hall, an Alberta resident, won this weekend’s Rallye Perce-Neige, the first round of the 2014 Canadian Rally Championship.

Photo album

Antoine L’Estage has held the record number of wins at this event since 2012 and this weekend’s victory now increases his record to 6.  This is also the best way to start the Canadian season for the Quebecker, who is the reigning Canadian and North American rally champion.

Following his second place finish in Michigan for the American season opener two weeks earlier, Antoine L’Estage arrived to Maniwaki confident, heading into the Rallye Perce-Neige, where he has often been successful. The 2014 edition solidified the 2013 champion’s ambitions : « I love the Rallye Perce-Neige and its unforgiving winter forest roads. I opted to start the day with the Yokohama iG20 tires, which was the right choice.  We took the lead on the first stage and maintained it right until the end » explains Antoine L’Estage, who crossed the finish line with a two minute and thirteen second lead. « This is how we wanted to start the Canadian rally season ! It’s an important result in my quest for a possible seventh title » he adds.

This 2014 Rallye Perce-Neige was also an opportunity for Antoine L’Estage to contest an event with Brit John Hall, now a resident of Alberta, as co-driver. « Teaming up with John was very good.  He’s someone that I get along with and everything went well during the event.  A big thanks to him, as well as to our team, especially John Buffum for the quality of preparation of our car, which was perfect throughout the event » indicates Antoine L’Estage.

This victory puts L’Estage and Hall in the lead of the 2014 Canadian Championship after the first round. Antoine L’Estage is also solidly leading the North American Rally Cup after his second place finish in Michigan in January and his Rallye Perce-Neige success.  The team will be in action in the United States once again in two weeks to contest the 100 Acre Wood Rally in Missouri. « It’s a rally that I really like, that I won in 2011.  It’s also the first gravel rally of the year and this year’s edition brings with it heightened American media attention as a result of Travis Pastrana’s return to rally after three years competing in NASCAR. Ken Block and David Higgins, the 2013 champion, will also take part.  The four of us will be in a big battle for the win and it’s going to be great » mentions Antoine.

Antoine L’Estage currently holds six North American titles (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), six Canadian (2006, 2007, 2010 to 2013), one American (2010) and forty-three overall victories in Canada and the United States.

He is contesting the 2014 Canadian Rally Championship with the support of Yokohama TiresDrenth Motorsport Gearboxes, Énergie Cardio, Formica Group, VP Racing Fuels, Alpinestars, Exe-Tc Suspensions, Driver’s Edge Autosport, and Libra Racing, as well as select North American events with the additional support from Rockstar Energy Drink. For more information on the team or rally in general, please visit the antoinelestage.com site.

source : Coyote Rallye Media Services