|Contact: John Morris
|Date: July 1, 2004|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Richmond, QC - Competition will be fierce at this weekend's Baie-des-Chaleurs Rally, with nearly 50 entries from as far away as British Columbia, Nova Scotia and New Hampshire taking to the roads in the southern coast of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec.
All eyes are on Subaru Rally Team Canada's Patrick Richard, of Whistler, B.C., who is undefeated in Canada this year and leads the championship.
Richard handily won the event last year, taking a four-minute lead over the second-place Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV of "ACP" - Andrew Comrie-Picard, a native of Edmonton who now lives in New York.
Team Suzuki Canada will also contest this event with their two Suzuki Swift+ cars fresh from top finishes in the P-2 production class at their Rocky Mountain Rally debut in Calgary earlier this year.
The pace will be blistering. With teams taking an advance look at the road the day before the race. This practice, known as reconnaissance, is more common at the World Rally Championship events than in Canada, and means more excitement on the road as drivers push harder and faster.
This wildly popular event is also part of the Quebec Rally Cup and draws many local teams - and their fans. Thousands line up roadside to catch a glimpse of some of the most exciting driving anywhere.
Unofficial rankings after the first two rounds of the Canadian championship this year show Richard with 40 points, leading Comrie-Picard and Frank Sprongl, six time CRC Champion of Georgetown, Ont., in his Mitsubishi Evo VI, who are in a second place 15-point tie.
Antoine L'Estage, from St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que., driving a Hyundai Tiburon is tied at 12 with Sylvain Erickson of Gatineau, Que., whose Mitsubishi Evo IV got him to the podium in Round One but did not compete in the most recent event in Calgary. L’Estage’s points are also based on just one event -- he missed Round One, Perce-Neige Maniwaki to attend the birth of his second child.
Despite Richard's imposing lead, the championship is still up for grabs. It is the best four events that count towards the final standings and there are still four events remaining.
The series will be broadcast nationwide on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS this fall. Check www.CRC-Rally.com for more information.
The Canadian Rally Championship is presented by Subaru and sanctioned by the Canadian Association of Rallysport. Rally Development Group holds the marketing rights for the Canadian Rally Championship.
To see what a car can do, watch it rally.