|Contact: John Morris
|Date: September 3, 2004|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ontario - Undefeated in Canada and setting records south of the border, the stakes are high for Subaru Rally Team Canada's Pat Richard at the Rallye Défi Ste-Agathe/Duhamel on Sept. 10-11. With his recent finish in Maine, Richard has now locked up the US Pro Rally Championship and is heading for the North American Rally Cup.
He's favoured to clinch his second Canadian Rally Championship title at the event, but a pair of rally veterans who each hold six championship titles and a hot newcomer could thwart his effort in a fight that’s been anticipated all season.
An aggressive final battle at the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs in early July saw the Whistler, BC, driver recover from a deficit to finish 13 seconds ahead of rival Andrew "ACP" Comrie-Picard in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV.
Following a pair of second-place finishes in the Canadian series plus a head turning second place finish south of the border in the Maine Forest Rally, Edmonton-native Comrie-Picard will be driving for a win.
Then there are the veterans. Tom McGeer and Frank Sprongl had been expected to go head-to-head for the championship title all year, but a rollover for McGeer and a blown engine for Sprongl have delayed the contest - perhaps until now.
After writing-off his brand new competition vehicle in a violent crash earlier this year, Subaru Rally Team Canada’s McGeer hopes to debut his second new car of the season at the race. Four Star Motorsports' Sprongl has rebuilt his competition Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI and is also ready to challenge for the lead. Plus, Quebec fan favourite Antoine L'Estage will also be pushing the leaders in his Hyundai Tiburon.
Richard has been undefeated so far and a first place finish at this rally would secure him the championship title. It is the best four events that count towards the final standings.
The other factory effort in the series, Team Suzuki Canada, is hoping to continue their domination of the P-2 production class. The new team has performed very well since their debut in May, putting in a pair of one-two finishes.
At the halfway point in the Canadian championship, Richard has 60 points, leading Comrie-Picard, with 30. In third place with 22 points is Jon Nichols who, in a Group 2 Volkswagen Golf, has been pushing ahead of many more powerful vehicles in the field.
The series will be broadcast nationwide on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS this fall. The TV schedule has been announced and fans can 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 (RDG) holds the marketing rights for the Canadian Rally Championship.