Contact: Terry Epp
Canadian Association of RallySport
|Date: June 26, 2007|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stouffville, Ontario – This weekend will be presented the Rallye Auto Baie-des-Chaleurs, third of the six rounds of the Canadian Rally Championship. Always a very spectacular event, this year’s Baie-des-Chaleurs rally turns a most important cornerstone, the event celebrating its thirtieth birthday.
Already the battle between Antoine L’Estage, actual champion and winner of the event in 2005, and Andrew Comrie-Picard, actual leader in this year’s championship, promises to be very intense. Antoine L’Estage and codriver Nathalie Richard, both from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (QC) are the only competitors among the participants of this edition, to have won this rally. In their Hyundai Tiburon 4WD prepared by legendary driver John Buffum, they are favorite and should they win the event, they would automatically take the lead of the championship. Presently, there is a three-point difference between Andrew Comrie-Picard and Antoine L’Estage, and the difference between victory and second position is five points.
But Andrew Comrie-Picard (Toronto, ON), codriven by American Marc Goldfarb in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9 RS showed in the season opener to have what it takes to claim the title. Winner of the Rallye Perce-Neige-Maniwaki, this team came in second in Calgary, at the Rocky Mountain Rally, at the end of May.
These two teams will not be alone in their quest for the highest walk of the podium in Gaspesia. Unlucky since the beginning of season, Sylvain and Chloé Érickson, of Gatineau (QC), are counting on Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs to get back in the heat for the championship. With their Subaru Impreza WRX, the Érickson are quite capable of turning the tables.
However one of the local crews could cause a surprise. This rally always draw many very talented drivers who know these roads very well. Thus Martin Gauvin and Daniel Duchesneau, of New Richmond, often stole the show with 2WD cars. Now in a Subaru Impreza WRX, the pair will be one to watch. A podium is undoubtedly within their range.
Two other teams in a Subaru Impreza WRX could also finish on the podium: Joel Levac, Rivière-Beaudet (QC), codriven by Laurence-Fanny L’Estage (St-Jacques-le-Mineur, QC), and Mathieu L’Estage, brother of Antoine and Laurence-Fanny, codriven by Yannick Napert. Last year, Mathieu L’Estage did finish on the podium at this rally.
Baie-des-Chaleurs also marks the return to competition of Peter Thomson (Toronto, ON) and Rod Hendricksen (New Jersey), the 2005 champions, in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8. Not to be forgotten are also Yohan Tessier and François Morin (Montreal, QC), standing Quebec champions in a Volkswagen Golf GTI 2WD, as well as Canadian Group 5 champions Zbigniew Szewczyk and Tomasz Karzynski (Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart), of Calgary (AB).
The rally will start on Friday June 29 at 6:00 p.m., in New Richmond. The first leg will take competitors to stages which made the reputation of the event, like the famous «Camp Brûlé», in St-Edgar. The following day, the rally will unfold on the gravel roads around New Richmond. The finish is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information on the event, visit its official website at www.rallyebdc.com. The official guide of the event can be found in Pole-Position magazine presently in newsstands throughout Quebec. The TV production of the show is ensured by ATV Productions. Information on the Canadian Rally Championship and the various rally competitions is available at www.carsrally.ca.