Contact: Terry Epp
Canadian Association of RallySport
|Date: July 1, 2007|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Richmond, Quebec – This weekend was held the 30th edition of the Baie-des-Chaleurs Rally, in New-Richmond, the third round of the 2007 Canadian Rally Championship, presented by Subaru and Castrol. This event proved to be custom made for Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard, from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (QC), who won the rally and took the lead in the championship.
Right from the first stage, victory started to take shape for L'Estage and Richard in their Hyundai Tiburon 4WD. Making the fastest time four times out of six stages on Friday night, the pair built an impressive 2 minutes 44 seconds leads on Martin Gauvin/Daniel Duchesneau, from New-Richmond (QC), in their Subaru Impreza, and of 2 minutes 55 seconds on Andrew Comrie-Picard (ON)/Marc Goldfarb (USA), in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 RS.
Throughout the second leg, on Saturday, L'Estage and Richard managed their rally at leisure. It is the second time L'Estage has won this rally. With this win, L'Estage also takes a two points lead in the championship over Comrie-Picard.
Second place was a hard-fought and spectacular battle between local heroes Gauvin/Duchesneau and Comrie-Picard/Goldfarb. Bogged down with turbo problems on Friday night, the duet went all out on the following day. As for Martin Gauvin, he showcased his keen talent and came away with a well-deserved 3rd place and victory in Production 4 class.
Two other Quebec teams, both in Subaru Impreza WRXs, rounded out the top five. They are Joel Levac/Fanny-Laurence L'Estage and Mathieu L'Estage/Yannick Nappert. In sixth place, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5 was Réjean Losier, co-driven by Philippe Poirier. For the Blainville (QC) driver, it’s the best way to retourn to the sport after a two year absence.
In Group 2, victory went to Sergei Grishechkin and Dmitri Kuzmin in their VW Golf GTi. They finished 13th in front of André and Julien Cloutier, in Ford Escort, winners of the Production 3 class. In Group 5, victory went to Martin Walter/Ken Lagarec (Nissan 240 SX), while Mathieu Lebel/Steve Beaulieu (Subaru Justy) took the Production 1 class. Unfortunatly again, well known team Sylvain and Chloé Erickson, in their Subaru Impreza WRX, were forced to retire during the first leg, after a brush with a bridge and terminal engine troubles. In all, 21 teams out of 32 finished the rally.
The next round of the Canadian Rally Championship will take place on September 7 and 8 with Rally Défi Ste-Agathe/Duhamel. Filming for TV broadcasting is managed by ATV Productions. More information about rallies and rallying in Canada can be found at www.carsrally.ca.
Baie-des-Chaleurs Rally Final Standings (complete results at www.rallyebdc.com):