Contact: Paul Westwick|
Tel:, (604) 707-3305
|Date: June 13, 2003|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Alert: 2003 Pacific Forest Rally, June 13-14th
Merritt, BC, Canada -
Event: Pacific Forest Rally, round five of the Canadian Rally Championship presented by Yokohama. Performance rally cars from around Canada and the United States will be racing on a tight, challenging gravel road course in BC's interior. This event is sanctioned by the Canadian Association of Rallysport (CARS) and Rally Pacific Motorsports (RPM), and is organized by the West Coast Rally Association (WCRA).
When & where:
June 13th and 14th in Merritt, BC.
Headquarters & Press Room:
Merritt Civic & Convention Centre
1950 Mamette Ave.
Schedule (subject to change):
Friday June 13, 2003 13:00-15:00 Competitor Registration 14:30-16:00 Shakedown (practice) Stage for Competitors 17:00-19:00 Parc Exposé & Scrutineering - Cars on Public Display at Merritt Arena 19:30 Drivers' meeting and introduction of officials 20:00 Ceremonial Start at Merritt Civic Centre Saturday June 14, 2003 9:00 Start of first leg, Railyard Mall, Merritt 13:30 Start of second leg, Railyard Mall, Merritt 17:00 Start of third leg, Railyard Mall, Merritt 20:30 End of Rally, Merritt Civic Centre 21:30 Dinner and Awards, Merritt Civic Centre
Format: Events in the Canadian Rally Championship consist of flat-out rally racing on challenging mountain and forest roads. No practice is allowed. Unlike circuit racing, competitors generally see the course for the first time as they race it. At every moment the driver and co-driver must be ready for what may be around the next curve!
Performance rallies consist of roads designated as "special stages" and "transit sections". Special stages are run flat-out against the clock and are closed to public traffic. Transit sections are the routes linking together the special stages in which teams must obey all traffic laws.
Performance rally vehicles are production-based cars and trucks from manufacturers around the world. They compete both for the overall victory and wins within a class structure that groups together
vehicles with similar performance. Each vehicle carries a driver and a co-driver/navigator. Using a detailed route book and a sophisticated rally computer, the co-driver keeps the team on-course and advises the driver of any hazards noted in the route book. This role is as critical as the driver's skill, since the team is traveling at full racing speeds over roads they have never seen before.
Selected entries: - Defending 2002 Overall Canadian Rally Champion and Vancouver resident Patrick Richard, with Subaru Rally Team Canada in a new Open Class Subaru WRX STi. Richard has blazed the way forward for Canadians and Westerners in the world of rally through his meteoric rise to the top in just four short years. For 2003, Richard has taken a big step up, simultaneously competing here at home and internationally in the FIA World Rally Championship for Production Cars.
- First runner up in the 2002 Canadian Rally Championship, Edmonton native Andrew Comrie-Picard in his Open Class all-wheel-drive turbocharged Mitsubishi Lancer EVO. After a strong third overall finish at the prestigious 2003 Rallye International de Quebec and a second place finish at the 2003 Big Horn Rally three weeks ago, Comrie-Picard returns to Western Canada on a high note. In just his second full year of competition at the national level, Comrie-Picard seems destined to upstage the defending champion and some of the other series veterans.
- Defending 2002 Group 2 (two-wheel drive) Canadian Rally Champion Gord Olsen of Brooks, AB in a heavily modified Volkswagen Golf GTI. For 2003 Olsen has taken a small break, missing the first two Quebec-based rounds. However, coming into Merritt this June, he has already run two events in his native Alberta with co-driver Dave Shindle of Maryland, winning his class at both. No doubt this pair will be making up for lost time in their charge to dominate the two-wheel-drive class.
- Two-time Western Canadian Rally Champion, Janusz Komorowski in an Open Class all-wheel drive turbocharged Eagle Talon. Komorowski continues to mature as a driver, having taken a big step up to the Open Class last year. Heading into the western swing of the national series, Komorowski has already shown his potential, bagging a 3rd overall at the Big Horn Rally three weeks ago.
Of additional interest: - As round five of the Canadian Rally Championship, western-based teams will be viewing this event as key in their drive for the championship in 2003. While many of the top eastern Canadian teams will be here expecting to further cement their standings in the championship, their plans will meet some fierce resistance from the locals, including several talented US-based crews who have journeyed north.
- This will be the largest performance rally event held in BC since the early 1980's. Rally organizers and the City of Merritt have worked tirelessly to promote the Pacific Forest Rally and have succeeded in joining the CARS national series as part of the Canadian Rally Championship for 2003. The Canadian Rally Championship presented by Subaru and Yokohama Tires is broadcast regularly on TSN and the RDS. Officials expect record crowds to be in attendance to witness this motor sports spectacle.
- Rally organizers have once again partnered with Active Mountain Entertainment Corporation (AME) to use a network of private roads on their property. At the Pacific Forest Rally spectators can catch the rally action up close at the awe-inspiring vantage point at one of the Active Mountain special stages. AME hosts the famous Merritt Music Mountain Festival, which attracts over 140,000 people annually to the region. AME is also the guiding force behind the Active Mountain Raceway (AMR) project that has been in the works for the last few years. This unique opportunity is a combined effort between the organizers and AMR towards building a future rally site as part of the AMR project.
- Valley Helicopters of Hope have also joined the party, offering short-duration flyovers of the rally to paying customers. Fans, VIPs and television crews will be able to take in the rally action from the best seats in the house…at 3,000 feet!
2003 Canadian Rally Championship:
Date Event Place Winners
February 7-9 Rallye Perce Neige Maniwaki, QC Sylvain Erickson/Philip Erickson
March 1-2 Rallye International de Québec Québec, QC Patrick Richard/Mikael Johansson
May 17-19 Bighorn Rally Edson, AB Tom McGeer/Howard Davies
May 23-25 Rocky Mountain Rally Calgary, AB Tom McGeer/Howard Davies
June 13-14 Pacific Forest Rally Merritt, BC
July 4-6 Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs New Richmond, QC
Sept 5-6 Rallye Defi Ste-Agathe Ste-Agathe, QC
Oct. 20-26 Rallye International de Charlevoix La Malbaie, QC
Nov. 22-23 Rally of the Tall Pines Bancroft, ON
Paul Westwick - Organizer
(604) 617-4132, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Kwong - Organizer
(604) 808-0536; e-mail: email@example.com
Media Liaison at event:
Keith Morison firstname.lastname@example.org and,
(604) 880-2100 e-mail: email@example.com
Will be available at registration, however you can also view information at:
Canadian Association of Rallysport www.rallycars.ca
West Coast Rally Association www.rallybc.com
City of Merritt www.city.merritt.bc.ca
Media Liaison, pre-event
2003 Pacific Forest Rally