Contact: Terry Epp
Canadian Association of RallySport
|Date: May 23, 2006|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stouffville, ON — The Canadian Rally Championship moves west this weekend for the presentation of the Rocky Mountain Rally, to be run in Calgary and the superb Porcupine Hills area. On May 26-27, The Rocky Mountain Rally will present its 33rd edition of what is the second of six rounds in the 2006 Canadian Rally Championship.
The winners of the Perce-Neige Maniwaki Rally in January, Antoine L’Estage and American co-driver Mark Williams, will be the favorites as they drive again the 4WD Hyundai Tiburon prepared by rally legend John Buffum. It is the car with which they won the Tall Pines Rally in 2004, and led the Rocky Mountain Rally in 2005, before going off-road. L’Estage is eager to shake away the ill fate that pinned him down in 2005, and to increase his lead over Sylvain Erickson in the championship.
Winner of the 2002 edition, Sylvain Erickson, with daughter Chloé now co-driving, will obviously want to renew with success. The Gatineau, Québec driver is aware that he has to outdo L’Estage/Williams, as well as Americans Matt Iorio/Ole Holter (Subaru Impreza WRX) and 2005 champions Peter Thomson and Rod Hendricksen (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8).
Standing champions Thomson and Hendricksen did not score any points at Perce-Neige Maniwaki Rally. They need to score high this weekend in Alberta if they want to keep their chances of winning a second consecutive championship. Last year, Thomson and Hendricksen had won Rocky in their Subaru Impreza WRX. This year, they’ll try again with a brand new Mitsubishi.
The 2006 Rocky Mountain Rally will be more spectacular than ever, with other teams also vying for the win. Norm LeBlanc (BC) and Keith Morison (AB) in their Subaru Impreza WRX were on par with L’Estage and Thomson, last year, until they were forced to abandon after going off the road. Six times Canadian champions, Frank and Dan Sprongl, from Ontario have also entered in a Production 2 front-wheel drive Suzuki Swift +.
On Friday, May 26, 30 teams will start the 2006 Rocky Mountain Rally at Blackfoot Motorcycle Park in Calgary. Spectators will be able to watch the “Super Stages” (timed stages at the Blackfoot Motorcycle Park track) from 7:00 PM. The following morning, the rally will move to the Porcupine Hills area, south-west of Calgary, and crown this year’s winner.
ATV Productions will film the event, to be broadcast at a later date. Information on the Canadian Rally Championship and other rally competitions in Canada can be found at www.carsrally.ca. Rocky Mountain Rally information and results can be found at www.rockymountainrally.com.