FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2007
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Driver Wins the Rally of the Tall Pines and Defends His Canadian Championship Title
A Remarkable 2007 Season
Bancroft, Ontario -- Antoine L’Estage brought home a fifth consecutive victory at the Rally of the Tall Pines and earned the Canadian Rally Championship for the second year in a row. After starting the rally at a conservative pace, the driver from St-Jean-sur- Richelieu took command of the lead after the fifth competitive stage, lost it momentarily after the seventh stage, and then quickly regained it, finishing the race with a lead of one minute and ten seconds. L’Estage had the fastest time on eight of the 15 stages in conditions that were exceptionally difficult due to the winter's first snowstorm just two days prior to the rally. For he and his co-driver, Nathalie Richard, this additional title comes just two weeks after winning their 2007 North American Rally Championship. They have also single-handedly earned yet another Manufacturer's Championship for Hyundai Canada.
"This second Canadian Championship title is icing on the cake after having such an extraordinary season," highlights L'Estage. "Nathalie is definitely one of the most professional co-drivers on the continent: her expertise with the pacenotes and her thorough job as a co-driver allow me to drive with complete confidence. Co-drivers are unsung heroes but deserve the accolades just as much as the drivers. Plus, there's also the work of my mentor and car preparer, John Buffum; our Concerto Yokohama Hyundai is extremely reliable and it's a car that is perfectly adapted to my driving style," adds the champion.
"I have to thank my three principal sponsors. Hyundai, who injected new life into the team this year, Concerto who have been there since the beginning and have given me the opportunity to attain our current level, and Yokohama who have supplied me with impeccable tires for all terrains. Again yesterday, the new IG20 ice tires made the difference on the icy roads around Bancroft. It's obvious that without these supporters, we wouldn't be able to win these titles nor have our sights set on future ones," specified L'Estage.
"I'm in a perfect position to say exactly how talented a driver Antoine is," explained Nathalie. "He very rarely makes a bad decision in the car and he has developed a great ability to manage his rallies. His car control and calmness at the wheel make him a very difficult driver to beat."
Rendezvous in Maniwaki, February 8, 2008
The off season of Canadian rallying is never very long because the calendar starts in early February in Maniwaki with the Rallye Perce-Neige, "We will be back," confirms L'Estage, "and we have our sights on a third consecutive championship, which would be a first for a Quebec driver."
Like last year, Antoine L’Estage is the 2007 Canadian Rally Champion with his co-driver Nathalie Richard. Of the six events in the Canadian calendar, they end the season with one third place finish and five consecutive victories. In addition to this and their North American titles, they also earned top spot in the Castrol Cup, winning a prize purse of $10,000.
Antoine L’Estage participates in the 2007 Canadian Rally Championship thanks to the support of: Hyundai Canada, les Fenętres Concerto, Yokohama Tires, Énergie Cardio, Libra Racing, OMP Racewear, Belle Gueule beer, Castrol Canada and MBF Racing.
For more information, please visit Coyote Rallye, a source for rally and the Coyote Rallye Team.
Information: Martine Nadeau 514-843-4160, ext 221 / cell 514-238-0568