FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 28, 2007
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Ninth Tall Pines Rally win out of reach for Sprongl
BANCROFT, Ontario-- Frank Sprongl missed making history by a minute and ten seconds. That's how much driver Sprongl, with co-driver Brian Maxwell, fell short of winning an unprecedented ninth Rally of the Tall Pines here Saturday. But for Sprongl, of Georgetown, Ontario, and Maxwell, of Port Hope, Ontario, second place - in a borrowed car, after a year's absence from the sport - still feels pretty good.
"No excuses," proclaimed Sprongl. "There are some things we might have done differently, but Antoine (L'Estage) and Natalie (Richard) were terrific, and they deserve the win and the championship." L'Estage and Richard, of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, won the final event of the 2007 season and cemented their second Canadian Rally Championship.
It looked like a win was possible for the Four Star Motorsports team when Sprongl, Maxwell and their borrowed Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5 carried a narrow lead in the early going. But as the event unfolded, the lead see-sawed back and forth between Sprongl/Maxwell and L'Estage/Richard with the later gaining control in the closing stages.
"We were the fastest Mitsubishi with the best finish, so that was satisfying," said Sprongl, "and we returned the car without a scratch." The ice, snow and changeable road conditions meant the rally lived up to its reputation as a driving challenge. The team relied on Hankook tires to keep them on the road through the 15 special stages, and helped them capture the Ontario regional portion of the event.
Sprongl won the first of his eighth Tall Pines victories in 1992. No other competitor in the history of the event has won eight times.
Four Star Motorsports, of Georgetown, Ontario, is Canada's leading rally preparation shop. The company builds and maintains some of the most successful cars in national, international and regional competition. With design, fabrication, dynamometer testing and engine management facilities, it serves individual and corporate customers in Canada and provides specialty parts to street and competition customers around the world.
Sponsored by Four Star Motorsports Inc, Hankook Tire Canada, Peltor Communications, Ontario Competition Fuels.