Press Release

Contact: Michel Poirier-Defoy
Tel: (450) 491-2480
Date:November 7, 1999

presented by

EVENT:Rallye Automobile Charlevoix
LOCATION:Île -aux - Coudres, Québec
STATUS:Seventh event in 1999November 5-7
STATS:17 special stages183.62 Km of speed sections
TOTAL RALLY DISTANCE:500 KmTwo day event

1999 Standings: Frank Sprongl, 135 points; Sylvain Vincent, 87; Tom McGeer, 40; John Kemp, John Paynter, 27; Yves Barbe, Jon Nichols, 22; John Buffum, 20; Éric Tremblay, 19; Marc Racine, 18 Jeff Smith,16

Class Leaders: Open : Frank Sprongl Production GT : Sylvain Vincent Group 2 : J. Nichols Prod. Sport : Bruno Laverdière Prod. 1750 : Rosenshein

Leading Marques: Open : Audi Production GT: Subaru Group 2 : Volkswagen Prod. Sport : Toyota Prod. 1750 : Suzuki

November 5-7Rallye Auto CharlevoixIle-aux-Coudres, Quebec
November 19-20Rally of the Tall PinesBancroft, Ontario
February 2000Rallye de QuebecQuebec, Quebec
February 2000Rallye Perce-NeigePembroke, Ontario
May 2000Bighorn RallyHinton, Alberta
May 2000Rocky Mountain RallyCalgary, Alberta
July 2000Rallye Baie des ChaleursNew Richmond, Quebec
September 2000Rally of the VoyageursParry Sound, Ontario

Rally of the Tall Pines


Buffum upstages Sprongl

Île-aux-Coudres, Quebec--- John Buffum, long-time rallyist and multiple North American rally champion won the seventh event of the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship presented by Yokohama Tire of Canada. Buffum, in his Mitsubishi EVO 5 beat Canadian champion Frank Sprongl’s Audi Quattro S2 by a margin of 22 seconds; Sprongls goal of a perfect season was foiled. New Yorker Jon Kemp finished out the top three. Best performance for a Quebecer came from Sylvain Vincent in 4th place. 57 cars left the starting line on Friday evening on the Ile-aux-Coudres for a series of 17 special stages over two days in the Charlevoix region. Over 20,000 people attended the spectator event which made a redoubled security effort necessary.

Only seconds apart
It was down to the last stage on the final day; Buffum and Sprongl swapping leading times and stages depending on whether road surfaces were gravel or asphalt, a matter of agility or sheer power. Tom McGeer, in his Subaru Canada Impreza WRX was a contender on a number of stages until he was forced to bow out with a broken clutch. It was a bitter battle to the end for a number of teams, which made for crowd-pleasing entertainment. American Chris Havas (Golf) pulled ahead in two-wheel drive class Group 2, ahead of brother Andrew (RX7) and Marc Racine (Honda) of Joliette, Qc.

In Production GT class, Jacob Wisniewski surprised everyone with victory, ahead of Quebecer Eric Tremblay and Nova Scotian John Paynter. Production class saw the Chrysler Neon of Evan Moen in front of Stephane Levesque from Quebec by only 1:26 minutes. Ilana Rosenshein took a serious step forward in her quest for the 1750 championship despite a distant finish. Bruno Laverdiere of Laval; clinched best rookie this year and Sport class title.

Quality drivers retire
In addition to the McGeers, a number of teams were forced to retire: Jon Nichols had transmission trouble, Keith Townsend had a violent crash, Sakis Hadjiminas had some electrical problems and Alcaraz had brake troubles. Yves Barbe had the most tragic of problems; his Eagle Talon stopped in its tracks less than a few kilometres from the finish line. He was in fourth place, but did not finish.

The Subaru Canadian Rally Championship is presented eight times this year, between February and November. It is sanctioned by the Canadian Association of RallySport and supported by Subaru Canada and Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. Additional information is available from the CARS website at or the RAC web site at INFORMATION:
CARS Mister Terry Epp (905) 640 6444
Michel Poirier-Defoy (450) 491 2480

Presented by



#  TEAM                                  CAR             	HOMETOWN             CLASS          FINAL 
 1 John Buffum	 	Lance Smith 	 Mitsubishi Lancer  	Colchester, Vt       Open           85:54 
 2 Frank Sprongl 	Dan  Sprongl     Audi Quattro S2      	Mississauga, On      Open           86:16 
 3 Jon Kemp      	R. Hendrickson   Audi Quattro 4000  	Rochester, NY        Open           89:35 
 4 Sylvain Vincent 	D. Cyr 		 Subaru Impreza WRX 	La Plaine, Qc        Open           93:21 
 5 Chris Havas 		É. Tremblay 	 Volks Golf GTi     	Vermont              Gr2            97:05 
 6 Andrew Havas		Pete Pollard  	 Mazda Rx 7     	Vermont              Gr2            97:48 
 7 J Wisniewski		T Mozejko     	 Toyota Celica     	Toronto, On          GT            100:24 
 8 Marc Racine		Luc Piché        Honda Civic     	Joliette/Boisbriand  Gr2           100:52 
 9 Éric Tremblay	JF Guité      	 Subaru Impreza     	Québec, Qc           GT            101:07 
10 Steve Barnes		M.Kelly     	 Audi Quattro 5000     	Halifax, NS          Open          101:28 
The high points:
# Rally legend John Buffum beats the Sprongl by a mere 22 seconds
# The Sprongls end their winning streak at six in 99 but earn North American title
# Sylvain Vincent locks second place in 1999 standings
# Havas brothers fight for 5th and 6th position in Group 2 class
# Rookie Jacub Wisniewski gets a well deserved 7th place overall in first national rally

The low points:
# Rally was delayed due to very large crowds in many stages
# Many priority drivers were sidelined (McGeer, Nichols, Townsend, Erickson, Richard)

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