Press Release

Contact: Michel Poirier-Defoy
Tel: (450) 491-2480
Date: February 11, 1999


National Auto Rally Series Gets New Sponsors, National TV Deal

QUEBEC CITY -- Canada’s longest running national motorsport championship’s 1999 season will kick off February 12 with a major sponsorship, a new national television package and a host of top teams squaring off for Canada’s national rally title, the Canadian Association of RallySport announced here today.

Canada’s eight-event national rally championship has become the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship for 1999 as part of a multi-year deal that will see every event in the national title chase aired on TSN and RDS, with support from Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. Running continuously since 1957, the Canadian rally championship is the longest running national motorsports championship in Canada.

Starts in Quebec City

The first event in the ‘99 series is the Rallye de Quebec, which begins the series here Friday. Top Canadian and U.S. competitors will gather here to kick off the new season with a 700-kilometre chase over frozen forestry roads. Last year, the national series attracted more than 172 competitors.

"Canada’s most dramatic motorsport is absolutely the ideal representation of the performance, durability and all-Canadian, all-weather ability of Subaru automobiles," said Brian Hyland, public relations manager of Subaru Canada. "Subaru’s global commitment to rallying and our support of the sport in Canada indicate our belief in rallying as the ultimate competitive proving ground."

"Only Championship Rallying provides such extreme and diverse ways to demonstrate the traction and control of Yokohama Tires," said Jud Buchanan, national manager, marketing communications for Yokohama. "We are very proud to be sponsoring the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship and supporting rally competition in Canada."

"Rallying is the Canadian motorsport. With nearly 2,000 kilometres of flat-out competition, on the most challenging roads from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship is simply the toughest challenge in Canadian motorsport," explained Terry Epp, president of CARS. "To have Subaru and Yokohama as partners in our national championship is testament to the high level of competition in rallying in Canada."

The first ‘99 event will begin the way the ‘98 season ended, pitting last year’s national champions, Frank and Dan Sprongl of Mississauga, Ont., against arch rivals Tom and Trish McGeer of Georgetown, Ont., in a battle of the four-wheel-drive supercars that has made the national championship rivetting television for the past six years. The Sprongls compete in an Audi S2 coupe while McGeers wheel a Subaru Impreza WRX.

National television deal

Television coverage of the eight events of the ‘99 calendar is produced by Patterson-Partington International Television Productions of Toronto, which will also feed coverage of each event to the sports departments of television stations across the nation.

The Subaru Canadian Rally Championship is sanctioned by CARS and events are staged by CARS member clubs in regions across the country. The national championship for drivers and co-drivers counts competitors’ best finishes in six of the eight national events.

The calendar of events in the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship includes:

Feb. 12 - 13Rallye de QuebecQuebec City, QC
Feb. 26 - 28Rally Perce NeigePembroke, ON
May 22 - 23Bighorn RallyHinton, AB
May 28 - 29Rocky Mountain RallyCalgary, AB
July 2 - 3Rallye Baie des ChaleursNew Richmond, QC
Sept. 10 - 12Rally of the VoyageursParry Sound, ON
Nov. 5 - 7Rallye Auto CharlevoixPte-au-Pic, QC
Nov. 19 - 20Rally of the Tall PinesBancroft, ON

For further information:

Brian Hyland, Subaru Canada
(905) 568-8087

Jud Buchanan, Yokohama Tires (Canada) Inc.
(905) 795-0800

Terry Epp, President, CARS
(905) 640-6444

Michel Poirier-Defoy
CARS Press Officer
(450) 491-2480

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