Press Release

Contact: Michel Poirier-Defoy
Tel: (450) 491-2480
Date: February 24, 1999

presented by

EVENT:Rallye Perce-Neige
LOCATION:Pembroke, Ontario
STATUS: Second event in 1999February 26 - 28
STATS: 13 special stages225 Km of speed sections
TOTAL RALLY DISTANCE: 570 KmOne day event

1999 Standings: Frank Sprongl, 20 points; Sylvain Vincent, 15; Jean-Sébastien Besner, 12; Tom McGeer, 10; Yves Barbe, 8; Éric Tremblay, 6; Stéphane Lévesque, 4

Class Leaders: Open: Sprongl; Group 2: Hammer; Production GT: Vincent; Prod. Sport: Lévesque; Prod. 1750: Rosenshein

Marques Championship Leaders: Open: Audi; Group 2: Suzuki; Production GT: Eagle; Prod. Sport: Toyota; Prod. 1750: Suzuki

Feb. 12 - 13Rallye de QuebecQuebec City, QCFrank/Dan Sprongl
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
Oct. 29-31Rallye Auto CharlevoixPointe-au-Pic, QC
Nov. 20 - 21Rally of the Tall PinesBancroft, ON


Battle for Top Spot Moves to Pembroke

Pembroke, Ontario -- A clash of epic proportion is expected this weekend in Pembroke, Ontario, at the Rallye Perce-Neige. The Sprongl brothers and the McGeers, along with 30 other registered teams, are preparing to go head to head to secure a win at stop number two of the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship presented by Yokohama Tires of Canada.

Defending champions Dan and Frank Sprongl achieved a solid win in the Rallye de Quebec with their Castrol Audi Quattro S2, but, for the most part, it was uncontested. Tom and Trish McGeer's Subaru Impreza WRX fell victim to a seized brake caliper in the fourth stage, which cost them almost 11 minutes. The husband and wife team spent the rest of the rally playing catch-up and winning eight of the 16 stages in the process. In the end, the McGeers managed to place fourth, but the Rallye de Quebec should have been a closer battle. The heated Sprongl/McGeer rivalry now moves to Pembroke this weekend.

The French Connection
At Quebec, both Jean-Sebastien Besner, and Sylvain Vincent, fought a hard battle for second position. Vincent who crossed the finish line second behind the Sprongls eventually overtook Besner, the lead driver for a good portion of the rally. Besner had to be satisfied with third. Jean-Marc Alcaraz, on the other hand, was completely denied a top five finish due to an electrical problem; this was despite the fact he was among the fastest. Alcaraz won't be sitting idle in Pembroke. Expect all three drivers to rally flat out for a Perce-Neige podium finish.

Two-wheel drive specialist Jon Nichols, will feel the renewed heat of competitor Marc Racine. Racine had fallen ill just before the Quebec rally, and was forced to bow out. This left Nichols unchallenged and, although he did manage to rack up qualifying points, he only just avoided disqualification… by 43 seconds! Either way, Pembroke should be an exciting two-wheel drive venue with Pete Pollard and Chris Havas struggling for top spot with both Racine and Nichols.

The crowd-pleasing, fire-breathing Audi/Fox kit car of American Sakis Hadjiminas will once again wow audiences. But, will he finish? A victim of tire punctures in Quebec, Hadjiminas will fight to get his car in the top five in Pembroke, as will ice driving specialists Keith Townsend and Barry Latreille.

A Downtown Show
Spectators will be able to see a special opening stage of the rally, held downtown Pembroke near the Ottawa River. Afterwards, Canadian Forces Base Petawawa will host daytime special stages. The rest of the 13 special stages of the Perce-Neige rally, continues on of frozen roads in the Pontiac, Quebec region, totalling more than 220 kilometres. For the first time ever, Perce-Neige will be televised; the rally will air on TSN later in March.

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

For more information, contact:

CARS Press Officers:
Michel Poirier-Defoy (450) 491 - 2480
Stephan Mostad

Terry Epp, CARS (905) 640 - 6444

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