FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 2013
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Coyote Rallye Media Services
NEW RICHMOND, QUEBEC — At the wheel of their Rockstar Energy Drink Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, Quebec driver Antoine L'Estage (of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu) and his co-driver Nathalie Richard (of Halifax, Nova Scotia) won this past long weekend's Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs, an event counting towards the North American Rally Cup and the Canadian Rally Championship. In doing so, the duo set a new record of five victories at this event.
« It's a really big win for the entire Rockstar Energy Drink Team » exclaimed the multiple Canadian and North American champion Antoine L'Estage. « We gave up big points by not finishing the Rallye Perce-Neige at the beginning of the season and it was really important for us to reclaim as many points as we could against our rivals in order to remain in the hunt for another title this year. Seeing as the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs was just the second round of the season, the series is still young and this victory comes at a really crucial time for us » he adds.
In addition to dominating the event, the more notable achievement by Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard is a new record of five victories each at the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs. « We really wanted to win this one and we're both thrilled that we could deliver » indicates Nathalie Richard.
Antoine L'Estage adds : « It's a result that puts us back in the saddle. This victory is excellent for my confidence following the difficult obstacles that we had to overcome in the past few months. It's also a great win for the whole team after working so hard ».
This 2013 edition of the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs was not an easy one for the teams to contest, with weather conditions ranging from humid sunny skies to pouring rain, leaving mixed conditions of muddy, slippery, or even dry competitive road conditions. « The conditions were atrocious under really heavy rain on Saturday during the second leg. We decided to use soft compound Yokohama tires which work particularly well, even in extremely muddy conditions ».
From the start of the event, the Rockstar Energy Drink Team pushed hard, winning the first eight competitive stages of the rally. Their big lead almost completely dwindled away towards the end of the first day, after they incurred a head gasket problem. Restarting Day 2 in second position by over 10 seconds, Antoine and Nathalie quickly took back the lead : « we decreased the boost to minimum and surprisingly enough, our biggest rival was going through the same type of problem (overheating). The last few stages were stressful but we eventually won the rally by a margin of just under 54 seconds » explains Antoine L'Estage, who concludes : « It really is an exceptional rally and again, I have to congratulate the organization. It's our fifth win here, and our third consecutive. I keep repeating myself but it really is one of the best rallies in North American and I'm proud that we hold the record ».
Antoine L'Estage holds five North American championship titles (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012), five Canadian titles (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012), one American title (2010), and thirty-nine overall victories in Canada and the US. Nathalie Richard holds eight overall national championship titles (2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 in Canada and 2004, 2005, 2010 in the US), as well as forty-five overall rally wins on both sides of the border. She also holds a record eight North American Co-Driving Championship titles (2004 - 2012, excluding 2006).
Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard participate in the 2013 Rally America and Canadian Rally Championships with the support of Rockstar Energy Drink, Fenetres Concerto, Mitsubishi Canada, Yokohama Tires, Drenth Motorsport Gearboxes, Énergie Cardio, Formica Group, Alpinestars, VP Racing Fuels, Exe-Tc Suspensions, Driver's Edge Autosport, and Libra Racing.
For more information on the team or on rallying in general, visit antoinelestage.com.
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