|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
July 10, 2000
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Contact: Robert Vinet
New Richmond, QC Canada -- RAID Racing battled through two days of performance rallying on the forest roads and trails of the Gaspe Peninsula, to finish in ninth place. 48 teams, from as far away as California and British Columbia, descended upon eastern Quebec to compete in the North American Baie des Chaleurs Rally, the 5th round of the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship, presented by Yokohama Tires. "Our goal, going into this event, was simply to finish the rally. At that time, we couldn't have imagined finishing in the top ten. This is a fantastic result for our small team. It is a testament to the car preparation and team work of each team member," says Robert Vinet, the driver of the Subaru Legacy. Vinet lives in Fredericton, NB.
This was Vinet's first time at this rally, so the knowledge and experience of navigator Malcolm Swann was a definite asset. "Malcolm has rallied here in years past. His knowledge and experience, calmness and enthusiasm all blended together to push me a little harder as the rally progressed. This was the first time we rallied together, and is clearly a reason of the great result," says Vinet. Malcolm Swann is from Stratford, PEI.
But it wasn't easy. "The roads were extremely challenging, with many blind corners, blind jumps, and some very rough sections. We bent 4 wheels on a single stage on Friday night. We had two tires that were coming apart during the rally, and our suspension system was exhausted by the end of the rally," said Vinet. "It rained so hard late Friday night that if I hadn't had the extraordinary PIAA's, I wouldn't have been able to see the road. The rain also made some clay sections very slippery and simply keeping the car on the forest roads was challenging."
"Plus, we had a brake fire on Friday night, and on Saturday the crew had to do some suspension repair to keep us in the rally," added Swann. "But we steadily moved up the standings throughout the weekend, and a 9th place at the Baie des Chaleurs Rally is an especially great result," commented Swann. "At one point on Friday night after a very long, 1.8 km straight, I braked too late for a very tight 90 degree corner and we ended in the bush. Luckily, we did not hit anything too hard and we were able to drive out and finish the stage. That was an exciting moment," commented Vinet.
The Rallye Baie des Chaleurs is traditionally very tough on team members and their machines. Last year only 9 teams finished the rally. This year 48 teams started and 28 teams finished.
RAID Racing's Subaru Legacy was the 5th Subaru in the top ten. The top two finishers were also Subarus. "This is a testament that shows just how tough Subarus really are," says Vinet. "But we are in search of more power for the next event. We are competing with cars with 3 and 4 times the horsepower and need more reliable power to move up the standings even further."
RAID Racing is supported by PIAA Professional Halogen Lamp Systems; CarQuest Canada (parts) and Autosports Systems (Bieffe Helmets; Corbeau Race Seats; rally suspension).
RAID Racing uses the colour and excitement of motorsports, and the extreme nature of performance rallying, to promote safer driving practices with the Race Against Impaired Driving (RAID) program. Robert Vinet is a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who speaks to youth and groups on team work, leadership and staying sober to perform at your best. RAID also maintains the http://www.drivesober.com web site.
The North American Rallye Baie des Chaleurs will be televised across Canada on TSN on July 29 at noon (eastern) and on RDS on July 26 at 7:30 p.m. (eastern).
Results of the Rallye Baie des Chaleurs, Round 5 of the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship, presented by Yokohama (driver, navigator, car, class)
1. Tom McGeer / Mark Williams (Subaru Impreza WRX) Open 2. Sylvain Vincent / Dominique Cyr (Subaru Impreza WRX) Open 3. Keith Townsend / Ian McEwan (Mitsubishi Lancer) Open 4. Patrick Richard / Ian McCurdy (Subaru Impreza RS) PGT 5. Yves Barbe / Thierry Menegoz (Eagle Talon) Open 6. Brian Scott / David Watts (Eagle Talon) PGT 7. Bruno Laverdiere / B. Gilles Lacroix (Eagle Talon) PGT 8. John Paynter / Clarke Paynter (Subaru Legacy GT) PGT 9. Robert Vinet / Malcolm Swann (Subaru Legacy) PGT 10. Joel Levac / Eric Bourbonnais (G.M. Sonoma) PGT