|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
November 1, 2000
|For more information,|
Contact: Patrick Richard
Rocket Rally Racing
VANCOUVER, BC -- Strong driving helped B.C.-based Rocket Rally Racing regain the championship lead in the Production GT class of the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship. At last weekend's Rallye International de Charlevoix, October 24 to 29 in the Charlevoix and Saguenay regions of Quebec, the team placed first in its class and fifth overall against North American and European rally cars.
Charlevoix (formerly Rallye Automobile Charlevoix) is the longest rally event in North America at over 1,100 kilometres. It is also one of the most popular, with tens of thousands of fans on hand to cheer on teams from around the world.
Fans were treated to a fast-paced contest between Rocket Rally Racing and the Michigan-based team of Brian Scott and David Watts. The two teams have been battling all season for the Production GT honours.
"Our strategy for the event was to shadow Brian and then 'open it up' on the last day. Unfortunately, the strategy had to change, because Sunday's two long stages, where we were hoping to break out a lead, were cancelled," said Patrick Richard, Rocket Rally Driver. A surprise snowstorm late on Saturday dropped 25 centimetres of snow on the area, changed road conditions dramatically and quickly, and caused organizers to cancel two stages. Of the 58 cars that started the event, only 24 finished. "We were left with only two icy four-kilometre stages in which to secure a lead. Luckily, I enjoy icy, treacherous conditions."
Rocket Rally Racing finished the event ahead of Scott, but just by 9.5 seconds. "The battle was really tight. He'd win one stage, I'd win the next; I couldn't let up for a minute. It's pretty remarkable that after 1,100 kilometres our times were fewer than 10 seconds apart."
This was the first time Charlevoix was sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile, the governing body of world motorsport. Observers from the FIA evaluated the event for its possible inclusion in the 2002 World Rally Championship. Charlevoix will be televised several times nationally, beginning on TSN November 4 at 1 p.m. (Eastern).
This weekend's win helped solidify Richard's position, but doesn't guarantee it, as Scott is only a few points behind in the race for the championship title. The battle continues at Rally of the Tall Pines, the last event in the 2000 Subaru Canadian Rally Championship, November 24 and 25 in Bancroft, Ontario.
Rocket Rally Racing is sponsored by Specialty Subaru of North Vancouver, DMS Shock Absorbers, SPD Tuning Service and Dragon Eyewear, with Option Subaru of Quebec City providing local event assitance.
For more information contact:
Nathalie Richard, Rocket Rally Boss
Patrick Richard, Rocket Rally Driver
1409 Pendrell Street
Vancouver, BC V6G1S3