FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2001
For more information,
Contact: Patrick Richard
Rocket Rally Racing
VANCOUVER, BC -- Rocket Rally Racing finished the SCCA ProRally season with its first US podium finish and a record-breaking stage time.
The team placed third overall and first in its class in the Lake Superior Pro Rally, October 19 and 20 in Houghton, Michigan. The team, usually in Production GT class, was driving in Group N for the first time in North America. Patrick Richard and co-driver Ben Bradley were in the ex-Mark Lovell Prodrive Subaru Impreza WRX. The Subaru was supported and serviced by Vermont Sportscar.
The team took it easy the first night of the event, getting used to the car and getting a feel for how it handled. "I didn't want to take any unnecessary risks, and we finished the evening in fourth place, almost a minute back from the leader," said Richard.
The next morning, well settled into the car after the precautionary evening, Richard made some small handling adjustments and decided to push the car a bit, to see if he could make up the time necessary to take third place. He could and did, winning several stages in the process. Richard had the fastest car in the rally on Saturday, even though he was competing against many Open class cars with unlimited modifications.
That speed helped Richard break a long-standing record. Until Saturday, the fastest anyone had been able to complete the Brockway Mountain stage, an all-tarmac stage famous for its high speed dips and jumps, was in just under three minutes. Richard flew through it in 2:45, shattering the previous record.
Richard took third behind former British Rally champion Mark Lovell and Pikes Peak champion Rhys Millen. It was a close race and in the end only 22 seconds separated the team from first place. "To be sharing our first US podium with the big names in SCCA ProRally is an honour. It's a satisfying win, after a lot of hard work," said Richard.
Lake Superior was the final event in the 2001 SCCA ProRally season. Richard, the 2000 SCCA ProRally PGT champion, used the US events this season as opportunities to develop his driving skills and gain more experience, racing his personal car in Open class and others' cars in Group N.
Richard's next race is Rallye Internationale de Charlevoix, October 31 to November 4 in Quebec, where he and co-driver Ian McCurdy will be driving as part of the three-car Subaru Canada Rally Team. Rocket Rally Racing is sponsored by Subaru Canada, OMP, DMS Shock Absorbers and Globalstar Communications.
For more information:
Patrick Richard, Rocket Rally Driver
p. (604) 803-6095