Press Release

December 12, 2002
For more information,
Contact: Patrick Richard
Rocket Rally Racing
Phone: 604-803-6095
Fax: 604-803-6095

Patrick Richard, Canadian Rally Champion, to challenge the world in 2003

VANCOUVER, BC -- Patrick Richard of Vancouver, British Columbia, yesterday received confirmation of his acceptance to race in the 2003 World Rally Championship (WRC) series.

He will contest six events in the 2003 Group N World Rally Championship starting with a race on the ice at the challenging Swedish Rally on February 7th, 2003, followed by famous WRC events in New Zealand, Argentina, Cyprus, Germany, Australia, and Corsica. Although relatively unfamiliar to Canadians, the WRC attracts higher numbers of live spectators than any other worldwide sport aside from soccer, with television viewings annually totaling over 480 million.

"As a reigning Canadian and North American champion, Pat is the first Canadian ever to be registered for a World Rally Championship," said Terry Epp, President of the Canadian Association of Rally Sport. "This will compound the significant growth the sport has recently experienced in North America, and have a significant impact on our goal of attracting a WRC event to these shores in the near future." Canada has been on the shortlist of countries that the FIA, world rallying's governing body, is considering for additions to the WRC calendar.

Pat, born in Quebec and now residing in Vancouver, began rallying in 1999. Although a relative newcomer to the sport, his rapid rise to success since then includes 3 North American and 2 Canadian class championships. This year, driving for the Subaru Canada Rally Team, he captured both the 2002 Canadian Rally Championship and the 2002 North American Group N Championship. He recently returned from competing in his first ever WRC event, the Rally Great Britain in Wales, where he set some top Group N times and received strong reviews.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to compete against the best in the world in 2003, and to be the only North American to do so", said Richard. "We will be putting the World Rally Championship in the eyes of Canadians, and we will be representing Canada and North America on the world stage." As a key component of a multi-year strategy, Richard's 2003 program also includes defending his Canadian Rally (CARS) title, and competing in selected North American (CNAR) events. "We're now looking at maximizing our North American exposure and gaining as much event experience at the WRC level as possible."

Richard's management company, Rocket Rally Racing, recently signed a marketing agreement with veteran North American sports marketing consultant Mike Hurst. "Our goal is to get the top North American driver prospect competing at the sport's highest level," explained Hurst, "and to bring a WRC event to North America. Pat's program for 2003 is part of that strategic plan, and we are pursuing sponsorship opportunities to make that happen."

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For more information and media collaterals please contact:
Mike Hurst
p. +1 (604) 619-1583

Patrick Richard, Rocket Rally Driver
p. +1 (604) 803-6095

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