Press Release

March 16, 2003
For more information,
Contact: Mike Hurst
Phone: +1-604-619-1583
Rocket Rally Racing
Phone: 604-803-6095
Fax: 604-803-6095

Patrick Richard forced to retire at the end of the Mexico Rally

Leon, Mexico -- Reigning Canadian and North American Rally Champion, Pat Richard was forced into retirement from 4th place on the second to last stage of the Mexico rally when the transmission broke on his Subaru Impreza WRX.

It was a disappointing ending to a very gutsy and competitive performance against several more experienced World Rally Championship drivers on very demanding roads. Only 16 of the 45 cars entered were able to finish the event.

Earlier in the event Pat had experienced a loss of engine pressure in the higher altitude stages and was unable to close the gap later on the three front-runners. In the first stage for example, where the race moved from 1960 to 2500 meters in only 10 kilometers, Pat lost 19 seconds to Argentina's Marcos Ligato, the eventual rally winner. Holding fourth place became the challenge for the final day.

"We didn't push too hard because we wanted absolutely to finish the rally. But the transmission broke completely. I didn't have any gear. I tried to repair it because our gap from the other Subaru in 5th was big, but it was not possible", said Richard. " But I've learned a lot here and improved my notes system, and the Subaru Rally Team Canada was the dominant North American crew throughout the weekend. For the next World Rally Championship event, its very good experience", concluded the Vancouver, BC driver.

The unofficial rally results are: Marcos Ligato the winner 28 seconds clear of Peruvian Ramon Ferreyos in second, followed by Polish Janosz Kulig in third. The 2003 Corona Rally of Mexico, part of the FIA Rally Series of North America (RSNA formerly CNAR), was a very well organized and popular event, which now may gain inclusion on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar in 2004.

For Patrick Richard, his co-driver, Mikael Johansson and the Subaru Rally Team Canada, the next event is the Rally Of New Zealand (April 6-9), round two of the World Rally Championship for Production Group N cars.

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For more information:
Mike Hurst
Rocket Rally Racing
(604) 619 1583

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