Press Release

June 16, 2003
For more information,
Contact: Tim Gage
Phone: 604-737-2531
Rocket Rally Racing
Phone: 604-803-6095
Fax: 604-803-6095

Canadian Rally Champion Patrick Richard Forced to Retire From Pacific Forrest Rally

Merritt, BC -- Canadian rally champion and North American Group N champion Patrick Richard was forced to retire from the fifth round of the Canadian Rally Championship this weekend after the engine of his 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi caught fire. The premature end to Patrick's race occurred immediately after the fifth stage. Up until this point Patrick and co-driver Ian McCurdy had been well placed to win.

Patrick led in the first stage of the event. He was nine seconds faster than Sylvain Erickson in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IV, and fourteen seconds faster than Tom McGeer, his Subaru Rally Team Canada team mate. In the second stage Patrick lost first gear causing him to lose valuable seconds on the hair pins and at the start of consequent stages. By the fourth stage Patrick's gearbox had also lost reverse gear and the centre differential was jammed. However, Patrick managed to minimize the time lost and hung on to second place behind Sylvain Erickson until the first service.

During the twenty minute service, the Subaru Rally Team Canada crew demonstrated outstanding teamwork and professionalism as they hastily changed the dog box back to the standard STi gear box. Patrick returned to a leading pace in the fifth stage and again set the fastest time, gaining twelve seconds against the leader, Sylvain Erickson, and fifteen seconds against Tom McGeer.

However Patrick's hopes for victory ended after the fifth stage when an oil leak caused the turbo to catch fire, engulfing the engine bay and causing extensive damage to the wiring.

"It's too bad because the crew worked really hard" said Patrick. "We had some gearbox problems in the morning but were able to set some good stage times. The crew changed the gearbox at the first service in fifteen minutes which was amazing. We set a blistering time on the first stage after that. We were second overall and well on our way to getting back in the lead. But when we stopped at the end of the stage we noticed there was smoke. We went about fifty meters beyond the control and there was a big fire. All the engine wiring melted. It looked like an oil hose blew because there was oil all over the ground. It's too bad because we were on the pace. This was my home rally, my home crowd and my first national race in BC. I wanted to win."

Fortunately the day ended successfully for Subaru Rally Team Canada when Tom McGeer took first place from the leader, Sylvain Erickson, who went off the road four kilometers from the finish.

This week Patrick and the Subaru Rally Team Canada will be in Cypress to compete in the World Rally Championship on June 20th. This will be the fourth WRC event for Patrick, who is the only North American to be competing in the international championship.

For pictures of the Pacific Forrest Rally go to:

For further information about Patrick Richard go to:

Further information about the event:

Press inquiries: Tim Gage
604 737 2531

- 30 -

Press Release Index
Teams Index
RRN Index