Press Release

June 21, 2003
For more information,
Contact: Tim Gage
Phone: 604-737-2531
Rocket Rally Racing
Phone: 604-803-6095
Fax: 604-803-6095

Mechanical failure ends Cyprus Rally for Canadian Champion Patrick Richard

Limassol, Cyprus -- Canadian rally champion and North American Group N champion Patrick Richard was forced to retire from the fourth round of the Production Car World Rally Championship yesterday. The Cyprus Rally ended prematurely for Patrick and the Subaru Rally Team Canada after a bizarre mechanical failure.

About thirty kilometers into the second stage, the nut on a ball joint in the Subaru Impreza WRX came loose and unscrewed itself. This caused a loss of steering and completely immobilized the vehicle. Patrick and co-driver Ola Flöene were able to make repairs and get going again, however they ran out of time before completing the stage. Engineers from the Subaru Rally Team Canada examined the car and they are now analyzing procedures to avoid similar problems in the future.

"We were taking clean lines and really driving to finish. We didn't hit any rocks. We didn't break the ball joint. It was sort of a freak thing" said Patrick. "For me it's devastating because that's three DNFs in a row. Cypress was my last gravel event and I haven't been able to score points in any of the gravel rounds. Hopefully I'll have better luck on the asphalt."

On a more positive note, the Cyprus event has allowed Patrick and Ola to make further improvements in their pace notes system. "We changed some small details and it helped a lot" said Ola. "In North America Patrick uses a typical 'blind' driving style, always sideways on the corners. However, with pace notes he can drive a more accurate line and it's much faster. In testing we have been able to save a second per kilometer, which could translate to three or four minutes at the end of a rally."

The Subaru Rally Team Canada remains optimistic and resolute. "The fact that we're the first North American team to compete in the WRC in several years is raising a lot of eyebrows" said Patrick. "It's been a learning year and we haven't had the results yet. But I think people are surprised by the dedication and commitment we have towards doing this." Patrick will continue his apprenticeship in the WRC in five weeks time at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland on July 24th.

Pictures of the Subaru Rally Team Canada in Cyprus are now posted and available.
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For further information about Patrick Richard go to:

Press inquiries: Tim Gage
604 737 2531

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