Press Release

July 7, 2003
For more information,
Contact: Tim Gage
Phone: 604-737-2531
Rocket Rally Racing
Phone: 604-803-6095
Fax: 604-803-6095

Canadian Champion Patrick Richard wins Rallye Baie des Chaleurs

New Richmond, Quebec -- Canadian rally champion and North American Group N champion Patrick Richard took first place at the Rallye Baie des Chaleurs last weekend. The race, held in New Richmond, Quebec, was the sixth round of the Canadian Rally Championship and provided a spectacular display of Canada's top rally teams in action. Richard and the Subaru Rally Team Canada won the race by a comfortable four minute margin. However on the first night a closely fought battle developed between the three fastest drivers.

Richard and his two rivals Sylvain Erickson and Andrew Comrie-Picard finished Stage A-1 in almost a dead heat. Stage A-2, a new one for the event, was run twice and Comrie-Picard opened up a lead over Richard on the first pass.

"I wasn't really worried because it's a long rally" said Richard. "On the new stage it was hard to trust the pace notes at first because they weren't written by us. However the second time we ran it we pushed quite hard and set the fastest pace."

However Comrie-Picard lost valuable time when his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4 had a flat tire. Erickson, also driving a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4, suffered a broken gearbox and was forced to retire.

By the end of the first night Richard and co-driver Ian McCurdy had a comfortable three and a half minute lead over the rest of the field and didn 't look back for the remainder of the event. The technicians at Subaru Rally Team Canada did a superb job of preparing and servicing Richard's 2004 Impreza WRX STi. The car ran flawlessly and powered home to its first ever Canadian Championship win.

On the second day Richard and McCurdy put on a dramatic show for the spectators. The pair used the long, narrow straightaways to clock speeds of up to 210 km/h in their new STi. The wide corners invited classic sideways driving and the famous jump at the end of the Camp Brűlé stage flew them across the finish line in spectacular style.

"It's satisfying to be back in the winners circle because we haven't won a Canadian event since Rallye de Quebec" said Richard. "In the last three events we've had two DNFs and a second place, so defending the Championship title still looks very difficult even with this win."

Richard, who is the only North American to also be competing in the World Rally Championship, will be racing again on July 24th - 27th at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland. His next Canadian event will be the Rallye Defi de St. Agathe on September 5th.

For further information about Patrick Richard go to:

Press inquiries: Tim Gage
604 737 2531

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