Press Release

July 25, 2003
For more information,
Contact: Tim Gage
Phone: 604 505 5960
Rocket Rally Racing
Phone: 604-803-6095
Fax: 604-803-6095

Frustrating End to German Rally for Canadian Champion Patrick Richard

Trier, Germany -- Canadian rally champion and North American Group N champion Patrick Richard was forced to retire from the German round of the World Rally Championship today after his gearbox jammed. The result is particularly frustrating for Patrick and the Subaru Rally Team Canada who have been plagued by bad luck throughout the season.

Despite running a brand new 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX STi and conducting meticulous preparations prior to the race, the team encountered difficulties soon after the race started. Patrick and co-driver Ola Flöene lost a minute on the first stage due to a punctured tire and were forced to complete the final eight kilometres of the stage on a bare wheel rim.

On the second stage they lost a further five minutes when the drive shaft broke at the beginning of the stage. In order to avoid burning out the car's differentials Patrick completed the stage without revving the car above 2000 RPM. This was a slow and difficult task on a stage with so many uphill hairpin turns.

Determined to finish the race, Patrick continued as cautiously as possible. He and Ola had a trouble free run on stage three and then ten kilometres into stage four their efforts were cut short when the car's racing dogbox completely jammed.

"I really wanted to finish this event so we decided to not worry about the lost time and just cruise at a steady pace" said Patrick. "I wasn't pushing the car hard at all. As I came out of a corner and shifted into third gear, the dogbox picked two gears at once and literally exploded. It cracked the case open. All four wheels locked up and the car came to a screeching halt. We were lucky it happened on a straight piece of road."

This latest result is particularly unlucky for the Subaru Rally Team Canada. ADAC Rallye Deutschland will be their fourth DNF in a row at the World Rally Championship despite a change in cars, new procedures, and a rigorous testing regime.

"It's especially frustrating because we worked incredibly hard" said Patrick. "The team was well prepared and the car was thoroughly tested prior to the event. We've made many positive changes this season and we know we have the ability to do well. So in spite of this latest setback we will keep moving forward."

Patrick and the Subaru Rally Team Canada will be back in action again in six weeks time for the next round of the Canadian Rally Championship at the Rallye Defi Ste-Agathe in Quebec on September 5th.

Pictures of the Subaru Rally Team Canada in Germany are now posted and available.
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Further information about Patrick Richard:

Press inquiries: Tim Gage
604 505 5960

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