The Canadian Rally Championship shifts into its second half this weekend with the fourth round on the calendar, Rallye Defi, being held over the Quebec Laurentians forest roads. The Mitsubishi Brigade will be represented by nine teams out of the 35-car starting grid. Perfect so far with three wins in as many outings, already North American champions and Rally America vice-champions, Antoine L’Estage from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and co-driver Nathalie Richard, will be first on the road Friday morning in their Lancer Evolution. Another victory could almost lock the 2011 title for them. By the same token, Mitsubishi, as a manufacturer, also leads the Canadian standings in 4 classes.
Back in action on their home turf, Synchro Racing Team is entering 3 Lancer EVOs for the members of the Losier family : Simon will team up with a new co-driver Anick Madon in his familiar EVO VIII from 7th place on the grid. From 9th place, Maxime will be at the helm of another EVO VIII with Philippe Poirier codriving. Finally, Martin and Patrick Losier will take to the roads in their EVO V from 15th position.
Competition will be fierce between 3 more Mitsubishi teams leading the two-wheel drive classes. Winnipeg’s own returning champions Jan and Jody Zedril now in Group 5 will have at it against Jeffrey Dowell and Yavor Klostranec who rule the Production Sport category with their 2009 Lancer DE. Jeff and Emma Tooth will start their second national event and could split the two other teams.
Last but not least, two regular teams at this level of competition are entered. Ian Crerar and Doug Draper in their EVO VI will start from 19th position in the line-up while the only lady crew in Canada, Michelle Laframboise and Elise Racette, are 27th at the start.
“Our teams were able to maintain the rhythm all season and are leading in many categories which shines back on our brand and shows the liability of our products,” said Koji Soga, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada. (MMSC). “This event has proven to be a difficult one over the years for crews and cars and we trust they will again deliver good results.”
Defi 2011 profile
As usual, Rallye Defi spans over 3 days. After a day spent driving the roads at low speed to recce the speed sections in details, the cars will head to the start early Friday morning at 9 AM from Ste-Agathe for a first day of competition that will end at night with the famous Palomino stages for spectators. Saturday will be spent around Montpellier, a community closer to Ottawa/Gatineau: stages in the Papineau-Labelle reserve and the surrounding villages will take place, besides two feature spectator stages on asphalt. The podium ceremony and awards presentation will take place in Ripon on Saturday evening. For more information, please visit the event web site at www.rallyedefi.com or visit our password free media website at www.mitsubishi-motors-pr.ca
Unbeaten so far this season, Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard (left) in their Lancer Evolution are favorite to earn a fourth win in a row. Jeffrey Dowell and Yavor Klostranec are leading the Production Sport and 2WD classes in their production Lancer.
Pictures from Philippe Ericksen
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