pn08_lestpost.jpgTwo weeks after victory in Michigan at Round 1 of the American rally championship, Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, the duo from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, won the Rallye Perce-Neige in Maniwaki, the opening round of the 2008 Canadian Rally Championship.

Two-time and defending Canadian Champion, Antoine L’Estage and his co-driver Nathalie Richard were in a battle with two other teams (Sylvain and Chloe Erickson, as well as Patrick Richard/Alan Ockwell) for two-thirds of the event. Antoine L’Estage built up a significant lead heading into the longest stage of the rally, aiming for victory at this 43rd running of the only winter event in the Canadian series. At the wheel of their Hyundai Tiburon, branded by Concerto Windows and Yokohama Tires, the couple crossed the finish line one minute and 15 seconds ahead of their closest competitor.

“It was a long and difficult rally but it’s really a fantastic win, I can’t remember if I’ve ever had to push the limits that much in order to come away victorious,” declared Antoine L’Estage as he stepped off the podium. “Our strategy to use Yokohama AO34 tires throughout the entire event proved to be the best, Nathalie once again did a great job as my co-driver and our Hyundai Tiburon didn’t let us down in these extreme conditions,” explained Antoine, “we built up a lead of almost a minute on our main rivals and then they all had problems on the first pass through the longest stage, increasing our lead to over three minutes with just two stages to go. If this rally is a tell-tale sign for the rest of the season, there will not be a loss of excitement in 2008!”

Leading Canada, USA, and North America!
This victory at the Rallye Perce-Neige means that Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard are current leaders of the Canadian Rally Championship, in addition to also leading the Rally America series. They also have the maximum number of possible points in the North American Rally Cup, a title that will be hotly contested this year. “It’s an ideal start of the season! These two wins put us at the top of the leader board on both sides of the border – I couldn’t ask for anything more,” concludes A.L’Estage.

Upcoming event
The Rocky Mountain Rally, round 2 in the Canadian Rally Championship will take place in and around Calgary, Alberta on May 23 and 24. The Coyote Rallye team will not be resting until then – they are off to the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in Missouri next week to try to maintain their top standing in the Rally America series.

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard participate in the Canadian Rally Championship with the proud support of : Hyundai Canada, Concerto, Yokohama Tires, Energie Cardio, Libra Racing, OMP Racewear, VP Racing Fuels, Castrol Canada and MBF Racing. You can also visit the team’s site Coyote Rallye for more specific information on the team or as a general rally reference.

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