Subaru Rally Team Canada driver Patrick Richard and co-driver Alan Ockwell dominated the field to a decisive first place finish at the second round of the Canadian Rally Championship, the Rocky Mountain Rally, held this past weekend near Calgary, AB. Driving an an all-new 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, this event marked the Canadian debut of this vehicle in rally competition, and the first time that the new 2008 platform has seen overall victory in North American rallying.

“I am pleased to see that we’ve started off the new partnership with Subaru Canada with the absolute best result possible,” explained Richard. The top overall finish included a field that included the 2007 Canadian Rally Champion, Antoine L’Estage, and the 2008 Rally America Championship points leader, Andrew Comrie-Picard, who are both qualifying for a position in the 2008 Summer X Games 14. “We still have more work to do but this means that we are in a great position for the overall championship. The team worked really hard and this is a great way to start off.”

The first place finish vaults Richard and co-driver Ockwell to the top of the Canadian Rally Championship standings, and marked the first time that co-driver Ockwell has stood on the very top of the overall podium.

“I’ve been rallying a long time,” explained Ockwell, “and I’m fortunate to be part of this hard working team that not only has brought the first North American victory to Subaru with a brand new 2008 Impreza WRX STi, but also the first victory of my career.” Although Ockwell’s partnership with Richard is relatively new, he joins a long list of top co-drivers who all have earned their first overall victories with Richard. “I hope that this is the first of many more victories,” exclaimed Ockwell. Co-drivers typically sit beside the driver while they drive as fast as possible, on closed public roads that they have never competed on before. The co-driver must dictate to the driver every single curve and nuance in the road surface, to ensure that they do not go off the road and crash, all the while trying going as fast as is possible. “Alan did a flawless job and all I can say is, he deserves the win,” said Richard.

While this event marked the debut of the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi and the partnership between Subaru Canada and Richard’s rally preperation business, Rocket Rally Racing, additional support for the team was announced this weekend as well. New sponsors coming on board for 2008 include Vision-X Lighting and Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), who join long-time Richard supporters Crawford Performance and Motul Lubricants. All four companies are providing product support for the 2008 Subaru Rally Team Canada and Rocket Rally Racing.

All rounds of the Canadian Rally Championship are televised nationally and internationally. For television times, please check your local listings. More information about the Canadian Rally Championship can be found at www.carsrally.ca.

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