Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard already know what’s needed for the rest of the Canadian Championship. After abandoning last month’s Rocky Mountain Rally due to mechanical problems, they lost the lead of the title race and must score high points in order stay in the hunt for a third consecutive championship title. The duo from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu enters this weekend’s competition with optimism and confidence. Winners of the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs in 2005 and 2007, Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard will find themselves on familiar roads. Three weeks ago the team was victorious at STPR in Pennsylvania, their third win of the season. L’Estage will once again take the to wheel of his Royal Group Yokohama Hyundai TIburon prepared by the Libra Racing in Vermont. Over 50 cars will take the start of this 31st running of the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs and L’Estage and Richard are ready for battle.

“The season is going really well aside from our misfortune at Rocky, comments Antoine. We have to forget about that and concentrate on the rest of the Canadian championship. Our win in Pennsylvania matched up against the big works teams was a huge victory and it guaranteed us an invitation to this summer’s X Games in Los Angeles. We have two wins on American soil this year but now we need to focus on getting more points in Canada. The championship is far from over and we are always at or near the top of the leaderboard. John Buffum consistently gives us a very well prepared car and the Royal Group Yokohama Hyundai Tiburon is equipped with tires durable enough to withstand the rocky stage roads at Baie.”

Thousands of spectators
Antoine and Nathalie will participate in one day of reconnaissance on Thursday June 26th with the official rally start taking place on Friday at 6pm.. “At Baie, the spectators are amazing and they’re everywhere,” admits Nathalie, defending Canadian and North American co-drivers’ champion. “It’s a really popular event in the region and Antoine excels on these roads. The toughest part of the event for competitors is that if it’s dry it can be almost blindingly dusty … and if it’s wet, extremely muddy!”

On Saturday, the event will restart at 9am and continue all day until 5:30pm. A total of about 400km make up the rally, approximately 190km of those being devoted to competitive stages. More information about the event can be found at

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard compete in the Canadian Rally Championship with the proud support of : Hyundai Canada, Royal Group, Yokohama Tires, Energie Cardio, Libra Racing, OMP Racewear, VP Racing Fuels, 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.

Photo by Pete Kuncis



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