Rally driver Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard and the NOS Energy Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX are back in action this weekend at the Rallye Defi after a spectacular X Games performance.

The team has worked hard to return the Evo to fighting form after their incredible front-flip crash last month. Countless sports highlight reels featured amazing images of the car standing on its nose during the flip, and photos have appeared on in newspapers and magazines worldwide.

“Rally cars can take a lot of abuse,” said Comrie-Picard. “It was definitely a big hit, but that’s what you’ve got to do at the X Games: win or crash big! The damage was largely cosmetic.”

Repairs included a roof replacement, a new windshield, and a coat of paint, but the top-spec vehicle’s sophisticated mechanical components were in good shape after the incident.

Neither driver nor co-driver was injured in the crash, which took place while the team was leading their heat against Subaru driver Dave Mirra.

The team will now be looking for points at Canada’s Round 4 after some tough luck earlier in the year.

“We’re confident we’ll be able to make some good points gains here,” said Comrie-Picard. “We have a good record at this event and a strong result will bring us into striking distance of the title.”

Comrie-Picard is a regular podium finisher at the demanding Rallye Defi. The event, which takes place on rural roads within commuting distance of Montreal, taxes team endurance with its long, technical stages.

“I enjoy the challenge of this event and it shows in our results,” said Comrie-Picard. “It’s an incredible feeling when you get into a rhythm on the longer stages – the miles just fly by.”

Comrie-Picard is running a busy 2008 season with events on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border. With just two events remaining in the Rally America championship, he is currently second overall — behind Subaru U.S.A. driver Travis Pastrana.

Comrie-Picard will next compete for Mitsubishi Canada in a new Evolution X at the seventh annual Targa Newfoundland, a week-long endurance event across the island of Newfoundland from Sept. 13 to 20.

Rally racing is one of the most challenging motor sports and competitors are widely considered the most skilled drivers in the world. Teams race against the clock on variable terrain in modified cars that closely resemble those that the average consumer can find at their local dealer. The sport requires intense teamwork between driver and co-driver and extreme skill behind the wheel.

The annual X Games is the premier action sports event on the globe, featuring athletes competing for medals and prize money in sports including BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, and Rally. X Games 14 this summer was ESPN’s most-viewed X Games, with more than a million people tuning into the broadcasts in the United States alone. The rally car racing event was added to the X Games in 2006, and Comrie-Picard has been among the dozen invited drivers in each of the three years.

The ACP Rally program is made possible by: NOS Energy (www.drinknos.com), Mitsubishi Canada (www.mitsubishi-motors.ca), Yokohama Canada (www.yokohama.ca), K&N (www.knfilters.com), Motul (www.motulusa.com), Works (www.worksevo.com), Brian Crower (www.briancrower.com), JE (www.jepistons.com), Exedy (www.exedyusa.com), Oakley (www.oakley.com), Innovate Motorsports (www.tuneyourengine.com), NBB (www.nbblights.ca), Sparco (www.sparcousa.com), Piloti (www.piloti.com), Skull Candy (www.skullcandy.com), and Clearwater Design and the Crerar family (www.clearwaterdesignboats.com).

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