The sixth and final round of the 2008 Canadian Rally Championship, the Rally of the Tall Pines, will be held this coming weekend out of Bancroft, a small community two hours west of Ottawa. Nine Mitsubishi crews will take to the forest roads where three of them will vie for overall victory or a podium finish out of the 40-car grid. Those teams will also compete for the Mitsubishi Cup, awarded by the manufacturer to the crew that best performs in the championship. But, in order to succeed, they will have to face the mythic Tall Pines challenge, where road conditions can vary from muddy to icy in a matter of minutes.

The Cup leaders, Simon and Maxime Losier from Blainville, Quebec are entered but two more teams can earn enough points to finish on top of the standings. Mathieu L’Estage and Yanick Napert from Quebec have also won a round this year. Finally, Andrew Comrie-Picard will have the honor of steering the first rally-prepared 2008 Lancer Evolution. For this maiden rally, ACP will have a new lady co-driver, Chrissie Beavis, an American from San Diego.

Synchro Rally team owner Rejean Losier, Ian Crerar from Picton and Francisco Pereira from Etobicoke, Ontario will also steer different versions of EVO machines. Finally, Jan Horsey will start her production Lancer. She has already locked second place in her class since the Zedril brothers from Winnipeg, also in a stock Lancer, clinched the championship at the last event in British-Columbia.

“It will be interesting to see how our teams fight for overall victory and among themselves for the Mitsubishi Cup”, comments Koji Soga, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada (MMSCAN). “We are very happy with the results our rally program generated in its first year. Our teams have done very well individually and the battle among them has created a lot of emotions. With Andrew Comrie-Picard starting the last event of the season with a new Lancer Evolution, this is the start of a new era that will be very bright for our brand.”

The sixth and last round of Canadian championship will be held on forest roads around Bancroft. The Rally of the Tall Pines has been held since 1971: the event draws large crowds and is always spectacular because its roads are quite unpredictable. Tall Pines is synonymous with Winter roads and Summer ditches ! The total competition distance is 450 kilometers, with 15 special speed sections totaling some 177 km of high-speed slipping and sliding. First car leaves at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning and is due back around 9:00 p.m.

“We have worked non-stop to have the new Evolution ready for the Pines”, mentions Comrie-Picard. “We never know what to expect with a new car and we want to learn as much as possible during the event. The Pines is a huge event to debute a new machine and we see this as a shakedown before 2009. But that doesn’t mean we won’t be fast!”

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