Performance rally driving champion Antoine L’Estage, and his co-driver Nathalie Richard, both of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (QC), were honoured this past weekend by the Federation de Sport Automobile du Quebec (FSAQ) as winners of the Bertrand-Fabi Trophy. The award is presented annually to a driver or team that has accomplished the most on a national and/or international level.

At the wheel of their Rockstar Royal Group Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard contest the Canadian Rally Championship, which they currently lead with one remaining event. Antoine has amassed a total of 17 overall Canadian national victories and with strong results on both sides of the border, he is on track for his third consecutive North American Rally Championship title. His co-driver and five-time North American Champion, Nathalie Richard, is the first woman to ever receive this prestigious award.

“For us it’s a great honour to receive the Bertrand-Fabi Trophy, especially since it has not been awarded to a rally competitor in over 20 years,” highlights Antoine L’Estage. L’Estage and Richard now share the company of previous winners including Patrick Carpentier and Alexandre Tagliani but not since 1987 (Alain Bergeron) has this trophy been engraved with the name of another driver from the sport of rallying.

Created in 1986 in honour of Sherbrooke driver Bertrand Fabi, this trophy awards driving excellence for Quebec competitors excelling on national and international levels. Fabi had won three Formula 2000 titles and was considered a future F1 star of his time when he lost his life during a Formula 3 testing session accident at England’s Goodwood track. Questioned about the best drivers he’s ever seen race, Formula 3 team owner Dick Bennetts maintains that he’s only ever seen two – Ayrton Senna and Bertrand Fabi.

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard’s 2009 season comes to and end on November 21 with Ontario’s Rally of the Tall Pines Rally, the final round of the Canadian Rally Championship.

Antoine and Nathalie participate in the 2009 Canadian Rally Championship with the proud support of Rockstar Energy Drink, Royal Group, Mitsubishi Canada, Yokohama Tires, Mobil, Energie Cardio, Libra Racing, OMP Racewear, and MBF Racing. For more details on the team or general rally information, please visit the Coyote Rallye Website.

Photo: Dany Flageole/Flagworld.com



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