Back-to-Back Victories for the Rockstar Royal Group Team

After having won the Rocky Mountain Rally in Calgary one week prior, Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, both of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (QC), continued their winning streak this past weekend by grabbing the top podium spot at Pennsylvania’s Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR), the fifth round of the Rally America series. This recent victory, the second time the duo has won at this particular event, increases the Rockstar Energy Drink Royal Group team’s lead in the overall Rally America title hunt as well as for the North American Rally Cup.

Already leaders of the Rally America series since Round 2 in February, Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard have once again increased their lead going into the last round of the American championship, as explained by co-driver Richard. “It’s a big win for the entire team. Our crew only had four days to tow the car back across the country and prep it for STPR. During the first competitive stage on Friday afternoon we lost power steering when a hose separated from its fitting. We lost about 40 seconds on the first two stages as a result but with the help of American competitors Bill Bacon and Pat Moro, we were able to repair it, keep going, and win the next stage. Antoine did an awesome job in this rally, which is challenging both mentally and physically. It makes for a pretty satisfying win.”

Antoine and Nathalie finished the first day of competition in third place, just over thirty seconds behind the leader. The next morning the goal was to try to overtake second placed Bill Bacon, the only other driver that has a mathematical chance of winning this year’s title. “We were able to make up the difference early in the morning and then take over the lead shortly thereafter,” confides Antoine. “We pushed when we needed to and our Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X was perfect all day Saturday. Our Yokohama tires worked great in the sometimes rough and sometimes slippery hard-packed clay surfaces and everything fit together perfectly to enable us to win STPR for the second time in three years. It’s a fantastic result, we’ve competed at five rallies this year in the Unites States and we’ve been on the podium for all five!” concludes Antoine.

Only one event remains in the 2010 Rally America calendar, the New England Forest Rally in Maine and New Hampshire in mid-July. With the victory at STPR, Antoine heads to New England with a thirteen point lead in the championship.

Ten days ago the Rockstar Energy Drink Royal Group team was catapulted into second place in the Canadian Rally Championship and they now find themselves with an almost insurmountable lead in the North American Rally Cup and just one step away from the Rally America title.

Antoine L’Estage has won two Canadian championship titles (2006 and 2007), as well as two North American titles (2007 and 2008) and twenty-one overall victories in Canada and the United States. Co-driver Nathalie Richard has earned four national championship titles (two Canadian and two American) and thirty outright national rally victories. In 2009, she won her fifth North American Championship for co-drivers.

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard participate in the entire 2010 Rally America and Canadian Rally championships with the support of Rockstar Energy Drink, Royal Group, Yokohama Tires, Mitsubishi Canada, Drenth Motorsport Gearboxes, Garrett Turbos, Energie Cardio, Libra Racing, Driver’s Edge Autosport (OMP), and VP Racing Fuels. For more information on the team or on rallying in general, visit Coyote Rallye.

In action : Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, winners of the 2010 Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally in their Rockstar Energy Drink Royal Group Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.

Photo: | Mat Janiak



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