4th round of the 2010 Canadian Rally Championship

The 4th round of the Canadian Rally Championship was exactly the turntable the Mitsubishi Brigade drivers expected last weekend when Antoine L’Estage and codriver Nathalie Richard from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC never put a wheel wrong in their Mitsubishi Evolution and took the outright win in Rallye Defi, held in the Quebec Laurentians north of Montreal. For L’Estage, already crowned North American and Rally America champion, this was his 5th victory in the Fall classic, a new record. Far more important, the 22 points awarded for the victory put L’Estage and Richard merely three points shy from the top of the season standings.

If the eventual winners took an early lead and never looked back, the battle in 2WD class was a blockbuster. Jan and Jody Zedril from Winnipeg in a production Lancer ES played musical chair with two competitors before being slowed with a deflating tire. At the end of the 19-stage affair, they ended 2 seconds short of a class win but almost secured another Canadian title with two rounds remaining.

Synchro Racing put two more EVOs in the Top 10: Maxime Losier and Philippe Poirier in their EVO VIII took a rewarding fifth while Martin and Patrick Losier rallied to a superb ninth place in an older EVO V. A late entry, the only lady crew of Michelle Laframboise from Picton and Elise Racette from Mirabel completed the event in 20th spot.

Finally, Production Sport class victory was sole property of Ontarians Jeffrey Dowell and Yavor Klostranec in their 2009 Lancer DE model. They stretch their lead in this class and have another championship for Mitsubishi in sight.

“The success of the Mitsubishi Brigade last weekend is the result of hard work and outstanding driving skills. It is always good news when our teams win and fight for a championship”, said Koji Soga, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada. (MMSC). “Our crews have already clinched some titles and we hope they do as well in the two rounds remaining on the calendar.”

Next round: Pacific Forest in three weeks

Rally teams will have to work double duty in the coming weeks. Cars have to be extensively revised between events and the next one, the Pacific Forest Rally is out of Merritt, British Columbia, on October 1st and 2nd. L’Estage and Richard have won the other Western event, the Rocky Mountain, and will try to fill the 3-point gap the Subaru team of defending champions Patrick Richard and Alan Ockwell have on them. Just showing up and starting will make the Zedril brothers Canadian champions in 2WD class. For more information, please visit the event web site at www.pacificforestrally.com.

Antoine L’Estage and codriver Nathalie Richard (right) in their Mitsubishi Evolution took the outright win. Michelle Laframboise and Elise Racette (center) are the only lady crew in the championship.

Pictures from Philippe Ericksen



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