At the wheel of their Rockstar Royal Group Mitsubishi Evo X, North American Champions Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard just added this past weekend’s 2010 Pacific Forest Rally to their record books. The St-Jean-sur-Richelieu couple’s convincing victory, a record-breaking fourth win at this event, vaults the team into the lead of the championship with one event remaining in the season.

After claiming the Rally America championship this summer, in addition to the North American Rally Cup with their victory at Rallye Defi one month ago, Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard fully attained their objective set for at the Pacific Forest Rally in Merritt, British Columbia. The team was disadvantaged on day one by being second on the road in dusty conditions but they took a ten-second lead on the first stage and never looked back. They now head home with the top spot in the hunt for the 2010 Canadian title. “It’s not just an important victory for the championship points, it’s also a fantastic result for me because we lead from the first stage all the way to the last stage. Our Evo X, prepared by John Buffum’s Libra Racing shop, was problem-free during the entire rally and we leave the rally without a scratch on it. Our Yokohama tires allowed us to push hard when we needed to without having to worry about any flats. Honestly, it’s an exceptional result for our entire team and for all of our sponsors,” comments L’Estage.

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard crossed the finish line with a total time of one minute and fourteen seconds faster than their closest rivals. “In addition to this fantastic result, I am particularly proud of this win because we dominated from the beginning, drove well, and increased our lead on Saturday morning’s new stages. At the end of the day, we won nine of the thirteen competitive stages,” adds the Quebec driver.

The Rockstar Royal Group team’s victory here is their third in the five Canadian Rally Championship events held to date this year, two more than any other competing team. It also marks their fifth win in the last six premier national events held in Canada and the United States. With one event remaining on the Canadian calendar, Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard are setting their sights on the 2010 triple crown of North American rallying.

Three-time North American champion (2007, 2008, 2010), Antoine L’Estage also holds two Canadian championship titles (2006 and 2007), one American (2010) and twenty-four overall victories in Canada and the United States. Nathalie Richard holds five overall national championships (Canada and USA) and thirty national victories on both sides of the border. The North American title she won last month is her sixth in seven years.

The next outing for the Rockstar Royal Group team is set for November 20th at the Rally of the Tall Pines in Bancroft, Ontario. This will be the final event in the 2010 Canadian Rally Championship, at which the champion will be declared.

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard is the only team to 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.

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, winners of the 2010 Pacific Forest Rally and leaders of the Canadian Rally Championship. Photo credit: Aaron Kathman, World Rally Sport.



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