Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, both of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (QC), are gearing up for this weekend’s Rally of the Tall Pines, in Bancroft, Ontario. This final round of the 2010 Canadian Rally Championship presents the Rockstar Royal Group team with the opportunity to put their hands on yet another 2010 championship title, which would automatically give them the “Triple Crown”, earmarked for the team winning the Canadian Rally Championship, the Rally America series, and the North American Rally Cup all in the same year. This is an extremely rare feat in the world of motorsports.

At the wheel of his Rockstar Royal Group Mitsubishi Evo X, Antoine L’Estage is confident heading into the final round of the season. “It will be a super exciting rally! Nathalie and I have already won Tall Pines on three previous occasions and it’s where I won my very first national rally in 2004,” he confides.

The situation at the top of the driver’s championship is as such: the L’Estage/Richard duo is leading by two points. If the team and their primary rivals finish the rally, as long as L’Estage/Richard lead at the end of the day, Triple Crown honours will have been earned. “I really enjoy Tall Pines and I always feel at ease, regardless of the road conditions. If I had my choice, I’d prefer dry gravel to snow or ice-covered roads because they will almost definitely be lined by ditches instead of snow banks. But at the same time, I’ve often won in those conditions so I don’t have any apprehensions and thanks to Yokohama, we have all the compounds we could need,” explains the Quebec driver.

The Rockstar Royal Group team tested its Mitsubishi Evo X last week to ensure that everything is in order mechanically before arriving in Bancroft. “We’re not leaving anything to chance because one thing is certain: it will be an epic battle,” concludes Antoine. Nathalie Richard adds, “We have won the last two rounds of the Canadian Championship and even the last three events if you count the final round of the Rally America series in the US where we won the title this summer. We’re on a roll and we’ll do everything to carry on that momentum up until the end of Tall Pines,” mentions the co-driver.

Antoine L’Estage currently holds three North American titles (2007, 2008 and 2010), two Canadian championship titles (2006 and 2007), one American title (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 clinched in September is her sixth in seven years.

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard make up 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, taking a commanding lead at the Pacific Forest Rally in October.
Photo: Matthew Young /



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