First round of the 2011 Canadian Rally Championship

The first round of the Canadian Rally Championship will be run this weekend out of Maniwaki, Quebec, capital city of the Upper Ottawa Valley. Three award-winning and champion crews will head a 10-car Mitsubishi Brigade among the 42 starters. Triple Crown winners Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution will be first on the road. L’Estage and Richard spent the last months attending banquets and events where their Canadian, North American and Rally America titles put them among the best motorsports teams in America. The brother pair of Jan and Jody Zedril from Winnipeg, Canadian 2WD champions for years, will now enter their Lancer in Group 5 while driver Jeffrey Dowell, partnered with Yavor Klostranec, will vie for another Production Sport class title.

Five more teams will enter open-class EVO rallycars and compete for a place in the Top 5. Synchro Racing will have the Losier family in a trio of EVO. 2008 Mitsubishi Cup winner Simon Losier with veteran Brian Maxwell, second year Martin with Patrick Losier and finally Maxime with co-driver Philippe Poirier. Out of retirement come former 2005 Canadian champions Peter Thomson and Rod Hendricksen. Ian Crerar and Doug Draper round up this group of five.

Now a regular fixture on the national scene, the only female crew of Michelle Laframboise and Elise Racette will start their Evo 4 from 25th place. Finally, the Mitsubishi Brigade welcomes the novice team of Peter Guagenti and James Drake on board their EVO IX.

“2010 was an exceptional year for our teams with the best results in the three years of our rally program,” said Kogi Soga, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada Inc. “We wish all of them the very best for the new season. We trust they will put all their efforts in achieving new goals.”

Rallye Perce-Neige: Profile
The 46th Edition of Rallye Perce-Neige, first round of the season, will start Saturday morning in downtown Maniwaki at 9:30 AM with car number 1 L’Estage and Richard heading for 13 hours of an ice and snow festival on logging roads. They will tackle 440 kilometres encompassing 14 speed sections totalling 202 kilometres, the longest and one of the hardest event on the calendar. Friday will have the competitors travel the stages for the regulatory reccie before the new shakedown at night where drivers will welcome guest riders for a charity fundraiser. More information is available at

Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard (right) had a stellar season in 2010 in their Lancer Evolution, earning the Triple Crown. Jan and Jody Zedril (left), again Canadian 2WD and Group 2 champions, entering their production Lancer in Class 5 in 2011.

Photos: Philip Ericksen



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