Maine’s Last Ditch Racing rally team began their 2011 season by sliding their Subaru STi onto the podium of the Ontario Provincial Rally Championship portion of the 46th edition of the Rallye Perce Neige, Round 1 of the 2011 Canadian Rally Championship.

Driver John Cassidy and Co-Driver Dave Getchell drove through the forests of Quebec during the epic event that spanned approximately 15 hours. The weekend began on a difficult note for the crew when neither the rally car, nor the service vehicle would start while Cassidy and Getchell were out on recce. What was meant to be a fairly relaxed day for the LDR crew was spent troubleshooting both. “Each rally presents some sort of adversity-we’d find it all on the stages, but the crew had their fair share as well.”

“To say that Rallye Perce Neige is a challenging event is an understatement,” said Cassidy. “This was our first Canadian winter event in three years, and there was definitely a bit of rust. We struggled to find pace early on.” The crew found tire choice to be difficult, using three types of tires during the day-with mixed results, eventually settling on. The stages were often just two clear lines of sheer ice with a small amount of snow in places. Adding to the challenge was that surface conditions changed often on the famously long stages.

Starting 17th on the road, the team dropped down the order before floating back up to an overall finish of 15th in the National field. “The field was extremely deep at Perce Neige and if there’s one thing Canadian drivers know, it’s how to drive in the snow!” On the second passage through the long Kitigan-Zibi stage, the crew passed cars, and were passed in turn. “It was surreal to spend 30 minutes concentrating – pushing as hard as we could, all the while looking at cars we were catching up and keeping an eye on the rear view!”

Last Ditch Racing’s next event will be the Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs in New Richmond, Quebec in July, 2011

The team would like to thank the organizers, volunteers, fans and fellow competitors for the wonderful event. John and Dave would like to thank their onsite crew for the event: Duncan Matlack and Michael Rademacher. The Triple Caution Farm crew: Drew Gladu, Drew Simpson and Nathan Haskell.

Last Ditch Racing would like to thank their 2011 Partners for their continued support:

VP Racing fuels, http://www.vpracingfuels.com
Triple Caution, LLC, http://www.triplecaution.us
For more information on Rallye Perce Neige, please visit: http://www.rallyeperceneige.com/

For more information on Last Ditch Racing: http://www.lastditchracing.com

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Photos Copyright 2011, Peter MacDonald, www.PeterMac.ca

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