Quebec driver Antoine L’Estage (of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu) and his co-driver Nathalie Richard (of Halifax, Nova Scotia) are contesting this weekend’s Rocky Mountain Rally, the second round of the Canadian Rally Championship, to be held near Calgary, Alberta. 2011 Champions, winners of this event the last two years, and current series leaders after a dominating victory at the Rallye Perce-Neige this winter, the Rockstar Energy Drink duo will give their all to continue their Rocky Mountain Rally winning streak.

“The Rocky Mountain Rally is a rally that I like, where I’ve often done very well. It’s the only spring event in the Canadian championship but we’re just as likely to deal with winter snow and mud conditions, as we are with dry spring roads if it’s sunny,” confides Antoine L’Estage. “We have to stay concentrated because it’s a long rally of about 800 km, 200 of which are at full speed, and we must to ensure we’re well prepared in order to perform at our peak. We’re properly equipped with our Yokohama tires regardless of the road conditions we’ll face and our Mitsubishi Evo X is already out west, where it remained for re-preparation after the last round of the Rally America series.”

Taking place in Calgary and Kananaskis on Friday and Saturday (the 25th and 26th), the Rocky Mountain Rally has been a part of the Canadian Rally Championship since 1973. Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard have each won the rally four times, claiming victory together three of the last five years. “We’ll always keep the championship title not too far back in our minds – we want to accumulate as many points here as possible in order to increase our lead in the series before heading to the Quebec summer events. Having said that, winning this edition of the Rocky Mountain Rally is one of our top priorities and we’re confident we can do it,” shares co-driver Nathalie Richard.

Antoine L’Estage holds four North American championship titles (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), four Canadian titles (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011), one American title (2010), and thirty-two overall victories in Canada and the US. Nathalie Richard holds seven overall national championship titles (4 Canadian and 3 American), as well as thirty-eight overall rally wins on both sides of the border. She also holds a record seven North American Co-Driving Championship titles (2004 – 2011, excluding 2006).

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard participate in the 2012 Rally America and Canadian Rally Championships with the support of Rockstar Energy Drink, Formica Group, Fenetres Concerto, Mitsubishi Canada, Yokohama Tires, Drenth Motorsport Gearboxes, Garrett Turbos, Energie Cardio, VP Racing Fuels, Exe-Tc Suspensions, Hawk Performance Brake Pads, Driver’s Edge Autosport, and Libra Racing. For more information on the team or on rallying in general, visit antoinelestage.com.

Photo: Reigning champions and winners of the last round of the Canadian Rally Championship, Antoine L’Estage & Nathalie Richard. By World Rally Sport / Mike Proulx

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