A brand new motorsport championship will start this weekend at the Rallye Perce-Neige Maniwaki. The Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC), pitting all the young Canadian drivers against each other, as well as numerous veterans.
The Eastern Canadian Rally Championship does not compete with the national championship, it simply offers an opportunity to the vast majority of the competitors registered in the national rallies contested in Ontario and Quebec, to vie for an attainable title in the eastern side of the country.
The rules are the same as those of the Canadian championship, with the exception of the eligibility of the drivers, which is solely based on their speed factor. This weekend at the Rallye Perce-Neige Maniwaki, the Canadian performance rally season opener, almost all of the registered teams will also qualify to score in the ECRC. This guarantees a good fight for the first event, held on icy and snow-covered roads in the popular Quebec rally, which also happens to be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary !
“The Canadian Eastern Rally Championship was not created to take away from the national series but more to answer to organizers’ needs as well as to address eastern competitors motivation and visibility issues in a real championship. The series, recognized by CARS (the governing body of Canadian performance rallying), takes into consideration teams’ financial capabilities, both those of new and experienced veteran teams, who don’t have the means to contest the entire national championship,” explains series official, Alain Bergeron.
The start of the Rallye Perce-Neige Maniwaki will take place on Saturday morning in downtown Maniwaki, in the Haute Gatineau region of Québec. Amongst the favourites at this fiftieth edition of the event and the inaugural rally of the Eastern Canadian Rally Championship, include local hero Sylvain Érickson.
Already two-time overall winner of this rally, Érickson will return to competition this weekend at the wheel of a new Hyundai Accent Evolution he built himself. He will face stiff competition from Subaru drivers Sylvain Vincent, Ugo Desgreniers, the young Karel Carré and the 2014 Quebec champion Maxime Labrie, as well as Ontarians Jeremy Norris and Ian Crerar and Quebecker Jean-Sébastien Besner, in their Mitsubishis.
Any one of about a dozen drivers could win the Rallye Perce-Neige. The Eastern Canadian Rally Championship will also recognize two wheel drive winners.
For more information on the Eastern Canadian Rally Championship, please visit the official website : www.ecrc-crec.ca.
The 2015 season consists of Rallye Perce-Neige (February 7), Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs (June 27 – 28), Rallye Défi (September 11 – 12) and Rally of the Tall Pines (November 28).
The complete list of this weekend’s Rallye Perce-Neige competitors is available on the website www.rallyeperceneige.com.
From: Alain Bergeron