MONTPELLIER, QC (September 11, 2022)- The Rallye Défi Petite Nation, the traditional event to mark the end of summer, took place this past weekend in the Montpellier (Outaouais) region of Québec.
After a one month pause, it was time for the Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC) to present its fifth of eight rounds that make up the season. An event contested in perfect weather conditions with seasonal temperatures saw victory go to Jean-Sébastien Besner and Yvan Joyal, in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.
This was the first ECRC win since 2018 for the Montreal driver, who was crowned champion of this series also in 2018. This past weekend at Défi, Besner and his co-driver Yvan Joyal monopolized the top spot from the very first competitive stage right up until the seventeenth and final stage. All the while, they were facing a threat from Olivier Martel and Vincent Hubert (Subaru WRX STI), who eventually finished in second place, 35 seconds behind.
The podium was completed by Dave Cyr and Amélie Bélanger, also in a Subaru WRX STI. For this novice team, it was another exceptional performance following their Top 5 finish at the last Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs. They finished this 2022 edition of the Rallye Défi Petite Nation by a margin of 2 minutes and 38 second from the winners.
It was a disappointing end for championship leaders Bruce Leonard and Matthew Ballinger, who had to retire from the event after suffering an accident. The same fate was met by Jonathan Drake, winner of the previous ECRC event (Black Bear Rally). Co-driven by Crawford New (Subaru WRX STI), Drake was nonetheless able to restart the competition after rolling his car, but had to settle for 18th place in the overall ECRC standings, out of 19 finishers. A total of 28 teams registered in the Eastern Canadian Championship and started this event.
Dmitri Kishkarev and Michael Szewczyk (Mitsubishi) finish fourth, ahead of Gabriel Monette/Olivier Martineau (Subaru) and rookies Charles-Henri Caron/Stéphane Caron (Subaru). This team impressed throughout the entire rally, which marked the very first rally of his career.
Seventh overall, Kurtis Duddy and Matthieu Toupin (Nissan Sentra) also claimed victory in the 2 wheel-drive class by the end of and almost perfect rally. They finished more than 3 minutes ahead of their closest 2WD adversaries Julien Rondeau and Jonathan Raymond (Honda Civic). Pascal Besse and Nicolas Tousignant (Porsche 911) completed the podium in this category.
Also noteworthy in Production 4 wheel-drive were Trevor Pougnet and Ryan Rouleau (Subaru). This team also finished eighth overall, just ahead of Simon Aubé and François Joanisse, equally in a Subaru but seventh in 4 wheel-drive OPEN class.
The Rallye Défi Petite Nation was also a round of the Canadian Rally Championship. Canadian Joël Levac and his French co-driver Florian Barral, on Mini Countryman WRC, win in the overall standings.
In the ECRC drivers’ championship, Ontarian Matthew Ballinger remains in first place with 45 points but his lead on Quebecois Oliver Martel is dwindling. Martel holds 42 points, ahead of third-place Jean-Sébastien Besner, who sits in third place with 36 points. Hans Larose remains the 2 wheel-drive leader ahead of Kurtis Duddy.
The following Easter Canadian Rally Championship event will be the 22 and 23 of October as the Rallye de Charlevoix, Quebec.
For more information, please visit the site www.ecrc-crec.ca.
2022 ECRC Calendar
City (Province) / Club
Club Rallye Maniwaki
Overall : Olivier Martel & Vincent Hubert
2WD : Mal Swann & Tim Dine
July 2 & 3
New Richmond (Quebec)
Club Rallye Auto Baie-des-Chaleurs
Overall : Sébastien Clark & Yanick Marin
2WD : Hans Larose & Alex Pesant
Rallye International de Québec – Tour de Portneuf
Club Autos Sport La Licorne + CADO
Overall : Philippe Dubé & Éric Dubé
2WD : Hans Larose & Ian Guité
Black Bear Rally
Maple Leaf Rally Club
Overall : Jonathan Drake & Ian Lantz
2WD : Charles Hammer & Guillaume Dozois
September 9 & 10
Club Autosport Défi Outaouais
Overall : Jean-Sebastien Besner & Yvan Joyal
2WD : Kurtis Duddy & Matthieu Toupin
October 22 & 23
Rallye de Charlevoix
La Malbaie (Quebec)
Club Rallye De Charlevoix
Tall Pines Rally Regional 1
Maple Leaf Rally Club
Tall Pines Rally Regional 2
Maple Leaf Rally Club