The Rallye de Charlevoix was presented this weekend as the sixth round of the 2023 Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC). This celebrated event, based out of La Malbaie, was once again filled with excitement in trickier weather conditions than previous editions as the rain fell quite fiercely during some parts of the event. In the end, Jean-Sébastien Besner and Yvan Joyal drove their Ford Fiesta R5 to victory. With this third win of the season, they guaranteed themselves the 2023 championship title with one round still remaining in the season.
Besner/Joyal dominated the event, on Saturday in the ever-popular town competitive stages (La Malbaie et Clermont) as well as on Sunday’s forest stages. They secured the win with a margin of two minutes, 53.8 seconds over Simon Vincent and Hubert Gaudreau (Subaru Impreza), who were also the eventual overall winners of the Canadian championship standings for this rally.
The podium was completed by Mikaël Arsenault and Amélie Bélanger, who made a return to competition at this event and had a flawless run in their Subaru, powered by the biofuel P1 Fuels. Gabriel Monette/Hughes Bergeron (Subaru) and Vincent Trudel, co-driven by American Michelle Miller (Subaru), followed in 4th and 5th spots.
In his first event since the Rallye de Québec during the summer of 2022, Éric Courchesne, and co-driver Leah Brisset finished in sixth place in their Ford Focus, ahead of David Olivier/Simon Décosse (Subaru).
Overall ECRC winner at the Rallye de Sanair last April, Kurtis Duddy was again on the podium at the 2023 Rallye de Charlevoix but this time with the victory in 2-wheel drive Class. Co-driven by Danny Hudon, he brought his Nissan Sentra home in ninth spot of the ECRC ranking, while winning his class by more than 9 minutes.
Alexandre Garceau/Christopher Trudel (Subaru) rounded out the Top 10. In 2-wheel drive, behind Duddy/Hudon, was the talented local driver Enrico Bouchard, co-driven by Pat Lévesque, who finished second with a spectacular historic BMW 1600 Ti. Another driver from Charlevoix, Pierre-Luc Poisson (co-driven by Patrice Harvey) finished in third place with their BMW 318 Ti.
In total, 19 of the 28 teams registered in the ECRC championship (of the 36 overall starters) completed the event.
The Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC) is comprised of seven rounds this season, spread out between Ontario and Quebec. The next event will take place on November 25th as part of the Tall Pines Rally in Bancroft, Ontario.
For more information, please visit the website at www.ecrc-crec.ca