Toronto, Ontario (February 2nd, 2012) – The 47th Edition of the Rallye Perce-Neige, the first round of the 2012 Canadian Rally Championship, will be held this weekend out of Maniwaki, Quebec, capital of the Upper Gatineau region. The Mitsubishi Brigade will be comprised of 7 teams among the 41 starters. Reigning Canadian and North American champions and 2011 Perce-Neige winners, Antoine L’Estage of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and co-driver Nathalie Richard of Halifax, Nova Scotia, will contest the event with a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. L’Estage and Richard are coming off of a strong second place finish last week in Michigan at the first event in the Rally America series. Defending Production Sport class champion Jeffrey Dowell and Yavor Klostranec will team up in their stock Lancer on the slippery logging roads.
Five more teams will be entering open-class EVO rally cars; some of which will be looking to finish in the Top 5. Synchro Racing will back the Losier family including Simon in his EVO VIII, partnered with veteran Brian Maxwell, and Martin steering his EVO V with Patrick Losier. Regular championship fixtures Ian Crerar and Doug Draper are also back in action in a new Lancer EVO IX.
Rounding out the Brigade will be Michelle Laframboise, the only female driver contesting the event, with returning co-driver Dean Hopkins in their EVO 4. In addition, the Mitsubishi Brigade welcomes the Connecticut-based novice crew of Alvin Fong and Billy Machin aboard another EVO IX.
“Winter events are always unpredictable because of the nature of roads. But our crews have done extremely well in the past at this event, taking victories in six of the last eleven rounds”, mentioned Mr. Kenji Toh, VP Sales/Marketing & Corporate Planning for Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada. “These teams are starting a fresh new season and we wish them the best and hope they do as well as last year.”
Rallye Perce-Neige: profile
First round of the season, the 47th running of the Rallye Perce-Neige will start Saturday morning in downtown Maniwaki at 9:00 am with teams heading for a 14-hour ice and snow fest on back roads. They will tackle more than 500 kilometers encompassing 16 speed sections for a total of 244 kilometres, making it the longest and most challenging round of the year. Friday, competitors will travel the stage roads at low speed to record pace notes before a charity fundraiser shakedown takes place in the evening. More information is available at www.rallyeperceneige.com.