Richmond (Québec), July 3, 2013 – Team Yokohama’s Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard took top honours with their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X at the Rallye Baie des Chaleurs. The second round of the Canadian Rally Championship (CRC) was held this past weekend around the New Richmond area of Quebec.
“We had an excellent rally,” said L’Estage, who hails from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. “We won 15 of the 20 competitive stages, but our victory didn’t come without its challenges. Mother Nature made things really difficult for all the teams this weekend, and we also had to deal with some mechanical issues on Saturday night and Sunday, but rallying is often about overcoming obstacles. We have an excellent rally car, and an excellent team – the perfect combination!
“The conditions were atrocious under really heavy rain on Saturday during the second leg,” he added. “We decided to use soft compound Yokohama tires which work particularly well, even in extremely muddy conditions.”
The defending North American and Canadian champions set the best time in 13 of the 20 stages and lead most of the event, overcoming mechanical issues in the last leg but finishing strong with a 53 second lead. Antoine and Nathalie are the first to earn five victories each at this event, recognized by many as the most difficult in the country.
The next round of the CRC is the Rallye Défi, which will be held north of Montreal in the Quebec Laurentians in early September. Rallye Défi starts the fall/winter segment of the series that will determine the next Canadian champions.
Antoine L’Estage holds five North American championship titles (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012), five Canadian titles (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012), one American title (2010), and thirty-nine overall victories in Canada and the US. Nathalie Richard holds eight overall national championship titles (2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012 in Canada and 2004, 2005, 2010 in the US), as well as forty-five overall rally wins on both sides of the border. She also holds a record eight North American Co-Driving Championship titles (2004 – 2012, excluding 2006).
Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard participate in the 2013 Rally America and Canadian Rally Championships with the support of Rockstar Energy Drink, Formica Group, Fenetres Concerto, Mitsubishi Canada, Yokohama Tires, Drenth Motorsport Gearboxes, Énergie 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.
James de Chavez Susan Elliott
Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. Elliott, Clark Communications, Inc.
604-546-9656 x1142 905-833-0826