NEW RICHMOND, Quebec (July 1, 2012) – For one it was a cake-walk and for the other a titanic struggle but both Yokohama teams claimed spots on the podium at the Rally Baie-des-Chaleurs here.
Reigning Canadian Rally Champions Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard cruised to a decisive win in a virtually trouble-free rally that saw them build a lead on the wet and treacherous first day and never look back. Their margin of victory in the two-day event was more than 3 minutes 13 seconds over their second-place Yokohama teammates Patrick Richard and Alan Ockwell.
It is the third win in as many Canadian Rally Championship events for the Mitsubishi EVO X of L’Estage, of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, and Nathalie Richard, of Halifax, and gives the pair a commanding lead as the championship reaches half-way.
Second place was anything but easy for the Patrick Richard/Ockwell pairing and their Subaru WRX STi, as they struggled with a series of mechanical and other problems that forced them to fight back on the second day to claim to second place. Patrick Richard, of Squamish, B.C., and Ockwell, of Toronto, now hold third place in the title chase.
Third place in the rally went to the Subaru of Leo Urlichich, of Toronto, and Carl Williamson, of Wales – good enough to keep them in second place in the championship.
“It was very slippery in the downpour on Friday, and very rough on Saturday – a real test of the tires,” explains winning co-driver Nathalie Richard. “But we never had a moment’s problem.”
The six-event Canadian championship has been televised nationally on TSN and RDS since 1993, and is made available on multiple media platforms, including TSN 2, as downloads from iTunes, on-line on Flat Over Crest (www.flatovercrest.com) and to 80 million homes in Europe on MotorsTV.
Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. markets and distributes a full line of tires for high performance, passenger car, light truck, and commercial truck applications, as well as off-the-road tires for mining, forestry and construction applications. It maintains distribution centers across Canada to serve more than 700 independent tire dealers and more than 2,000 retail locations. Find us on Facebook at Yokohama Canada, or Twitter at @YokohamaCanada.