L’Estage and Richard tops in Rocky Mountain Rally

Quebec driver Antoine L’Estage and his co-driver Nathalie Richard won this past weekend’s Rocky Mountain Rally in Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada, Round Two of the 2012 Canadian Rally Championship. Already winners of the season’s opening round, the Rockstar Energy Drink team claims another perfect victory after dominating the rally from start to finish. This result marks the fifth career Rocky Mountain Rally win for the 2011 Canadian and North American champions, L’Estage and Richard.

“We were faced with what has become typical Rocky Mountain Rally weather, rain and snow the night preceding the start of the rally, making for really tricky road conditions,” said L’Estage. “During the rally more rain, snow, hail, strong winds and sun all made an appearance and we took advantage of the unpredictable conditions to attack the stages and build up a big lead on our rivals. Our strategy worked perfectly and I had full confidence in our Yokohama tyres, especially given the changing road surfaces, which then permitted me to back off a bit on Day Two and just manage our lead.”

Winners of eight of the nine competitive stages on Day One, the Rockstar Energy Drink duo started the final day with a commanding 01min 48sec ahead of second place.

“It’s of course a very important victory for the Championship, but it’s also a testament to our partners Drenth Motorsport, as our first Canadian event with our new sequential gearbox, which was perfectly reliable throughout the entire weekend. We can definitely say that it was a huge team effort because our mechanics ensured that our Rockstar Energy Drink Mitsubishi withstood the challenging weekend without the slightest of worries.

“Winning at the season-opening Rallye Perce-Neige and again here at the Rocky Mountain Rally gives us the maximum possible Championship points heading into the summer events in Quebec,” added L’Estage.

“It’s an excellent result for us and we couldn’t have asked for more from a rally where everything and everyone on our team worked perfectly,” said co-driver Nathalie Richard.

With this victory, the team increases their lead in the hunt for the Canadian title and also reclaims top spot in the North American Rally Cup.

The pair don’t have much time to celebrate this victory, their sixth in the last eight rounds of the Canadian Rally Championship. On Wednesday, the team heads to Pennsylvania to contest the Susquehanock Trail Performance Rally (STPR), Round Four of the Rally America series. After coming in second at this event in 2011 by only 01.3sec, the Rockstar Energy Drink team will be gunning for the top spot on the podium. Competition in Canada will resume on 29 – 30 June in Gaspé, Quebec for the highly popular Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs.