Monday, July 4, 2011

Antoine L'Estage Makes it 100 with a Victory at Rallye Baiedes-Chaleurs

New Richmond (Québec), July 4th 2011.-
Driver Antoine L'Estage of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, QC) and his co-driver Nathalie Richard (of Halifax, NS) won this past weekend’s Rallye Baiedes-Chaleurs in New Richmond, Québec. At the wheel of their Rockstar Royal Group
Mitsubishi Evo X, the duo overcame multiple obstacles at this event to eventually walk away
with their sixth consecutive victory in the Canadian Rally Championship, increasing their lead in
the series, as well as in the North American Rally Cup. This win is extra special for Antoine
L’Estage as this past weekend’s event marked the 100

Already winners at the Rallye Perce-Neige and the Rocky Mountain Rally earlier in the season,
Antoine L'Estage, Nathalie Richard and the entire Rockstar Concerto team worked extremely
hard to claim this victory. "We just experienced a crazy rally. Friday night we built up a
significant lead right from the first stage before losing two and a half minutes with our rear
differential problems, which dropped us into second place by nine seconds" explains Antoine, «
we took back the lead on Saturday morning but just before the final stage of the rally, we were
forced to change the gearbox, causing us to check out of service later than the allotted time, and therefore incurring a penalty.

Luckily, we had a big enough gap ahead of second place that the
penalty and another frustrating problem on the last stage were not enough to knock us off of the
top spot. This was a roller coaster ride of emotions, one I’d rather not repeat! » adds the
reigning champion.
This success goes to a driver celebrating his 100
and especially to the Rockstar Royal Group team of mechanics who can be extremely proud of
their accomplishments this weekend, as explained by Nathalie Richard : "this is a really big
team victory because without the fast and efficient work of John Buffum and our mechanics Paul
and Mathieu, we are fairly certain that we would not have just won our sixth Canadian rally in a
The road conditions were equally difficult for this edition of the event thanks to hard rainfall on
the days leading up to the rally, leaving the surface extremely slick and muddy. Antoine
L’Estage emphasizes that this was not a concern of his : « my mechanics prepared a very
reliable car for me, we were the fastest team, and with my Yokohama tires, we had a great
selection of possibilities. For these conditions, we opted to start the rally on a soft compound
tire, which was the right choice for Friday night’s stages ».
This 2011 edition of the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs was a challenge for all the top teams, each of
which suffered their fair share of major mechanical problems. This win marks Antoine and
Nathalie’s third victory in New Richmond, and makes it almost impossible for any other team on
the continent to claim the North American Rally Cup. The team is now preparing to head to the
New England Forest Rally in less than two weeks for the final round of the Rally America
Championship. Antoine and Nathalie currently sit in second place in that series.

Photo: Matt Janiak, World Rally Sport