Montpellier (Québec), September 9, 2012.- Quebec driver Antoine L’Estage (of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu) and his co-driver Nathalie Richard (of Halifax, Nova Scotia) brought their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X to a second place finish at the Rallye Défi, the fourth round of the Canadian Rally Championship, contested in the Laurentians and the Outaouais regions of Quebec. With this strong result, the Rockstar Energy Drink duo increases their lead in their quest for additional Canadian and North American overall titles.
Six-time winners of the Rallye Défi, Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard were looking forward to this event with the intention of improving the record for the number of wins at this rally, a record that they already hold. But, winning the championship this season is always their priority and with Ken Block and his World Rally Championship spec car, they knew it would be a very tough order. "We had a really good day of competition on Friday. The roads were tough but everything went well for us. The entire Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team did a fantastic job of preparing such a great car for us and the Yokohama tires were amazing in the super rough sections of the morning’s stages" explains Antoine L'Estage. At the end of the day, the L'Estage/Richard duo was in second place, 58 seconds behind Ken Block/Alex Gelsomino. "Ken arrived here without any pressure – it’s his only rally in Canada this year and he could therefore push his machine as hard as it could be pushed. And what a machine it is! I love my car but his is on a whole other level. They did a great job this weekend and we congratulate them both" confides Antoine.
During the second day of competition, after the rain had already began to pour, L’Estage and Richard started the day swapping stage wins with Block and co-driver Gelsomino until the Rockstar Energy Drink team suffered from two left punctures after hitting a rock in the road. "In total, we set the fastest time on six of the twenty-three timed stages of the rally. Our flats didn’t have much consequence on the standings other than increasing the gap between us and first place but we didn’t lose a position. Second place points still increases our lead in the Canadian Rally Championship so it’s a positive result for us" explains co-driver Nathalie Richard.
Photo: Mat Janiak, World RallySport