Friday, November 23, 2012

The Longest Day, Rally Of The Tall Pines 2012

Drivers and co driver head into the night for a quick shakedown for Tall Pines 2012. Photo Neil McDaid.

Bancroft Ontario, The 2012 running of The Rally Of The Tall Pines is set to get underway from rally headquarters which is located at the Dungannon  Rec Center at 9:00 am tomorrow morning. Late this afternoon defending Rally winner "Crazy" Leo Urlichich withdraw from the event citing issues with car setup, Leo had been rushing to get the car re-prepped after his accident at The Rocky Mountain Rally in Invermere, BC earlier this month. Leo's departure from the rally will come as a big disappointment to the many fans of this local Toronto driver. 

Team Subaru Canada  driver Pat Richard and co driver Alan Ockwell will run first on the road in their Subaru STI, they will be followed off the line by the 2012 Canadian Rally Champion, Team RockStar Energy driver Antoine L'Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard in their Mitsubishi Evo X.  Hardy Schmidtke in another Evo will now round out the top three with Leo's departure. 

2012 has been another challenging year from Pat Richard and the Subaru Rally team, although a victory at Tall Pines will not erase this dismal year for Richard, it would at least end his season on a high note. But I can't see Antoine giving up much to Pat, Tall Pines is Antoine's home Rally, it would truly be a fitting end to his championship season, in saying that I have to give the edge to Pat on this one, as he is surly hungry for victory. 

The battle for the 2WD championship title is down to the wire, a mere four points separate 2WD championship leader "Fast Eddie" McNally in the R2 Fiesta over  Eric Grochowski in a Golf. With the fast flowing stages on this event  I would have to give a little edge to the Fiesta, but its razor thin.

The Ford Fiesta is quickly becoming the car of choice in 2WD rally. Photo, Neil McDaid

With the exception of a few slick spots on the stages they are for the most part in great shape, they are mostly super fast with the exception of the dreaded "Peanut" and "Egan Creek" , this should truly be called the rally of the "tall crests". Tomorrows weather is calling for a slight change of light snow, but nothing that should impact driving conditions. 

The last stage is scheduled for 9:37pm, making for one long day of rallying. 

Check in with WWW.TALLPINESRALLY.COM for the most update information and results.