Antoine L’Estage conquers Rocky Mountain Rally
Antoine L’Estage and Alan Ockwell won the Rocky Mountain Rally, round 2 of the Canadian Rally Championship held in the region of Invermere, British Columbia.
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At the end of last year, Subaru Canada announced it would no longer operate a factory team to concentrate its efforts on supporting the Canadian Rally Championship, leaving L’Estage and Ockwell without a regular drive.
The pair worked closely with Pat Richard a and his team, Rocket Rally, to put together a program and prepare a 2015 Subaru Impreza WRX STI for this Western Canada event.
After the first day of competition, the L’Estage enjoyed a three-minute advantage over his rivals. Brandon Semenuk and John Hall encountered a power steering problem and finished the day in second place in their 2016 Subaru Crosstrek.
In third place were Boris Djordjevic and Martin Burnley in their Mitsubishi EVO X, which suffered from electrical and mechanicals woes.
Because of the extreme dryness, rally cars kicked thick clouds of dust in the air, which often blocked the view of several competitors and caused some mechanical problems.
Nicolas Laverdière and Vincent Trudel were first in the Production Class while Wim van der Poel and Bryan Lord led the 2WD standings at the end of the day.
Despite still running on dusty, rough roads on the second day of competition, L’Estage and Ockwell maintained their lead. They drove carefully not to make any mistakes, and made it to the finish with a two minutes and 10 seconds lead over Semenuk and Hall.
Simon Vincent and Hubert Gaudreau took third place through a safe drive at their first time racing at Rocky Mountain Rally. They steered the 1994 Subaru Impreza that last ran Rocky in the hands of Sylvain, Simon’s father.
Krystian Ostrowski and Chris Galecki finished fourth overall in their 2016 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, having won the regional portion of the Rocky Mountain Rally on Saturday.
Nicholas Spencer and David Ma won the Production Class category despite enduring a string of problems, including a snapped rear suspension component Saturday on their 2015 Subaru WRX. Their main rivals, Laverdière and Trudel, were forced into retirement during SS5.
Wim van der Poel and Bryan Lord finished seventh overall and won the Two Wheel Drive class in their 2015 Ford Fiesta R2; their first time in a gravel event.