Antoine L’Estage Wins the Pacific Forest Rally

Posted on 20. Oct, 2007 by in Pacific Forest Rally 2007

The champagne has popped on a rally for the history books.  From full winter snow conditions in the mountains to summer gravel stages in the valley, the 2007 edition of the Pacific Forest Rally threw everything it had at the competitors.  Antoine L'Estage took a decisive win over a hard charging Norm LeBlanc, and championship contender, Andrew Comrie-Picard.


With the Thynne and Brooke stages south of Merritt cancelled due to poor conditions, the organizers added two morning runs down the Helmer stage. Normally known to be the "tire guru", ACP's run for a win effectively ended before the first stage as he hadn't brought any winter snow tires to this event. He was forced to tiptoe through the deep snow and ice on SS8 and SS9 in a car that was still having centre differential problems, losing around 6 minutes to the leaders. Meanwhile, Western drivers, Norm LeBlanc and Scott Trinder were excelling in the snow and battling for top times.  After descending from the mountainous Helmer stages, the roads took on a different character, changing to a fast-drying gravel surface.  ACP took the bull by the horns and won all five gravel stages to claw his way back up the order.  With a return to Helmer for the last two stages of the event, however, he couldn't catch Norm LeBlanc's P4 class car, and had to push to stay ahead of Trinder.  Gord Olsen was another to feel more comfortable on the gravel stages, posting top-three stage times in his Subaru.


In 2WD, Aaron Neumann and Colin Armstrong were having another one of their classic battles. Armstrong had pulled Neumann out of the ditch earlier in the day, and was ahead by nearly a minute going into the final two stages. With darkness closing in, however, Armstrong forgot his auxiliary lights and lost large chunks of time through the final stage.  Aaron Neumann arrived in final MTC to discover he was now leading the class by six seconds.  We caught up to him as he was in service, trying to find out the results and whether he could take a self-imposed penalty to drop himself back down below Armstrong. Having already checked into the final MTC, however, we're not sure he was able to take any action. Both of them are great sportsman though, and embody what the sport of rallying is all about.


There's just a month to go before the season finale at the Tall Pines Rally, and L'Estage now has a sizable points cushion to fall back on. However, ACP is not totally out of the picture yet, and if something happens to Antoine in Bancroft, the championship may turn out to be a nail-biter!  Stay tuned to FOC in the lead up to Tall Pines.  We'll have our full crew there providing live updates once again.


Report by Warwick Patterson

Pacific Forest Rally event coverage is brought to you by Rocket Rally

Thanks also go out to Last Ditch Racing, Easy Rider Racing, and for their support.




Aaron Neumann













6 Responses to “Antoine L’Estage Wins the Pacific Forest Rally”

  1. Warren Currie

    20. Oct, 2007

    Wow – I thought the second picture of ACP was from a different event!!
    What a strage set of road conditions.
    Well done to all – and thanks FOC.

  2. EP

    22. Oct, 2007

    As always your photos and coverage are so great that even when I was at the rally, you enrich the experience. Thanks.

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    20. Jul, 2016

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