PFR: Friday Night Stages

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

The 2007 edition of the Pacific Forest Rally is under way tonight under relatively clear night skies.  Things haven’t been totally clear sailing for competitors though, as a big storm system has been moving through the area over the past few days, turning recce into more of a game of survival.

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Large dumps of snow on the Thynne and Brooke stages during this morning’s recce made it nearly impassable except for a few cars.  There was a mini-pile up at the bottom of one section, causing Grochowski/Junnila and the Zedril’s to go into the ditch.  They were unable to be extracted before the start of today’s stages and will have to join the second regional rally tomorrow.  Also due the lack of recce and on-going tricky conditions, the Thynne and Brooke stages look to be cancelled tomorrow in favour of two additional runs on Helmer.

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Tonight’s action kicked off with a turnaround stage up the Nicola Valley, where Andrew Comrie-Picard took the stage win on the way up the hill.  Antoine L’Estage answered right back with two wins on Nicola and the first running of Princeton Cutoff.  ACP was suffering from failing centre differential hydraulics, however, leaving him fighting an unpredictable car.  Antoine also was worried about his car at first, thinking that it was running a little slower than usual.  He said the boost was running low, but his times were okay.

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With three runnings of the cliff-edge Princeton Cutoff (aka Princeton Dropoff) stage tonight, the cars were bound to take a beating.  Many drivers commented on the hard impacts and big hits taken on the stage, and were seen peering under their cars for damage at the next time control. Dwayne Jackman in his first Canadian event had dual front suspension failure on Princeton, but was able to bring it back into town.

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Norm Leblanc, Gord Olsen, and Scott Trinder are all in a battle behind the two leaders.  After an absence from Western rallying, Trinder is putting in a good drive and is currently 4th behind Norm LeBlanc.  Gord Olsen is still getting comfortable with the new car (Pat Richard’s previous Open Class WRX).

"These are some of the tightest stages we’ve had this car on," said Olsen, "It’s coming along and the car feels good."

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With just the two short in-town stages remaining to be scored tonight, L’Estage leads ACP by around 46 seconds (the currently online scoring at 12:45am has an error).  Tomorrow is the big day, however, and everything can change, especially with the tricky mix of conditions and the long Helmer stages.

Report by Warwick Patterson

 

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14 Responses to “PFR: Friday Night Stages”

  1. Warren Currie

    20. Oct, 2007

    Thanks for the coverage.
    Wishing I was there.
    Lets see a shot of Gord’s new paint job.

  2. Alex

    20. Oct, 2007

    Great pics and coverage!

  3. Don Currie

    20. Oct, 2007

    Expressing myself in the “new” language–flatovercrest–rules.

  4. Elise Racette

    20. Oct, 2007

    Hi guys, great job as usual and thanks for the updates!
    Can you pass the message to ACP that positive vibes are being sent their way from Mirabel… I think it’s needed?
    Thanks and see you in LSPR may be!

  5. CF Hughes

    20. Oct, 2007

    Who’s the cute guy writing notes:)

  6. John Cassidy

    20. Oct, 2007

    Fantastic coverage-Andrew, the shots are breathtaking! The one with the moon and starts is simply stunning!
    Wish I was there guys! :-)
    Cheers! John

  7. Kari Manninen

    25. Nov, 2007

    Great coverage of this event and some nice driver candid shots to boot! This should be a real boost for the sport in Canada.

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