Antoine Going Steady, ACP, Block, Down and Out

Posted on 24. Nov, 2007 by in Tall Pines 2007

At the first service of the rally, two cars were obviously absent. The EVO of Andrew Comrie-Picard, and the Subaru of Ken Block were nowhere to be seen, while the other cars in the field filed into service.

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This morning, teams took to the Old Hastings Road, the Peanut and the Old Detlor stages before coming into service. Conditions were wildly mixed with slick hardpack, ice and deep snow, all making tire choice difficult.

First on the road was Peter Thomson, who left the ceremonial start on tractionized ice tires while almost every other competitor opted for more open snow tires. The choice paid off for Peter, who found all the grip he wanted and is really having fun. Sprongl’s EVO VI was having his tires swapped for tractionized ice tires as well. “The student has become the master!” joked Thomson.

Nathalie Richard explained the cautious approach she and Antoine are taking, saying “we’re not setting top times.” She went on to explain the pair were sticking to the plan to finish safe and sound and secure the championship.

It appears that task will be even easier as Andrew Comrie-Picard lost time on the Spectator stage, spinning in front of the VIP tent and getting the car stuck. “We had a spin and backed into the snowbank. We lost probably at least eight and a half minutes,” offered co-driver Marc Goldfarb.

 

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Ken Block also drove off the road after losing grip on a crest. “The road went left, and we didn’t,” said Block. Despite efforts by four different crews to pull out the stuffed Subaru, it was not until teammate Dave Mirra came along that the crews were able to get the car out. “Dave was my ace in the hole,” laughed Ken. “we were just cruising along, and dropped a wheel into the soft stuff on the side and it pulled us in.” Though Block and Gelsomino did eventually return to service, they were ruled Max late and excluded from continuing in the event. Block immediately left to spectate and has not yet been found for comment.

Dave Mirra, in his first rally ever is having a ball. “We had a couple hairy moments, but it’s just awesome! I wish it were dry, but man, you work with what you’ve got!”

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Conditions have been so slippery that the more powerful cars are simply not getting the power down on the ground. “I cannot enjoy the new car,” commented Rejean Losier. “It has too much power I cannot use.” John Vanos and John Cassidy were also in the same boat.

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“Crazy” Leo seemed to fair well though, catching Mark Williams on all three stages. “It’s probably a good thing, because it forces me to slow down.” Leo is coming off a significant crash at the Rallye Defi Ste Agathe, but does not seem at all affected in terms of speed.

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Teams are back out for more stages now, and so am I. We’ll be back with more news soon!

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Words and Photos by Dean Campbell



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One Response to “Antoine Going Steady, ACP, Block, Down and Out”

  1. Derek Serianni

    24. Nov, 2007

    Excellent update Dean!
    Keep it shiny side up boys!
    D.

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