After a treacherous Rally of the Tall Pines, with icy roads and plenty of challenge for the crews, Antoine L’Estage showed the skill and composure that has made him the Canadian Rally Champion two years in a row now!
In winning the 2007 Rally of the Tall Pines, Antoine has also clinched the Manufacturers title for Hyundai. “I’m really happy to have won the title for Hyundai, and I hope they continue to help into next year.” Antoine was also thankful to Concerto and Yokohama for their continued support, and looks forward to working with them next year.L’Estage also took a moment to comment on his battle with Frank Sprongl, saying “I’ve always looked up to Frank Sprongl and dreamed of beating him in a rally, and we had a great battle today, it was a lot of fun!”
Frank Sprongl and Brian Maxwell finished second, a little over a minute behind Antoine. “He started to push on the Hastings stages and then for the last service, he took tractionized ice tires, and I took cut intermediates. I made the wrong choice.” Frank went on to say that he’d really enjoyed driving the more powerful car, though “there was a lot of wheelspin.” Frank’s plan for next year is still a mystery, “right now, you know as much as I do. I don’t have a car, and so there’s a lot to decide on.”
Henderson took third, and a little further down, in fourth place was Martin Gauvin. Gauvin and co-driver Daniel Duchesneau have been quiet but consistent all season. The result has been a third place overall in the Canadian Rally Championship without running either of the Western events. Any detractors that felt Martin was talented at Baie simply because he’s a local New Richmond driver have now been shown that this crew has some real potential. In their P4 Subaru, the two Quebecers are looking forward into a very bright future. Andrew Comrie-Picard has pointed to them as an up and coming crew to watch.
“Crazy” Leo Urlichich was able to rein in his enthusiasm and drive his new Subaru cleanly and consistently to a sixth place finish, behind Ted Mendham. Urlichich is exuberant, having finished so well after his terrific roll at Defi Ste Agathe. “Last year I came to spectate at this rally, and it was just a dream to compete. Now one year later, I have one of the best cars, the best crew and I am doing it. It feels amazing!” Peter Reilly has finished seventh, with his VW Golf, even after taking the time to pull out ACP after his first off earlier today. Further down the order, John Cassidy edged out John Vanos to take tenth overall. John Cassidy and Dave Getchell are excited to be rallying back in Canada. “We’ve clinched the Eastern US Open Class Championship, but I don’t think we’re really looking to repeat. Our rally family is in Canada, and we’re looking to be back here more next season.”
Dave Mirra appears to be hooked on rallying. The BMX legend is already talking about running SnoDrift in the Rally America series this winter. After stuffing twice on the shakedown yesterday, Dave started off slowly today, working his way up, faster and faster. Near the end of the final leg, Dave suffered a bit of brain fade and stuffed the car again. Mirra and co-driver Alan Ockwell were pulled out by the last car on the road, and managed to get going just ahead of car 99, safely finishing the rally.
The competitors are heading for the banquet and so are we. Flatovercrest.com would like to thank the organizers of the 2007 Rally of the Tall Pines for their proactive support, without which we would have been unable to provide the same level of coverage. The same is true for our advertisers. Your continuing support makes it possible for us to do what we do.
It has been an exciting year in the Canadian Rally Championship, and the 2008 season looks as if it’s going to be even better. We’d like to thank all of our readers. Please let us know how we can improve, and thank you for all of your support through the season. We look forward to seeing you out there!