Block Wins in First Canadian Finish

Posted on 28. Jun, 2008 by in Baie-des-Chaleurs 2008

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The final stage has been run in the 2008 Rallye Baie-Des-Chaleurs. Ken Block maintained his lead to win his first Canadian event, also the first Canadian event that he has ever managed to complete.

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Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell of Subaru Rally Team Canada had a day of difficulty. The two repeatedly damaged the rear differential and were unable to fight for the win. Despite the difficulty, when the car ran well, the two were able to win four stages.

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“It’s been a mixed rally for us. The stages were really rough and they took their toll,” explained Pat. “It was great to get max points towards the championship.”

Ken Block is ineligible for points towards the Canadian title, and so first place points go to Richard and Ockwell. This moves the pair into a bigger lead in the Canadian Rally Championship.

Antoine L’Estage was clearly frustrated by how the rally had gone for him. Mechanical problems that had hit on Friday were simply too much to overcome, and though taking out huge amounts of time on the longest stages today, L’Estage was unable to get beyond third position. Second place points are awarded to L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard, keeping them in second place overall in the championship standings.

“Considering the problems we had, it’s a good result,” said L’Estage “The plan is just to win a fourth time in a row at Defi Ste Agathe.”

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Further down the order, David Legault won out in his battle with John Cassidy when Cassidy stuffed on stage and lost time. His first finish in a Canadian National Rally also places him in the top ten. Simon Losier also dropped behind Legault finishing a minute behind, and Cassidy finished tenth, another minute and a half back of Losier.

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Top two wheel drive honours went to Westerners Eric Grochowski and Leanne Junnila of Calgary. The pair were unable to finish the Mountain Trials rally just two weeks ago after breaking a driveshaft. This weekend, they have enjoyed a largely trouble free run.

“This is exactly what we needed. I’m really really happy, it’s been a tonne of fun,” said Grochowski.

Sadly, near the end of the event, Martin Gauvin was forced to retire after engine failure. Up to that point, Gauvin, the local favourite, was running well and setting top ten times.

Production three went to Jen Horsey and Elise Racette. After a difficult run during the day, the two were able to keep things clean and finish first in class in their Mitsubishi Lancer.

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Three cheers for John Cassidy and Dave Getchell. The pair took top honours in the longest jump competition this year with a leap of 116 feet.

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The next event on the Canadian Rally Championship is the Rallye Defi Ste Agathe, held North of Montreal. Run in early September, the weather can be absolutely amazing. If you haven’t made it out to a rally yet this year, start making plans for Defi. We hope to see you there!

It’s sad to have the rally Baie-Des-Chaleurs behind us. The fans are amazing, as are the roads. While the weather was cool and cloudy for most of the event, conditions could not dampen the spirit of the fans. The Camp Brule spectator area is a must for any fan of the Canadian Rally Championship, as is the massive jump at the end of the Camp Brule stage. It’s also great to see the local drivers shine here. With twelve entries from within the region, it’s no wonder the fans are so vocal. But fear not, the event isn’t quite done yet. With one of the best post-event parties still ahead of us, we’re bound to get some more great stories. Just don’t expect to see them here.

Again, a huge thanks to DC Shoes for their support, our coverage would not have been the same without their contributions. Be sure to make your entry in our Caption Contest – follow the link on the main page and email in your submissions. You have until Wednesday, so get cracking.


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5 Responses to “Block Wins in First Canadian Finish”

  1. Martin Nadeau

    28. Jun, 2008

    It`s been a geat rally again…nice cars, good drivers(teams), nice weather and a lots of people enjoying the show! I`m a local and it`s one of the best rally i`ve seen so far for a long time, i hope every next one will be like that! Thanks to all the volunteers who did a great job once again and see you next year!

  2. kaley Robertson court

    29. Jun, 2008

    omg seriously there…i have to agree..its been the best ralyye ever:O haaha!you guys ,i cant get over how great you are!all of th teams this year made a great effort…big effort means big competition ,wich mean great show!!!thx alot!kaley robertson court

  3. Carlanne

    29. Jun, 2008

    Waww !!! The Rallye BDC with you guys was just so AWSOME!!! Man your’e very good! you give the best performance 😉 i hope you’ll come to the Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs the next year ! i love you guyss !

  4. Chad Cole

    30. Jun, 2008

    Great job KB-AG.
    You too FoC.

  5. Andrew Harvey

    08. Jul, 2008

    I’ve posted a much larger gallery here:
    http://andrewharvey.ca/baie08/
    -andrew

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