Rally of the Tall Pines starts tomorrow

Posted on 20. Nov, 2009 by in Tall Pines 2009

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The Rally of the Tall Pines starts tomorrow in muddy conditions that have already proven a challenge to competitors.

“We haven't seen conditions like this in 20 years,” said Clerk of the Course, Ross Wood.

Mud on the stages slowed recce today, and all crews reported that conditions were slippery.

“The guys will be up late cutting tires tonight,” said Frank Sprongl, who along with his brother Dan will be running a second car for the Subaru Rally Team Canada. The Sprongls ran recce on Yokohama mud tires, which Frank said filled up with mud very quickly, causing the car to slide over the top of the road.

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Teams had a chance to try the mud at full rally pace during shakedown runs, when one crew fell victim to the muddy conditions.

Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell had a soft roll when slippery conditions bested the defending Canadian Rally Champions.

“The car had just cosmetic damage, nothing major at all,” said Ockwell.

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Obviously frustrated with the off, Richard explained that conditions were far more slippery than anticipated. The Rocket Rally Subaru Rally Team Canada crew immediately dove into action to repair the damage to the car and have it ready for the morning.

Richard and Ockwell will need to go full tilt tomorrow to hold off Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard in the driver's championship. L'Estage will win the title by finishing second tomorrow, even if Richard wins the event. 

“We are ready to fight for the win, and the car is perfect, ready to go,” said L'Estage.

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Leo Urlichich and Martin Headland also had problems when their turbo caught fire. The flames were quickly extinguished, and the car was repaired. 

Stages start just after 9:00 am, when 51 cars will head out into the forest stages outside of Bancroft, Ontario.

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