Rallye Perce Neige kicks off 2010 CRC

Posted on 04. Feb, 2010 by in Canadian Rally Champs, CRC 2010, Event Coverage, Perce Neige 2010

The 2010 Canadian Rally Championship starts this weekend with the Rallye Perce Neige in Maniwaki, Que. Teams are traveling across the country to test them selves and each other in the only winter rally in the series. For Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell of the Subaru Rally Team Canada, this event represents the first chance to score valuable points on the way to a potential third consecutive Canadian Rally Championship title. Rallye Perce Neige is also the only event in the national series the pair have failed to win, finishing third in 2008 and scoring a DNF in 2009. Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard of the Rockstar Mitsubishi Concerto rally team represent Subaru's toughest competition. Canadian Champions in 2006 and 2007, L'Estage and Richard very nearly captured the title in 2009 until mechanical problems on the final stage of the last event of the season cost them the event win, and the Canadian and North American titles. L'Estage has won this event four of the last five years, including the 2009 event, when he and Nathalie debuted the Rockstar Mitsubishi EVO X. L'Estage and Richard are also fresh off a second place finish at an extremely icy Sno*Drift Rally, in the Rally America series. While these two heavyweights battle it out, there are plenty of others to watch. Andrew Comrie-Picard and Jeremy Wimpey were fast in Michigan at the 2010 Sno*Drift rally, though the pair narrowly missed the podium. Craig Henderson and Lyne Murphy will be second on the road, likely benefiting from some road sweeping of Richard and Ockwell ahead, without suffering the polished road that will greet cars further down the order. “Crazy” Leo Urlichich and Martin Headland will be set to duke it out at the front as well, and Mathieu L'Estage and Yanick Napert, who have shown flashes of brilliance in the past help round out the top ten. Taking a look at that top ten, there are two teams in the middle – fifth and sixth – that at first glance appear not to belong. Jon Nichols and Carl Schenk are fifth off the line in Nichols' Group 2 VW Golf – that's right, Nichols is taking a crack at 2wd again. Right behind him is the pairing of Sylvain Vincent and Simon Vincent, another seed one team, in a 1986 Toyota Corolla. Just in case you're wondering what a two wheel drive car is doing ahead of many open class all wheel drive monsters, know this. Jon Nichols was so successful in two wheel drive, that the Quebec championship is named for him! Although currently seeded further down the order, Jan and Jody Zedril have become very fast in their Group 2 Mitsubishi Lancer, and young Peter Kocandrle and co-driver Jimmy Brandt are also on hand in a Group 2 Suzuki Swift. Notably absent is Sylvain Erickson. This is Erickson's home rally, and he puts on a winter driving clinic every time he competes. Late in 2009, Erickson sold his car and is slowly building a new monster we can't wait to see on a rally stage. With 55 entries, this is the largest field for a season opener in recent memory, astounding given that the rally was very nearly canceled. Were it not for a few key volunteers stepping in to help, a legendary event may have disappeared. Fans coming to the rally can expect an early morning start and a late-night finish. The rally starts out with short in-town stages, but the meat of the event comes later in the day with some epic stages in the reserve lands west of town, including the legendary Tortue stages. If you're coming to check it out, be sure to dress warm, pack snacks, and be prepared to cheer on your favourites. The 2010 Canadian Rally Championship is GO!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Rallye Perce Neige kicks off 2010 CRC”

  1. Terra Firma

    04. Feb, 2010

    Wow 55 entries. Thats awesome. Good luck to all the competitors. This will be our second canadian event attended. Our first was Tall Pines and it was amazing! We’ll be setup at random places and HQ selling some sweet rally merch. Hopefully we can get a break and check out the ACTION!!

  2. Guy

    04. Feb, 2010

    Hurray for Perce Neige! I really like the Entry List this year. The only thing that would make it better is Erickson! Please come back soon Sylvain. I’ll go out there to help you get your car ready!

  3. Dave Shindle

    05. Feb, 2010

    Good luck everyone. Thanks FOC. Best cyberspectating website on planet.

Leave a Reply