Richard leads while Baie bites back

Posted on 03. Jul, 2010 by in Canadian Rally Champs, CRC 2010, Event Coverage, Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs 2010

Running first on the road today, Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell are continuing to distance themselves from the field at the 2010 Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs in New Richmond, Quebec. The lead the pair have built is now measured in minutes, allowing the team to test different tires and a new engine package added to the car before the event. “Everything is pretty good,” said Pat Richard during the first service of the day. “We've tried some medium compound tires for the first time, and they're really good.” Behind the Subaru Rally Team Canada crew, things were not so sedate. Crazy Leo Urlichich has retained his second place, but a close call with a misheard note nearly cost the team valuable time. “Coming to a blind T junction, Chrissie called a 15, and I heard 50, so that was pretty exciting,” said Leo. “From now on we're calling 12 for anything that is marked as 15 so I don't make that same mistake.” Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard, who had ended yesterday in third place despite driving a borrowed car, have not been so fortunate today. “We had a flat and stopped to change it, so that was three minutes, and then the car started going into limp mode on the longer stages. It seems ok on the short stages, but I don't know what we're going to do this afternoon.” Looking simply to survive, the pair have dropped outside of the top five, and are just hoping to retain as many championship points as possible. Mathieu L'Estage and Yanick Napert had troubles of their own. Overheating problems from last night have been dealt with, but the team lost their rear brakes on the first stage today. “I had to drive almost all of today's stages with just front brakes. It's a big problem,” said L'Estage, who has beat his brother on each of the first four stages of today. Craig Henderson and Lyne Murphy have been pushing hard after a slow start yesterday. “The car is still cutting out or misfiring – we're not sure. It's just like last night, but otherwise, it is going well.” Swap Shop teammate Bruno Carre started this morning planning to push hard after what he called a disappointing start to the rally. Returning to service missing a rear bumper, Carre was clear about a change in strategy. “We pushed too hard. We hit a bridge and probably lost a minute. We just need to drive smart and see how we are doing through the rest of the day.” A big shakeup has taken place in two wheel drive, with Peter Kocandrle retiring from the event after breaking a rear spindle on his Suzuki. Simon Dube was also reported out of the event, off the road on the new stage, Le Zec. The Zedrils found some time today despite mild suspension problems, taking over the lead in two wheel drive from Silvain Vincent in his Toyota Corolla. “Yesterday I had a bad day,” said Jody Zedril. “Today, Jan is having a bad day, so it's been a pretty wild rally.” Vincent is not without problems, a driveshaft issue starting to surface. “We hope that it will be ok to the end of the rally,” said Vincent. Teams will be back for one more service before the first time over the Baie Jump. We'll have the full story later tonight.

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