Richard wins Baie after final stage drama

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

Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell won the 2010 Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs. Though happy for the win, some drama on the final stage nearly cost the team the rally.

After building a big lead at the start of the event, Richard had planned to test the new engine package in the car, and get his first run on gravel tires from new sponsor Yokohama. All was going well until a corner five kilometers from the end of the last stage.

“I was relaxed and just lost concentration a bit,” said Richard. He clipped the inside of a right hand corner, rolling the car slowly. “We flipped into the trees and then back onto the road.”

Luckily, the car landed on it’s wheels and the team were able to continue, though they lost about a minute. The team crossed the flying finish of the last stage, the famous Baie jump, with flames pouring out from under the hood.

“A win is a win, but this is pretty embarassing,” said Richard after the event.

Leo Urlichich and Chrissie Beavis finished a comfortable second place, driving maturely all the way to the end.

“Everyone told me, ‘don’t throw this away,’” said Leo. “I had to listen, and now I have my first national podium.”

Third place went to Bruno Carre, current points leader in the Canadian Rally Championship. The finish as compared to his closest rivals in points means Carre has opened up his championship lead heading into the second half of the season.

“The last stages, the car was perfect,” said Carre. An impact with a bridge this morning calmed down the hard charging Carre, who drove more conservatively the rest of the rally. Carre first ran the rally 20 years ago and recalls how much fun it was back then.

“Baie has always been a party. The roads are amazing and the fans are great.”

Craig Henderson finished fourth after spending most of the day fighting ECU issues that put his car into limp mode. The issue was resolved before the final two stages, the longest of the event.

“The last two stages were perfect, and it was good that they were so long. The car was hot, but it didn’t overheat and it never cut out, so I just drove like mad,” said Henderson.

Ugo Desgreniers and Eric Kirby finished in fifth, while Antoine L’Estage, driving in a borrowed rallycar, finished in sixth.

“We had another puncture on the second last stage, but otherwise the car ran perfect, and we pushed hard,” said L’Estage, who finished second fastest on the final stage. Unfortunately the tire issues had dropped L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard to seventh place. Antoine’s brother, Mathieu L’Estage checked into the final control two minutes late in order to give his brother sixth place and valuable championship points.

“We got the brakes fixed, but they were not perfect,” said the younger L’Estage, who had lost all brakes during the midday stages. “We had a flat, and lost second gear.”

For others the rally was even rougher. 25 teams were forced out of the rally, including two teams who crashed in the control zone following the big jump at the end of the second last stage. After sweep crews cleared the damaged cars, the final stage was cleared to start.

In two wheel drive, the Zedrils both found their pace in the afternoon, and worked together to open up more than a minute lead over rival Sylvain Vincent. The Zedrils finished tenth, while Vincent finished in 11th.

“All afternoon we were both in it,” said Jody Zedril. “The package we have seems to work, and it all starts from car prep, all the way through.”

The two wheel drive battle that shaped up over the first day saw four cars fighting for the lead and split only by 20 seconds.

“Other than Max Attack in the United States, this has been the best two wheel drive battle since we started in the beginning of 2007,” said Jody Zedril.

Only two cars finished the regional rally, with the win going to Chris Martin and Phil Narini. The pair had problems forcing their retirement yesterday, but fixed the car and were able to enter the regional today.

The Canadian Rally Championship heads to the mountains north of Montreal for the Rallye Defi. Both Antoine L’Estage and Pat Richard will need to assert themselves at this event to build any advantage in the points standings.

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8 Responses to “Richard wins Baie after final stage drama”

  1. Warwick

    03. Jul, 2010

    That’s a great podium shot with the wrecked car :) No jump shot of flaming Subaru? Cool to see the Red Bull arch at the jump.

  2. Warren

    04. Jul, 2010

    Great coverage – as usual.
    As Warwick said – Flaming / Jumping / wrecked Suby shot would be good!
    I guess Pat wanted to “improve” on last years Jump shot of 3 wheels.

  3. James

    04. Jul, 2010

    Yeah, SOMEONE has to have a flaming jump pic!

  4. Mathieu

    04. Jul, 2010

    nice cover , he didnt land on is wheel , me and my friend flip him over is top and then on is wheel lol !!!!!

  5. mathieu

    04. Jul, 2010

    Could give us guys a little bit of credit loll 😛 but nice race n e ways …and nice crash too , glad it didnt cost you your 1st place

  6. Pete

    07. Jul, 2010

    epic.

    good thing PR made it to the finish anyway, that woulda hurt

  7. Simon

    12. Jul, 2010

    Wow, now that’s what you call an exciting rally race! And it’s part of the CRC! Since the WRC has turned into nothing more than a Sebastien/Citroen-Fest I have lost interest (which is quite something for me), but shall now be following the CRC ever more closely. See you all at PFR!

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