Antoine L’Estage and co-driver, Nathalie Richard, put in a trouble-free drive to win the 2010 Rallye Defi over Patrick Richard and Alan Ockwell. The Subaru duo suffered an early flat tire on Friday which put them on the back foot almost immediately. While Richard pushed hard and won many stages on Saturday, L’Estage was able to manage his lead and maintain a margin.
Bruno Carre was holding a podium position for much of the event, which would have maintained his overall Championship lead, but a mechanical issue late in the event saw him retire. Swap Shop teammate Craig Henderson inherited his place on the podium. The Labrie’s made a return to the top-5 of National competition in fourth.
“Crazy” Leo and co-driver, Chrissie Beavis, were charging hard to try for a podium spot until a clutch problem on Saturday sidelined their efforts.
Another great battle for top 2wd honours was raging further back in the pack. Simon Dubé, Sylvain Vincent, and the Zedril brothers traded seconds back and forth throughout the final day, with just 18-seconds spread between them at the finish. Dubé took the top step by just 2-seconds over the Zedrils.
With just two more events on the 2010 calendar, this season is turning into another nailbiter. With his DNF this weekend, Carre has dropped from the overall lead, and Patrick Richard sits just a few points ahead of Antoine L’Estage leading into next month’s Pacific Forest Rally. Can Antoine add the Canadian title to his newly-minted Rally America crown, or will Pat once again work some late season magic? Stay tuned!