Antoine leads as Subaru falters

Posted on 20. Nov, 2010 by in Canadian Rally Champs, CRC 2010, Event Coverage, Rally News, Tall Pines 2010

Antoine L'Estage has taken a commanding lead of the 2010 Tall Pines rally after Pat Richard and Martin Rowe, both driving for Subaru, took time penalties leaving service late. "Things are going well, we're pushing hard, and Pat is driving well," said L'Estage as he waited to enter the second service of the day. "There are a few little things about how the car handles under hard braking, maybe it's just the surface, but it's not perfect." Difficulties aside, after four stages, L'Estage had built a 26 second lead over Richard, but the drama was set to unfold in the service park. Richard split a wheel  five km from the end of the fourth stage of the day, destroying both the tire and brake caliper. Driving out also damaged the steering rack, though the issue wasn't discovered until midway through service. The team was forced to replace the part and checked out of service 14 minutes late, incurring 2:20 in penalties. Martin Rowe also suffered problems, with a flat resulting in a bent shock and gearbox problems forcing the service crew to do a transmission swap in a short service. Unfortunately, Rowe was also late leaving service, taking penalties as well. For L'Estage, who knows about the issues Richard and Rowe are having, the rally must now be about driving with a mix of speed and caution. Last year, both Richard and L'Estage were facing the same circumstances, but a late issue for L'Estage resulted in a dramatic finish where Richard won the event and the Canadian Championship. Crazy Leo suffered a spin on the second stage, his engine catching fire. The crew are both ok, but their rally is over. Secodn place is still unknown as Bruno Carre fights brake problems while also fighting off Swap Shop teammate Craig Henderson. Peter Thomson also had brake issues that cost him time over SS3 and 4, dropping him out of the top 10. For westerner Hardy Schmidtke, the goal is to make this a "third time lucky" scenario after failing to finish the first two attempts at this event. He'll have to watch for a hard charging Simon Losier, who has been fast, aside from time lost to help Leo. Losier is expecting to be given that time back in a decision by the organisers. Simon Dube is leading the 2WD field, though misses the chance for a good battle with other top 2WD drivers who are absent from the event. "The roads are beautiful, and not so rough," said Dube, who is here for "fun and experience." Peter Kocandrle, who has typically been one of the drivers to fight Dube in 2WD, is competing in an Open class VW, and has been careful about his pace in the event so far. "We took it easy in the first few stages to get used to the car and each other," said Kocandrle, who is being co-driven by Alex Kihurani. "For me, the rally has just started."

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One Response to “Antoine leads as Subaru falters”

  1. Lawrence Partington

    20. Nov, 2010

    Your coverage is excellent as always. The Twitter compiler really helps those of us who can only be in Bancroft virtually. Keep up the great work.

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