Speed won’t be everything at Perce Neige

Posted on 04. Feb, 2011 by in Canadian Rally Champs, CRC 2011, Event Coverage, Perce Neige 2011

Difficult conditions at the Rallye Perce Neige has experienced teams noting that the team to climb to the top of the podium this weekend may not be the fastest crew out on the stages.

“After recce today, it is just two icy tracks on the road,” said Antoine L’Estage. “Kitigan will be about survival.”

L’Estage knows just how much mistakes here can cost a team, as does his chief rival Pat Richard. Both drivers slid off the road here last year, only to ultimately score DNFs after mechanical failures struck later in the event. That result set the stage for one of the most compelling stories of last season. Bruno Carre and Swap Shop teammate Craig Henderson moved into the top of the points standings, and Richard and L’Estage had to work their way back up the order through the rest of the season.

“Tire choice will be very important,” said L’Estage, who wrapped up his seasons by winning the Rally America, North American and Canadian rally titles. “Ice tires will probably be the right choice for the morning stages. After that we’ll see.” At last week’s SnoDrift rally in Michigan, L’Estage slid off the road, and retired from the event with an overheating car.

Craig Henderson and Bruno Carre agreed, and know that sometimes, the best way to drive at the Rallye Perce Neige is smooth and safe, keeping the car on the road. That challenge will be even more substantial this year, as snowbanks are small and soft, more prone to sucking a car into the ditch, rather than keeping it on the road.

More than 40 teams are set to take the start of the Rallye Perce Neige. Some familiar faces are back, including Peter Thomson and Rod Hendrickson, and the Last Ditch Rallye Team, John Cassidy and Dave Getchell. Two wheel drive looks to be hotly contested by the Zedril brothers and Simon Dube. Both teams battled extensively last season and are likely to pick up where they left off. Sylvain and Simon Vincent have traded their rear wheel drive Corolla for an Open class Subaru.

Cars will gather for Parc Expose at 9am tomorrow, with the official start at 9:30am. First on the road is Pat Richard, being co-driven by Leanne Junnila. Second will be Bruno Carre and Yvan Joyal, followed by Craig Henderson and Peter Watt. Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard will start fourth.

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2 Responses to “Speed won’t be everything at Perce Neige”

  1. Shawn

    04. Feb, 2011

    Good Luck to all the teams – Have Fun and Go Fast!

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