L’Estage edges Richard in battle at Baie

Posted on 02. Jul, 2011 by in Canadian Rally Champs, CRC 2011, Event Coverage, Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs 2011

Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard won the 2011 Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs despite big challenges on both days of the event. This is their sixth consecutive win in Canada, and L'Estage's 100th career rally. “This rally I owe to the crew. They fixed the diffs on Friday, and then today they replaced the transmission in record time,” said L'Estage. “There's no way, without them, that I could be here at the finish.” Pat Richard and Leanne Junnila battled their own difficulties through the rally, seemingly dropping out of contention for the win early on Saturday when a lateral link snapped on the second stage of the day. “It's been a hard rally. So many things went wrong, but things went wrong for other teams as well,” said Richard. “When Antoine and I push so hard things are bound to break.” Richard was frustrated at finishing second by just 20 seconds, after L'Estage lost most of his lead because of mechanical problems in his car. “I think of all the places we could have made up time over this rally, and for sure there's 20 seconds out there. We got championship points, which we needed, so that's ok, but not the result we wanted.” Crazy Leo and Martin Brady rounded out the podium in third. “We had problems with the antilag all weekend, and a flat as well. I was able to climb back up the order, but I want to fight with the guys at the front, so I need to get faster as well,” said Leo. Fourth place went to Bruno Carre, who had held off Leo as long as possible, but troubles of his own – a broken intercooler and small boost leaks – meant he was unable to hold onto third place. Fifth went to rookie Max Riddle. With less than a year of rally experience under his belt, Riddle has shown he can keep his technique smooth, and is finding speed as a result. Supported by Pat Richard's Rocket Rally shop, Riddle has been a quick study, and benefits from the experience of co-driver Aaron Neumann. “Pat promised that if I finished fifth in a national rally, he'd up the power in the car,” said Riddle. “So now hopefully I can go even faster.” In two wheel drive, Simon Dube had dropped well down the order after two flat tires on Friday. Today, he had a clean run back up the order, desperate to make up time on his rivals. David Berube had been leading two wheel drive, but suffered a blown shock Saturday morning. “We have a spare, so I think we will be ok, and we still have a one minute lead,” said Berube. Unfortunately, the spare suspension also took a beating, and Berube was forced to go slowly through the last two stages, totaling nearly 50 kms of special stage. “Dube took maybe a minute on me on the first one, and another minute on teh second one,” said Berube, who finished second in two wheel drive. Production GT win went to Alexandre and Nicholas Ouellette, followed up by Gilbert Levesque and Nancy Beaulieu. The next round of the Canadian Rally Championship is the Rallye Defi. Located near Mont Tremblant, Quebec, the roads are often referred to as car breakers. No one has been more successful at Rallye Defi than Antoine L'Estage, but it will be crucial for Pat Richard to win the event if he hopes to contend for the 2011 Championship.  

5 Responses to “L’Estage edges Richard in battle at Baie”

  1. Krzysztof

    02. Jul, 2011

    Congratulation to all! Too bad Pat and Leanne are behind for 20 sec despite they efforts. But that’s the game!

  2. Kris

    02. Jul, 2011

    Good coverage as usual. thanks for the good work..

  3. Warren

    04. Jul, 2011

    Thanks for the coverage.
    Looks like the mellowed out the big jump.

  4. MK1

    05. Jul, 2011

    Have you noticed how far is the Golf on the jump vs the Open class big boys?

  5. Louis

    09. Aug, 2011

    And with a blown shock…

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