L’Estage Leads, Richard Out, Leo Down

Posted on 04. Feb, 2012 by in Canadian Rally Champs, CRC 2012, Event Coverage, Perce Neige 2012

It has been a busy day for some teams at the 2012 Rallye Perce Neige. For Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard, it has been business as usual, as the two have opened up a three minute lead after nine stages. With another seven stages to go, anything can happen! “It's been good so far,” said Antoine coming into service after nine stages. “We had a couple of spins this morning, but mostly it has been good, the new car is great.” For Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell of Subaru Rally Team Canada, it's been a harder day. On the second stage, hard landing after a jump damaged the intercooler, causing a boost leak. Not long after, the team lost a front brake line. The team hope they had it fixed heading out from the midday service, but returned on a tow strap, behind sweep. “We were near the end of the second pass on Blue Sea, and the car just wasn't working right. We couldn't get power to the ground,” said Richard. “It's a tough start to the season, but we were on pace despite having problems this morning, so I'm actually pretty happy how things went up until the end.” Craig Henderson and Lyne Murphy got stuck in a snowbank, and despite being fifth on the road, had to watch nearly the whole field drive by without any help. “Steeve Hobbs stopped and tried twice, but he had to get going,” said Henderson, clearly frustrated. “We weren't off that far, but no one would stop. We ended up max late.” Leo Urlichich is perhaps earning his “Crazy” moniker back after a high speed spin that ended with the car hitting a telephone pole while moving backwards. Amazingly, despite all of the cosmetic damage, the structure and safety of the car was ruled to be acceptable and the team was allowed to continue. However, time lost with a few spins, combined with six minutes in penalties for early check in have dropped Leo and co-driver Carl Williamson back to ninth. The troubles at the front of the pack have made for an interesting top five. Bruno Carre and Yvan Joyal are second, in a great spot for the championship. They're followed by Sylvain and Simon Vincent. Waiting to start the first pass of the Farley stage, Sylvain offered up his strategy. “You have to pace yourself. If you go too hard at the start, you will be too tired. It's almost 250km of stages, so you need to stay sharp. It's a long day.” Joel Levac and Stephanie Lewis, who finished fourth at Sno*Drift last weekend, are on pace to perhaps do the same here, sitting in fourth, with a small margin over fifth place Mathieu Dube and Eric Losier. Peter Kochandrle and Angela Cosner are leading two wheel drive, with a margin of nearly six minutes over Thierry Menegoz and Guillaume Bechard. Kochandrle is in 15th overall. Teams are presently out running one of the longest legs of the rally, including the infamous Tortue stage. With no remote service this year, any problems that happen out on those stages could force a DNF if a team can't manage the long transit back to town. Check back again for more news from the 2012 Rallye Perce Neige, in Maniwaki, Quebec.

7 Responses to “L’Estage Leads, Richard Out, Leo Down”

  1. dee

    04. Feb, 2012

    leo said on facebook he placed second?

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    30. Dec, 2016

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