L’Estage to drive ex WRC Mitsu

Posted on 03. Apr, 2013 by in Rally News

Antone L’Estage and Nathalie Richard are among the very best in North American rally, with trophy collections to prove it. But as fast drivers like David Higgins and Ken Block move to faster and faster cars, the privateer Rockstar team has been pushed to the very limits of their equipment.

A blistering drive at Sno*Drift saw L’Estage and Richard edge Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew. The victory was a must as slippery circumstances reduced nearly any technical advantage the Subaru team might have had, and set up L’Estage and Richard to have a shot at the Rally America championship.

But despite their best efforts, the Canadian team knows that on gravel, where power can really be put to the ground, their Mitsubishi EVO X would be outclassed by both the Subaru and Ford.

In order to remain competitive, the team has worked out a deal to run an ex-WRC Mitsubishi EVO, prepared by MML of Europe, headed by the same people who oversaw the now defunct Mitsubishi Ralliart WRC team.

“It’s a bit of a gamble,” admitted L’Estage in a phone interview with Flatovercrest.com. “Will I really be quicker?”

“I can push ten tenths in my own car, because I know it so well. But the WRC car is new to me, and so it will be hard to be faster right away. It will take a bit of time to get up to speed.”

That said, rally fans across North America and further afield will be watching to see how L’Estage will be able to battle with Higgins and Block.

“You know, with David in his Subaru, and Ken in the Ford, and now me in this car, I think it is good for the sport in the US, and good for Rally America. It creates a bit of a buzz that is pretty cool, not just here, but from Europe as well.”

Canadian fans will have to head south of the border to see L’Estage and Richard in this car. At present, there are no plans to run the WRC in Canada. Instead, L’Estage will stick with his EVO X.

Listen to the rest of the interview now.

LEstage Livery

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