After Urlichich crashed out, L’Estage inherited the first position on the road, resulting in a dust free run while other teams had to contend with limited visibility.
Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard earned their fifth #Canadian Rally Championship titles during the first day of the Pacific Forest Rally, when their closest rival, Crazy Leo Urlichich and co-driver Carl Williamson rolled on the first stage, ending their rally and their championship bid.
The event was not simple for Richard and Ockwell who, in a battle for the lead, suffered two flat tires and brake damage that caused a fire. Despite these problems on the final three stages the team pressed on and made it to the finish having earned the top spot on the podium. ]]>
“It’s nice to see this result for the team,” said Richard. “The guys have been working so hard for so long. It’s been about a year and a bit without a win, so it’s a good change.”
Antoine L’Estage and Alan Ockwell of the Yokohama Rally Team Canada finished the first day of the 2014 Rocky Mountain Rally with a lead of 40 seconds over their closest rivals after four stages. I just went quite hard on the last stage,” said L’Estage. “Alan and I were good, and the notes were working well, so we were able to put in a really good time.”The pair opened up a lead on the first stage, an uphill run of the Hawke Road stage. Behind them, Martin Rowe and Nathalie Richard of Subaru Rally Team Canada put forward a good pace that is much faster than the team achieved at the Pacific Forest Rally. The Rocky Mountain Rally is the team’s third event together and third event with the new 2015 car. “We are getting faster which is what we want,” said Rowe. “We still have more to get out of the car, but we’re getting closer to the pace we want to have.”Hardy Schmidtke and John Hall finished the day in third place after a stressful start to the rally. The team arrived at the start of the first stage to discover their engine was leaking oil. They set a careful pace and managed to return to service where the crew could make the needed repairs. The rest of the day was a smoother run for the team. Ramana Lagemann and Chrissie Beavis have outclassed the rest of the two wheel drive field. The Americans are ranked fourth overall at the end of the day in a rear wheel drive BMW. The two struggled with a lack of power on the uphill run of the Hawkes Road stage, and brake issues on the downhill. Stage three was also a challenge when their intercom didn’t provide a proper volume balance in their helmets. Alex Kozlov and Martin Matas are fifth overall and the top novice team of the event. Behind them, Boris Djordjevic and co-driver Chris Kremer are leading a production class battle with Tibor Kertes and Shabir Haji. Though clouds lingered over the Invermere, B.C., area, conditions remained dry and windy. Tomorrow, teams will compete over six stages before arriving at the final time control of the event.