“It was classic Tall Pines weather and tough road conditions, from gravel to mud, snow, ice, slush — everything. It was not easy…”Antoine L’Estage, Team Subaru WRX STI Driver and Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame Inductee
This is the 6th round of the 7 rallies that makes up the 2017 Canadian Rally Championship season, which started in February in Maniwaki, Quebec and ends in December Kelowna, BC.
Subaru Rally Team Canada has been competing in the Canadian Rally Championship series since 1992 and has won numerous Open Class and Production Class titles.
“Subaru has been involved with rally racing in Canada since the early 1990s, and it’s just a great complement to our brand,” said Ted Lalka, Vice President, Product Planning and Marketing, Subaru Canada. “Our brand represents so many different things that is unique in the marketplace but reliability, durability and performance are a key part of that, and driving pleasure. This is a great way of demonstrating what our vehicles are capable of doing.”
The team’s Subaru WRX STI is driven by Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame inductee Antoine L’Estage, who has won the Drivers Championship 9 times and is well on his way to his 10th title. His co-driver is Alan Ockwell who is a 4 time Canadian Co-Drivers Champion and about to add a 5th title to his resume.
“There are many Subaru’s competing in this event,” said Lalka. “We find that across the county, simply because performance drivers in these kind of conditions, all weather, all road (conditions), are looking for a vehicle that performs really well and they chose Subaru.”
The Canadian Rally Championship was launched in 1957, making it Canada’s longest-running national motorsport series. Subaru Canada began competing in the series in the early 1990s and since 1998 have been a Title Sponsor or Presenting Sponsor.
It is great to see manufacturers who race on Sunday with the goal of selling on Monday. In this case, Subaru races on Saturday, but all one has to do is look at the spectators’ cars at the event to see how many Subaru owners come out to support the Subaru’s taking part in the rally.
Antoine L’Estage and Alan Ockwell ended up winning this year’s rally, extending their respective leads in the driver and co-driver championship standings.
“It was a great team win in a very difficult rally,” L’Estage said. “It was classic Tall Pines weather and tough road conditions, from gravel to mud, snow, ice, slush — everything. It was not easy, but we took the lead early, we picked the right tires and made no mistakes.”
“After clinching the Manufacturer’s championship at the last rally, this win almost gives Alan and I the championship for 2017,” L’Estage said after the event. “We’ll try to finish on a high at Big White.”
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