Press Release - April 21 - 2024.

Samuel Joyal/Philippe Poirier - Rallye Sanair 2024

Samuel Joyal and Philippe Poirier Win the
2024 Rallye de Sanair

April 21, 2024.- Included in the Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC) calendar for the second time in its rich history, the Rallye de Sanair took place this past Saturday at the St-Pie-de-Bagot motorsports complex in Montérégie (Québec) and was claimed by Samuel Joyal and Philippe Poirier in a Test Racing Subaru WRX STI.

Former Canadian co-driving rally champion, Samuel Joyal was contesting his first rally as a driver, on the asphalt of Sanair. 32 years after his father Yvan Joyal also won this event as a driver, Samuel put his skills behind the wheel to the test and came out victorious. With the experience of Philippe Poirier at his side, he had to exhibit patience as he won only two of the fifteen competitive stages but finished in the Top 5 on each.

Kurtis Duddy/Danny Hudon - Rallye Sanair 2024
Photo : © Clément Tavernier

Despite a thirty second penalty for bumping into chicanes throughout the course, the Joyal/Poirier duo won the rally by a margin of one minute and eighteen seconds over last year’s overall winners Kurtis Duddy and co-driver Danny Hudon, in a Nissan Sentra. This team had received a penalty of one minute and fifteen seconds, which proves how much more intense the battle was than the gaps portray in the final standings. For Duddy and Hudon, the second-place finish overall was in addition to winning the 2-wheel drive class ahead of another Nissan Sentra of team Mathieu Royer and Alyssa Voyzelle-Montminy. They finished 34 seconds behind Duddy/Hudon.

Under sunny spring skies which were accompanied by a strong and crisp wind, the 2024 Rallye de Sanair was difficult for many mechanics, starting with those of Vincent Lalande and Matthieu Toupin. Winners of February’s Rallye Perce-Neige, the young (16 years old) Vincent Lalande was hoping to take advantage of his 2023 season on asphalt and in Canadian road racing (Nissan Sentra Cup) to go head-to-head with some of the best rally specialists. Second fastest on the first stage (behind Duddy/Hudon) and fifth on the second, Lalande/Toupin then saw their hopes come to an end on the third stage after suffering mechanical problems with their Subaru WRX STI.

The duo had to miss one competitive stage, which incurred penalties that put them out of contention for the podium, but Lalande and Toupin nevertheless won seven of the eleven stages to finish in 11th spot overall.

Fourth overall and second in 4-wheel drive, Gabriel Monette and Alexandre Sr-Arnaud (Subaru) started the event cautiously before closing in on the leaders. Their consistency and complete lack of penalties, an uncommon feat at this event, was a testament to their performance.

At the wheel of a Mini Cooper S, Olivier Corbeil and co-driver Véronique Di Palma completed the 2-wheel drive class podium and also rounded out the Top 5 overall. This was a promising finish for a team new to the series.

Very impressive throughout the entire rally, Réjean Perron and Alexandre Marcoux drove their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo to a sixth-place finish and captured third place in 4WD. They finished ahead of Michel Drapeau/Jean-Sébastien Delisle (Subaru), Carl Damphousse/Dany Plante (Dodge SRT4), Éric Dufour/Cezary Maciocha (Volkswagen Golf GTI) and Philippe Normandeau/François Darcy (Honda Fit).

Eighteen teams were registered in the 2024 Rallye de Sanair 2024. 17 took to the start and 14 completed the event. Included among the teams that did not finish is Olivier David (co-driven by Simon Decosse in a Subaru), winner of the Rallye de Shannonville two weeks ago.

This season, the Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC) is comprised of nine rounds, spread out between Ontario and Quebec. The next event will take place on May 25th as the very first edition of the Rallye Vallée de Beauce, on the south shore of Quebec City. ECRC competitors and fans are already anxiously awaiting these extraordinary gravel roads.

ECRC - 2024 Calendar