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Press Release - September 11, 2016

Marc Bourassa and Daniel Paquette Win an Exciting Rallye Défi

September 11, 2016.- The seventh of nine rounds in the 2016 Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC) took place this past weekend in the Petite Nation region of Québec (Outaouais’ MRC Papineau). The popular Rallye Défi welcomed no fewer than twenty-fifth entries into the ECRC.  In a weekend that had an ever-changing leaderboard, the victory eventually went to Marc Bourassa and his co-driver Daniel Paquette, in their Subaru WRX STI. This was the Ste-Agathe duo’s first series win. 

Held on Saturday on the magnificent dirt roads in and around the Montpellier and Ripon municipalities, the section of the Rallye Défi counting towards the ECRC (the event was also listed on the North American Rally Cup and the Canadian Championship calendars) gave an interesting show to the many spectators lining the rally course, including multiple leaderboard changes. 

During Friday’s first few national stages, the top three favourites (Maxime Labrie, Sylvain Érickson and Maxime Losier) all abandoned the rally and could not restart on Saturday morning for the ECRC portion.  Jean-Sébastien Besner, winner of the previous ECRC event in Ontario last month, did not fare any better as an accident sidelined his car on the second stage. This same stage was eventually cancelled by the organizers when, 500 meters past Besner/Joyal’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.9, brothers André and René Leblanc also crashed, resulting in their Subaru WRX STI catching on fire. With the help of competitors behind them on the road, the fire was quickly contained. 

Leading the ECRC after Saturday’s first stage, the Leblanc brothers saw their chances of a victory disappear, bumping Marc Bourassa and Daniel Paquette into the lead as they fought off Simon and Éric Losier (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.8) and Simon Vincent/Hubert Gaudreau (Subaru WRX STI). Even though mechanical problems proved problematic for several teams, Bourassa/Paquette earned themselves a remarkable victory, their first of the 2016 season and in this series, finishing with a gap of one minute and 42 seconds ahead of Vincent/Gaudreau.  Cousins Simon and Éric Losier completed the podium, a mere 3.9 seconds behind second place. 

Bruno Laverdière, co-driven by Pat Lévesque in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.8, finished in fourth after an uneventful rally, just ahead of 2WD winners Julien Rondeau and Jonathan Raymond (Honda Civic).

Justin and Chrissy Bayliff (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.10) rounded off the Top 6, in front of rookie Alexandre Garceau, co-driven by Nancy Frigon, in a Subaru WRX STI. The teams in fifth, sixth and seventh spots completed the rally within less than 40 seconds of each other, after swapping positions multiple times throughout the day. Philippe Benoît and Maxime Fortin-Gagnon (Mini Cooper S) and Nicolas Laverdière/Vincent Trudel (Honda Civic) finished in eighth and ninth place respectively, earning themselves 2WD podium spots behind Rondeau/Raymond.

Tenth overall went to David Bérubé and Marilou Leblanc (Subaru WRX STI), a team that was welcomed back to competition after a three-year absence. In all, sixteen teams completed this 2016 edition of the Rallye Défi.

Despite his early abandon, Jean-Sébastien Besner remains the series overall leader. In the two-wheel drive category, Philippe Benoît, who was second at the Black Bear Rally in August and second again this past weekend at Rallye Défi, also remains in top spot. 

The next round will once again take place in Quebec, this time as part of the Rallye de Charlevoix, October 22nd. A highly publicized event, le Rallye de Charlevoix will also be the penultimate round of the 2016 ECRC championship.

 

2016 Calendar

Date

Event

City (Province) / Club

Winners 2016

5-6 February

Rallye Perce-Neige
www.rallyeperceneige.com
Patrick Rainville 819-663-5546
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Maniwaki (Québec)
Club Rallye Perce-Neige

Overall = Maxime Labrie/Robert Labrie
2WD = Simon Dubé/Éric Lachance
4WDp = Bruno Laverdière/Patrick Lévesque

7 May

Lanark Highlands Forest Rally
www.lhfr.ca
Michael Koch
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McDonalds Corners (Ontario)
Motor Sport Club of Ottawa

Overall = J.S. Besner & Yvan Joyal
2WD = Zoltan Kovacs & Guy Boudreau
4WDp = Bruno Laverdière/Patrick Lévesque

30 June – 2 July

Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs
www.rallyebdc.com
Jean-François Guité 418-751-4174
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New-Richmond (Québec)
Club Rallye Auto  Baie-des-Chaleurs

Overall = André Leblanc & René Lebland
2WD = Simon Dubé & Aaron Cressenti
4WDp = Jonathan Conrad & Timoré Dine

9 July

Galway Cavendish Forest Rally
http://pmscrally.com/gcfr/
Peter Watt
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Catchacoma (Ontario)
Peterborough Motor Sports Club

Overall = Peter Thomson & Frank Sprongl
2WD = Gary Sutherland & Kylee Davis
4WDp = Bruno Laverdière & Vincent Trudel
2WDp = Michael Ketchum & Savannah Kovacs

23-24 July

Ledwidge Lookoff Rally
http://www.lookoffrally.com
Cindy Spencer
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Darthmouth (Nouvelle-Écosse)
Bluenose Autosport Club

Overall = J.S. Besner & Hubert Gaudreau
2WD = Malcom Swann & Martin Cadieux
4WDp = Jonathan Conrad & Wayne Pitts

7 August

Black Bear Rally
http://www.mlrc.ca/blackbear/
Derek Vincent 416-910-0331
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Gilmour (Ontario)
Maple Leaf Rally Club

Overall = J.S. Besner & M.A. Lamontagne
2WD = Zoltan Kovacs & Guy Boudreau
4WDp = Bruno Laverdière & Hubert Gaudreau

9-10 September

Rallye Défi
www.rallyedefi.com
B.Gilles Lacroix 450-475-8828
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Montpellier (Québec)
Club Autos Sport Défi

Overall = Marc Bourassa & Daniel Paquette
2WD = Julien Rondeau & Jonathan Raymond
4WDp = Bruno Laverdière & Pat Lévesque
2WDp = Michael Ketchum & Guy Boudreau

21-22 October

Rallye Charlevoix
http://www.rallyecharlevoix.com
Émilie Fortin
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Clermont (Québec)
Club Rallye de Charlevoix

 

25-26 November

Tall Pines Rally
www.tallpinesrally.com
Ian Wright 416-606-5141
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Bancroft (Ontario)
Maple Leaf Rally Club