It seems that I am a bad publisher guy, as I put all of my other outlets and my CCOTY duties before actually reporting on the Rally of the Tall Pines here on Driven Wheels. I’m going to justify it by saying that this post will be cooler than it would have been a week ago because of all the great video content that has been posted this week.
Canadian rally star Antoine L’Estage had but one task, to win at Tall Pines in order to put a cherry on top of what may be the most successful season any competitor has ever had in Canadian motorsport.
Having clinched both the North American and Canadian rally championships earlier this Fall, Quebec racer L’Estage had won all five rounds of the Canadian series to date. Just one remained.
Just days before the event, L’Estage announced a new corporate partnership with Yokohama, which provided him the funding to compete last weekend. Ironically, the driver had just one worry following Friday’s reconnaissance session: tires.
When I asked L’Estage what he thought of the weather and the roads, he replied that he was concerned about the hard-packed gravel, explaining that he only had 16 wheels and had mounted snow tires on all of them in anticipation of snow in the Bancroft area. He did not think he had enough gravel tires on hand to complete the rally.
L’Estage needn’t have worried. He and co-driver Alan Ockwell contested a perfect rally, not making any mistakes and leading every stage. In the end, tires were not an issue for the pair.
Not only did the win give L’Estage a record season — six wins in six rallies — but it also clinched the national co-driver’s championship for Ockwell, the third time the Etobicoke resident he has won the award.
Rally cars flying high at Tall Pines
First up we’ve got the highlights reel from CARSRallyTV. Stunning footage as always.
The folks at Rally Canada just released 9 minutes of awesome for your Sunday viewing! If you look closely, you will see the drone used to shoot the above video.
The big moment of the event came when the Subaru Canada entry of Martin Rowe and Nathalie Richard went wide at the exit of a turn and hit something solid, which caused a big roll, putting the pair out of the event. Thanks to the strength of the 2015 Impreza and top notch preparation from Rocket Rally Racing, neither were hurt during the incident.
Spectator Mike Roy caught the crash on video.