Rallye Défi proved to be another great success for Subaru Canada and the team at Rocket Rally Racing. This is a ninth win for Antoine L'Estage, proving once again his dominance over the Canadian Rally championship.
Held through the forests near Montpellier, Quebec, the rally features roads similar to that found in Finland; narrow, undulating dirt roads passing through deep green woodland.
The first two days saw difficulty for the championship leaders; rocks caused damage to the underside of the car, causing rear brake failure. This gave the leaders, Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan chance to pull away. Unfortunately their car suffered greater damage, having a rim fail, subsequently loosing most of the drivetrain! Overall, this cost them even greater time and handing the lead to L'Estage and Ockwell.
This misfortune also handed second place to 'Crazy' Leo Urlichich and Alex Kihurani and their N12 Subaru. The podium gives them an even greater hold on the Production 4WD class standings.
Another casualty of the rally was Brandon Semenuk and John Hall in the Rocket Rally prepared Subaru Crosstrek. "We saw something that looked like a transmission or something, and hit it dead on! Somehow we didn’t end up with any serious damage, but did end up losing time because of a bent tie rod end.” Although being Semenuk's first time at Rallye Défi, he managed to still secure the final podium spot.
All three drivers are all currently leading the championship in their respected categories, and all three use EXE-TC suspension.
With the final three rounds in sight, the championship heads back west to the Pacific Forest Rally at Merritt, BC from the 12th to 14th of October.
Be sure to keep up to date with all the developments in the CRC and with Rocket Rally on their website and social media outlets.