FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2002
Contact: Andrew Comrie-Picard
Phone: (917) 692-2735
Four Star Motorsports
Maniwaki, Quebec -- The Musketeer Racing Four Star Motorsports Mitsubishi Lancer this weekend systematically moved through the field to finish third overall, first in open class, and first novice in the national event, and first overall, first in open class, and first novice in the Ontario regional portion of the icy and challenging Rallye Perce Neige Maniwaki. Carrying away six trophies each, driver Andrew Comrie-Picard of Toronto and co-driver Dave Shindle of Washington, DC were elated with the result.
"We just went out to have a measured drive as I only had 12km in the car before this event" said Comrie-Picard, "but the rational approach put us on the podium!"
Shindle added: "We took very few if any risks. It was our first event together and Andrew's first ice rally and we wanted the seat time, so we were conservative. Interim results showed that we might do well, but we didn't change our strategy. It took us all the way."
Although Andrew is new to the car and to ice, he is not new to rally. For the past two years he has campaigned the ex-Ari Montonen Lada Canada team car in regional and US events, and he has competed with his historic class Volvo 122S in Europe. "The Lada has been a great training ground and has helped me refine techniques like left foot braking that I never used on the Volvo. But by the time we would go whole rallies without lifting the throttle pedal, it became evident that we needed more car."
That car came in the form of the ex-Richard Tuthill Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV. Although in open-class specification, the car has few major modifications. The brakes, gearbox, and differentials, for example, are stock production Mitsubishi. Comrie-Picard notes: "The Lancer is such a strong and competent car in stock trim that we saw little reason to make major changes. Although Tuthill ran with his own dogbox and special diffs, we're waiting on that investment until we're sure it will be worth the expense."
The Lancer, like the Lada before it, is maintained by Four Star Motorsports of Georgetown, Ontario. Said Comrie-Picard: "When I got into rally in Canada, I knew that I wanted the Sprongls to tune the car. Their experience of six Canadian and four North American championship victories makes them unquestionably the finest preparation shop in the country."
Comrie-Picard and Shindle ran on Yokohama Guardex720 ice tires for the entire event. "The grip was amazing," noted Shindle, "we'd fly into difficult corners covered with ice and polished smooth by other cars, and the tires would hook up and pull us around." Comrie-Picard added that "Breakaway was entirely predictable and sometimes the traction was almost as good as on gravel. A superior design."
Musketeer Racing plans to contend every event in the Canadian Championship Series, the next events taking place in Alberta in May. They are currently fifth overall in the championship and tied for first in open class with last year's champion Tom McGeer. They lead the Ontario Championship overall. "We'll be testing and refining our methods before Alberta," comments Shindle, "and we look forward to more successes like this one."
"We're currently in search of sponsors" adds Comrie-Picard, "and the Musketeer Racing Lada is for sale!"