FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2002
For more information,
Contact: Patrick Richard
Rocket Rally Racing
VANCOUVER, BC -- Canadian driver wows series regulars - sets the pace in Scotland only to roll out on final stage
A storming drive by Canadian Pat Richard on his first visit to Scotland wowed fellow competitors and crowds as the 206 Super Cup driver dominated last weekend’s Scottish International Rally, held near Dumfries, Scotland.
The Vancouver-based 28 year old who currently shares the joint lead in the Canadian Championship, led from the first stage even though he was still getting used to right hand drive and two wheel drive rather than his usual Subaru Impreza.
He’s splitting his year between contesting events in Canada and North America with competing in the British-based Peugeot 206 Super Cup in a bid to learn something new to North American rallying – pacenotes.
Together with co-driver Alyson Marlow, Pat has been fine tuning his pace notes and quickly took a hold of the 206 Super Cup at the weekend.
"I never really expected to be on the pace this early in the season especially after missing the Rally of Wales which clashed with one in Canada," he said.
However his dominance was cut short on the final stage with a dramatic roll dropping him out of the lead and out of the rally.
The pair took a fast left hand corner a little too tightly and a rock launched them into three rolls the car ending up lodged on a tree trunk in the undergrowth.
"We were ready to get going again but the suspension was broken so that was us out of the rally,’ said Pat. "Its really disappointing not to finish but we never thought we would even by vying for the lead at this stage of the year so I’m pleased we have at least shown we can be on the pace." After their mishap, Marko Ramanen of Finland moved on from second place to take the win. "I expect to have a few more mishaps while I learn the notes, but since its only my second event I'm not too worried about it."
Series regulars were caught off-guard as Richard led from the start of the event, at times taking more than 1 second per mile off of the rising stars, who are all vying for a works Super 1600 drive at the end of the season. The Peugeot Super Cup is the same series that jump-started the careers of current and past world champions Richard Burns and Colin McRae.
With Pat now heading back to Canada for the next round of that championship the race is on to reshell the car in time for the next round of the 206 Super Cup, the International Jim Clark Rally, held next month.
The Edinburgh based event will provide another steep learning curve for the Canadian who has never rallied on tarmac before. "This year is all about learning and its just one lesson after another," he said. "I have no idea how the car will handle on the Jim Clark and it doesn’t look like I will get much time to test the car before the rally starts, but I can't wait to give it a go."
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