FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2004
For more information,
Contact: Christopher Richards
Rocket Rally Racing
Hillsboro, Oregon -- Canadian rally driver Patrick Richard came out on top at this weekend's Oregon Trail ProRally, the second round of the SCCA ProRally Championship. Driving a Subaru Impreza WRX rally car in the internationally-recognized Group N class, Richard's overall victory against the more powerful Open class cars was the second in a row for the British Columbia - based Canadian, and his first victory of the year on gravel.
"Coming off the snow events, it is great to also see us take a win on the gravel," explained Richard. "It kind of rebukes the rumors that we Canadians are only able to drive on the ice," he joked.
After establishing themselves as the early leaders after Friday's first set of stages, Richard and his co-driving sister, Nathalie Richard, experienced problems on Saturday which saw them drop over a minute to interim rally leader, Irishman Seamus Burke.
"We had some communications issues inside the car. While we were very competitive, we lost a lot of time on two of Saturday's stages in particular," explained co-driver Nathalie Richard. "Coming into the final leg of the event, we were sitting in third place, 15 seconds behind Karl Jardevall."
A sensational drive on the final leg of the event saw the brother and sister duo win all but one of Sunday's stages, overhauling Jardevall for second place and cutting the time gap to Burke in half. Retirement for Burke on the penultimate stage handed the victory to Richard, and the former Canadian champion now has a strong lead in the SCCA ProRally Championship overall standings.
"Seamus had a big lead on us coming into Sunday morning, and I didn't think that it was going to be possible to close the gap," explained Richard. "I put a lot of pressure on Karl Jardevall, and we both moved closer to Seamus. Ultimately I think Seamus had some sort of mechanical failure, and once past Jardevall we inherited the lead. I don't enjoy taking a win that way, but walking out from a tough event like Oregon with full points is something that I wouldn't trade for almost anything else."
"We're still unsure about how far we can go this season," explained Rocket Rally team coordinator, Ken Kwong. "Patrick has been delivering the goods in the car, and obviously has done a great job considering he's running in Group N, but we still have not closed our funding for the remaining rounds of the season. It's going to be very difficult to try to make it to the summer events unless something changes," he cautioned.
Supported by associate sponsors Globalstar, DMS North America, Motul, OMP and NASIOC.com, Patrick Richard and Rocket Rally Racing now sit atop the SCCA ProRally Championship overall standings and will be making their next appearance at the Rim of the World ProRally, May 7-8, near Palmdale, California..
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