Karel Carré wins Rally of the Tall Pines on first attempt
Karel Carré and co-driver Samuel Joyal won the Lincoln Electric Rally of the Tall Pines, penultimate round of the 2018 Canadian Rally Championship.
The event was held on slippery and treacherous snow, gravel and water-covered road that surround the town of Bancroft, Ontario and comprised 18 stages covering a distance of 175 km.
Competing in their first Tall Pines Rally, Carré and Joyal drove their 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI to the overall victory, running the event in 2h16:02. Carré admitted that the lack of grid on the slippery road made the rally pretty challenging.
It was their third victory of the year and while not mathematically clinched, with his win Carré has essentially taken an insurmountable lead over Sylvain Vincent as they both won’t be at the final event of the year, the Big White Rally in British Columbia in December.
Jean-Sebastien Besner and Yvan Joyal piloted their 2003 Mitshubishi Lancer to second place overall, just one minute and 32 seconds down to Carré. Besner, a rally veteran, pushed hard and mounted a solid challenge until he spun and lost more than half a minute at one point.
Albertans Boris Djordjevic and John Hall drove their 2009 Mitsubishi Evo X to third overall despite picking up three flat tires during the final leg of competition.
Novice racers Marc-André Brisebois – a professional stunt man - and Marie-France Desmarais impressed the onlookers and finished fourth overall in their 2007 TEST Racing Subaru WRX ahead of Olivier Martel and Vincent Hubert in their 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
Simon Vincent and Hubert Gaudreau entered the event second in the championship standings, but the duo suffered a string a flat tires that required repairs right in the middle of a stage, and costing them a lot of time. They eventually finished in sixth place overall.
Mathieu Leblanc and Eric Dubé of New Richmond, Québec, captured the honours in the two-wheel drive category in their Honda Civic after a good fight with Philippe Benoit and Ian Guite, driving a MINI Cooper S.
Some big names unfortunately retired from event such as Chris Martin and Brian Johnson who went off the road in the Subaru WRX STI, and Martin Donnelly and Jonathan G. Desgroseilliers whose Subaru suffered from a terminal mechanical problem.
The Canadian Rally Championship concludes at the Big White Winter Rally in Kelowna, British Columbia, December 8 and 9.
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