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Rally team on way to Canadian title

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The rally racing team of driver Patrick Richard, formerly of Whistler, and navigator Ian McCurdy, currently of Whistler, are now three for three in the Subaru Canadian Rally Championships.

The team dominated the Production class during the Rally of the Voyageurs, Sept. 28-30, in Parry Sound, Ontario, finishing first in their class and second overall against modified Open class teams. This was the third race in a row where their team, Rocket Rally Racing, finished first in Production and second overall.

Not only did the win give them the lead in the Production class standings, it also placed them second in the overall standings ? something which is virtually unheard of in the sport.

"We spent most of the event in a great battle with John Nichols and his Open class Lachute Subaru," says Richard. "And Sylvain Erickson?s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV was not far behind us. Aside from the two stages where we had the damage, we were able to shadow Nichols the whole time."

The damage Richard was referring to was the loss of power steering on a rocky section of the race that slowed the team?s 2002 Subaru Impreza.

"Both Nichols and Erickson retired on the tough 11 th stage ? Nichols rolled his car and Erickson had engine trouble. Since the three of us were pushing hard, we broke away from the rest of the field. After they retired, we were left cruising third overall."

Until 2000 champion Tom McGreer pulled out near the end of the race, putting the team in second.

Richard?s team, Rocket Rally Racing, started strong three seasons ago and hasn?t looked back. They are also a force to be reckoned with on the U.S. and North American circuits, with numerous titles to their credit.

In 2000, they were first in Production and third overall in the Canadian Rally Championship, and first in Production and seventh overall in the SCCA ProRally Championship.

The year before, Rocket Rally?s first season, they raced their way to numerous Production firsts and finished first in the Canadian Rally Championships in their class.

They are on track to make it a hattrick this year.

Their next event is the Rallye Internationale de Charlevoix from Nov. 1 to 4 in Quebec.

The Rally of the Voyageurs will be televised nationally on the TSN, starting on Oct. 13.

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