Quebec driver Alexandre Béland, co-driven by Lyne Murphy in a Swap Shop Subaru Impreza WRX, won this weekend’s Rallye de Charlevoix in Clermont, Quebec, presented by Coffrages Bouchard. The event was spectacular from start to finish with many changes among the leaders but by the end, Alexandre Béland earned his very first career victory when Steeve Hobbs, favourite to win the rally, was forced to withdraw on the last competitive stage.
Forty-two teams entered the rally with thirty-nine eventually taking the start, for this 2012 edition of the Rallye de Charlevoix, marking the final round in the Quebec Rally Championship’s season. Quebec championship contenders, as well as several regular Canadian national competitors and teams from the United States made up this year’s entry list. With perfect weather conditions (sun mixed with light rainfall at the end of the day), thousands of spectators were on hand to witness the battle between 2011 Quebec champion Steeve Hobbs, co-driven by Jean-Mathieu Tremblay in their Foresco Subaru Impreza WRX, and the team of Maxime Labrie/Anick Barette, also in a Subaru.
Leading after the first four competitive stages, Labrie was eventually sidelined by mechanical issues, leaving Hobbs at the top by himself, less than a minute ahead of the two Swap Shop drivers Alexandre Béland and Marc Bourassa. Managing his lead, Hobbs was headed for victory and a second consecutive Quebec title when he succumbed to heartbreaking mechanical failure on the final stage. A remarkable performance by Alexandre Béland, co-driven by the experienced Lyne Murphy, allowed him to slide into first place in his very first appearance at the Rallye de Charlevoix!
Alexandre Beland/Lyne Murphy On Their Way To Winning The 2012 Rallye de Charlevoix
Marc Bourassa, co-driven by Daniel Paquette, finished one minute and thirteen seconds behind in second place, giving Swap Shop the best imaginable double podium result. The overall podium was completed by Maxime Dubé and Éric Losier (Test Rallye Subaru). In addition, this team earned the Quebec Championship’s four-wheel drive class victory, finishing ahead of Belgian native Frank Lognay, co-driven by his daughter Larissa (Subaru), who clinched the 2012 Quebec 4WD Cup. American Tim Penasack rounds off the overall top 5 ahead of Vittorio Barres and his Audi Quattro.
With 42 teams listed and 39 starters, this 2012 edition of the Rallye de Charlevoix was the rally with the second highest number of participants this season. The organizing committee was thrilled with the weekend’s success, especially after requesting that the event be observed by the Canadian Association of Rally Sport (CARS) with the possibility of eventually integrating the rally back into the Canadian championship and the North American Rally Cup.
“Our goal was to hold an event that was up to national standards and then to continue to develop the Rallye de Charlevoix so that it can be among the best in North America” confides co-ordinator Émilie Fortin, who is in her fourth year at the head of the organization. “After the comments we’ve received, I think we’re on the right track. 2012, which marked the twenty-fifth year since the inception of a rally in our region, was a major success for the Rallye de Charlevoix. It’s great motivation going forward and I think that more than ever, our event has a wonderful future ahead of it” she concludes.
For more information on the event and its results, visit the official site www.rallyecharlevoix.com. The next edition of the Rallye de Charlevoix will take place in October, 2013.
Top 10 at the Rallye de Charlevoix 2012
1) Alexandre Béland – Lyne Murphy (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h11’24”
2) Marc Bourassa – Daniel Paquette (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h12’37’’
3) Maxime Dubé – Éric Losier (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h16’21’’
4) Frank Lognay – Larissa Lognay (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h18’19’’
5) Tim Penasak – Marc Goldfarb (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h18’43’’
6) Vittorio Bares – Patrick Lévesque (Audi Quattro 4000) – 1h22’14’’
7) Patrice Goulet – Catherine Isabelle (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h24’05’’
8) Dave St-Pierre – Simon Lortie (Nissan Sentra) – 1h24’36’’
9) Carl Tremblay – Louis Dicaire (Volkswagen Golf GTI) – 1h25’08’’
10) Patrick Marcoux – Chantal Villeneuve (Subaru Impreza WRX) – 1h27’31’’
Of the total of 39 entrants in the rally 24 were classified as finishers.
This report is based on a press release from the Rallye de Charlevoix. Photo was provided by Marie-Lyse Tremblay/poleposition.ca