Tall Pines stage A7: Up close at Iron Bridge

Pat Richard storms the bridge!

Yes, I AM that close!

After A5, competitors head over to the Mayo Lake stage before returning to the Iron Bridge spectator stage for the final time. We switched up our shooting locations a bit and I positioned myself right up next to the bridge. Pat Richard was still pedaling the Subaru as fast as he could, which brought him past the lens closer and faster than anyone else. Even still, he was 3 seconds slower than the leader. Antoine L’Estage was running fast and smooth and Richard would have to push harder to catch him as the sun began to set and the temperatures dropped.
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Gallery: 2010 Tall Pines Rally Stage A5, Iron Bridge

Getting to the Iron Bridge stage proved to be a bit of a challenge for the team from The Garage, as our route was blocked by another stage. A tip from Andrew Harvey sent us to an alternate spot where we could gain access to shoot the next couple of runs through the Iron Bridge stage.

As they did for the whole rally, the Rockstar Mitsubishi of Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard was the first car through the stage. While they were bombing along at a fast pace, there was very little drama as L’Estage was driving super smoothly. Their primary competition, Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell were a whole different story.
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Gallery: Rally of the Tall Pines Stages A1 & A2

When the alarm went off at 6 am the day of the Rally of the Tall Pines, the old hotel was moaning under the strain of a wicked wind and the wavy 105 year old windows were rattling as the trees banged against them. It was not promising to be a very nice day to shoot Tall Pines but at least it was warmer than the last time I shot the rally. Fortunately, the winds subsided and the sun warmed the air nicely to provide a great day for shooting. Until the evening, that is, but that is for another post.

The first car Jay Tomchuk and I saw on Saturday morning was the black Mitsubishi of Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard. They were to remain at the front of the order for the entire day, while the rest of the order made some interesting changes throughout the day. We heard that Pat Richard was missing at one point, while Crazy Leo and several other competitors vanished altogether.

After the break we’ve got a rather large gallery of my shots from the first two stages, as competitors made a loop and attached Upper Old Hastings twice in a row.
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Tragedy strikes rally community following Rally of the Tall Pines

I have long believed that more racers die on the way home from an event than do while actually racing. Sadly, that belief was supported once again on Saturday night following the Rally of the Tall Pines.

37 year old volunteer worker Sabina Sima, from Hamilton, Ontario was killed in a 2 vehicle collision on Highway 28 just east of Bancroft. She was a passenger in a Subaru that was being driven by a fellow volunteer when the vehicle crossed over the center line and collided with a Dodge pickup that was travelling in the opposite direction. The driver of the truck received minor injuries while the driver of the Subaru was airlifted to Kingston General Hospital with non life threatening injuries.

Our thoughts go out to Sima’s family and friends.

Tall Pines 2010 video mashup

Today will be a massive editing day here in The Garage, so I thought we’d share the fruits of someone else’s labour. Matt Johnston has just posted this quick mashup of HD clips from the 2010 Rally of the Tall Pines, which includes in car, road side and even helicopter footage. The soundtrack is all natural, meaning there are no tunes and lots of pops and bangs from the exhaust!

After the break, select HD, crank the volume and hold on!
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L’Estage and Richard win Triple Crown at Tall Pines

A couple of Rockstar's tackle Iron Bridge

Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard wowed the fans today at the Rally of the Tall Pines by winning not only the rally, but also capturing the Canadian Championship. That is in addition to already having won the Rally America title and the North American championship.

Their primary rival, Nathalie’s brother Patrick Richard, had a difficult day with a flat tire and a rally ending crash on the final stage.
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Rally of the Tall Pines on Friday

The 2010 Rally of the Tall Pines takes place tomorrow in Bancroft, Ontario. The rally has been held each Fall since 1971 on some of Ontario’s roads. Most teams arrive early on Friday morning and spend the day making final adjustments to the cars and then getting out for some recon runs and odo checks.
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Look out NASCAR, your world is about to go upside down!

Over the years I haven’t commented on anything NASCAR too much as it hasn’t really been on my radar. Now that I spend so much time chasing the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series teams with a camera, I have more of a feel for the roundy round scene. Today’s news in the world of NASCAR is rather large, so I’m going to have a go at some commentary.

Rally fans found out yesterday that Travis Pastrana had cut his ties with Subaru. For you good old boys who don’t follow anything outside of the circle, Pastrana is a top competitor in motocross, freestyle riding and rallying. He has won multiple championships in all of them and for the past 5 years has been competing in the Rally America championship at the wheel of a Subaru.
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Ken Block stuffs Focus hard while testing for Rally GB

One of the rather expensive realities of rallying is that sooner or later, you are going to crash. This is not an exaggeration. Every single person who has driven a rally car has left the road at some point in their competition career. It has nothing to do with talent (well, ok…to some extent it does) and everything to do with the nature of the sport.
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2010 Rally of the Tall Pines is next week!

With a history dating back to 1971, the Rally of the Tall Pines is one of the most historic events on the North American rally scene. The list of past winners includes names like John Buffum, Rod Millen, Taisto Heinonen and Frank Sprongl. The entry list for 2010 reads like a who’s who of modern rally stars: Pat Richard, Antoine L’Estage, Peter Thomson, Bruno Carre and Crazy Leo Urlichich are all guaranteed to excite the fans.
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