Canadian Rally Championship 2014 Teaser

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As a Canadian rally fan, journalist and past competitor, I obviously have an affinity for the sport here in this country. For many years, rally in Canada has been a very small niche sport, largely because many events are held in very rural settings. With the advent of modern media though, perhaps driven by the success of series like the X-Games and Global RallyCross, the scene has become much more vibrant in recent years as potential fans can see just how exciting the sport is from home.
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Toyota tests angry WRC spec Yaris

yaris

Toyota is another step closer to making their much anticipated return to the WRC ranks with the completion of a successful gravel test yesterday in Italy. Toyota president Akio Toyoda, a fervent supporter of motorsport, told media in January that he would like to see the company return to rallysport but did not give any indication when this might happen.

The vehicle Toyota has been working with is a Toyota Yaris R1A rally car which has had its 1.3L four banger replaced in favour of the company’s 1.6L “Global Race Engine” which in other platforms has been said to deliver 300 horsepower. Yesterday’s test saw drivers Sebastien Lindholm and Stephane Sarrazin put the tiny car through its paces on a stage called Riparbella, which is a historic stage of the San Remo rally.
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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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