2021 OPRC Season Comes to a Close
Updated: Dec 20, 2021
The 2021 Ontario Performance Rally Championship was decided after teams traded stage times across four rallies this season. Roads spanned both the Kawartha Highlands and Bancroft area of Ontario, along with the région Petite-Nation of Quebec. The 2021 championship prize fund was sponsored by Clarington Hyundai, Enercare and Ontario Motor Sales, providing cash prizes to the drivers awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Overall and 2WD Championships, as well as the Novice Driver champion.
Winning two of the four events, with 24 championship points ahead of 2nd place, Jerome Mailloux of Rimouski, QC took the 2021 Overall Driver’s title with 61 points, piloting a 2014 Subaru STI. Novice driver Trevor Pougent, from Nepean, ON, finished with 37 points which was just enough for 2nd Overall with his production 4WD class Subaru WRX. Pougent also found a way to be the most consistent Novice driver throughout the Championship, earning him the title of 2021 OPRC Novice Champion.
The final spot on the Overall podium came down to a tie-breaker as two drivers, Jeremy Drake and Vincent Trudel, finished with 35 points. Neither driver won a rally in the 2021 Championship, though Drake finished 2nd twice and Trudel’s highest finish was 3rd place which he accomplished twice. Per section 5.7 “ Tie-Breakers” of the Performance Rally Rules, Jeremy Drake of Bancroft, ON, claimed 3rd Overall in his 1999 Subaru RS.
In the 2WD Driver’s Championship, the top 3 had a wide array of rally experience. Seasoned driver Gary Sutherland from Burlington, ON, won 1st place 2WD driver with 51 points, using his 2000 Ford Focus to consistently finish on the podium. Novice driver Sean McConnachie from Coldwater, ON, driving a 2014 Ford Fiesta finished 2nd, right behind Sutherland with 48 points. Only 4 points behind McConnachie, in 3rd place, veteran driver Jim Stevens from Kingsville, ON, finished with 44 points in his bright yellow production 2WD 2004 Suzuki Swift.
Mailloux’s co-driver Philippe Poirier of Levis, QC, wins the 2021 Overall Co-Driver title with 61 points, a wide margin over 2nd. David Bell of Baden, ON, finished 2nd, having teamed up with two different drivers over the duration of the 2021 Championship to gain 38 points. Rounding out the Overall Co-Driver podium, of Quebec, QC, was Christopher Trudel. The 35 Championship points Trudel earned was enough to claim 3rd place outright.
In the 2WD Co-Driver’s Championship, the teamwork of newcomers McConnachie and co-driver John Gerryts from Port Colborne, ON, propelled Gerryts to win 1st 2WD co-driver with 48 points. In 2nd was Brandon Pace from Kitchener, ON, with 44 points. 3rd place was awarded to Guillaume Dozois of Colomban, QC, with 36 points, calling notes in a Volvo 242 GLT.
In the Production 4WD class Vincent Trudel of Quebec, QC claimed 1st Driver after winning the tie-breaker with three class wins over Trevor Pougent’s one class win, as both drivers finished with 27 points. Rounding out the top 3 was Catherine Denmeade of East Haddan, CT. The top 3 P4WD co-drivers were; Trudel’s co-driver Christopher Trudel from Quebec, QC, in 1st with 27 points, Ryan Rouleau of Nepean, ON was 2nd with 15 points and Natalie Lamontagne of Gatineau, QC, 3rd with 12 points.
Production 2WD class long time rally driver Jim Stevens and co-driver Brandon Pace consistently finished every event they entered in 2021, to finish 1st P2WD driver and co-driver. 2nd place in P2WD was rounded out by Driver Crawford New of Toronto, ON and his Co-Driver Zvonimir Bracika of Pembroke, ON.
Finally, Subaru claimed the manufacturer's title and a perfect season, with a Subaru on top step of the podium at all four rallies on the 2021 OPRC calendar.
Congratulations to all the 2021 Winners & thank you to all the competitors for supporting the Championship this season.
A big thanks must also go to all the Event organizing teams and the hundreds of volunteers that allow these rallies to take place.
Hope to see you out there next season!