2022 has seen the Ontario Performance Rally Championship make stops in four different towns where drivers and co-drivers competed across a total of six events. After the snow and mud of Maniwaki in April, the heat of Catchacoma in August, tricky stages of Montpellier in September, and varying road conditions of Bancroft in late November, one team has emerged as the clear 2022 Ontario Performance Rally Champions. Oliver Martel and his co-driver Vincent Hubert didn’t have time to look in their rearview mirrors as they sped to the outright win in 5 events this year, tallying a total of 110 points, in their Test Racing Subaru. Matt Ballinger, one of two drivers to compete in all 6 events, claims best of the rest in 2nd place with 69 points after an up and down championship campaign in his Four-Star Motorsports prepped Subaru.
The only co-driver to make it to every event this year, Ryan Rouleau found himself in 2nd place after he and his driver Pougnet earned 62 points in their Capital Tuning Subaru. The 62 points Trevor Pougnet earned with Rouleau wasn’t enough to beat Ballinger and he will have to settle for third overall. Rounding out the podium is third place co-driver Gary Sutherland, gathering 51 points after calling notes for Ballinger in 4 rallies this year.
A driver who didn’t look like a novice this year and definitely won’t be next year is Gabriel Monette. He just missed the overall podium with his 61 point campaign. The success didn’t stop there for Monette in 2022. Monette finished first Novice Driver at Rallye Perce Neige de Maniwaki #1 & #2, Defi Petite Nation, and the Small Pines and Pine Cone Rallies. The complete dominance in 2022 gives Monette the title of 2022 Ontario Performance Rally Novice Champion.
At the halfway mark, the 2WD class was anybody’s guess with only 10 points separating the top 6. Kurtis Duddy found himself in a tie for 2nd after two podium finishes at Rallye Perce Neige de Maniwaki. In a surprise move Duddy switched co-drivers for the second half of the season and finished his 2022 campaign with Matthieu Toupin. The switch proved to pay off as the Shifted Racing team of Duddy and Toupin had instant chemistry, seeing them just send it to the class win in every event of the latter half of the championship. Duddy’s 97 and Toupin’s 66 points have them more than 10 points above the rest of class and earned them the 2022 Ontario Performance Rally Championship’s 2WD title. In 2nd place with 55 points was the team of Crawford New and Zvonimir Bracika from Neon Monkeys racing. Rounding out the podium in the closely contested 2WD class with 54 points was the Uptown Autosport team of Charles Hammer and his co-driver Guillaume Dozois.
In the smaller production 4WD class, it was a battle all year between Ballinger and Pougnet. After all was said and done Ballinger bested Pougnet in 4 of 6 events, leaving Ballinger in 1st at 39 points and Pougnet 2nd with 38. Pougnet’s co-driver, Rouleau, did prove to be more consistent than any other co-driver in class, earning him first in class with his 38 points. Teaming up with Ballinger in those 4 rallies, Sutherland managed 2nd place, earning 30 points.
Production 2WD class had some late season theatrics, as we didn’t know for sure if either the Neon Monkeys Racing Plymouth Neon or the JonesBerlin Rallysport Mazda 3 would make it to the last two events. As it turned out, repairs were made and the engine swap was a success. Both teams indeed made it to the start and finish of both events. New and Bracika in their Plymouth Neon ended up getting the better of Roderick Jones and Sam Roxon in their Mazda 3 at both of the last two events. This left both teams with 30 points and their results were a mirror image of one another’s, ending the season in an unbreakable tie.
Congratulations to all the 2022 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. As well we would like to put out a huge thanks to our sponsors of the 2022 Ontario Performance Rally Championship; Clarington Hyundai, Enercare, and Ontario Motor Sales Chevrolet Cadillac. Stay tuned for a post in the next couple of days to share with you the winners of the various levels of the 2022 OPRC Prize fund, generously provided by our sponsors.
Hope to see you out there next season!
Full season results can be found on our results page here.
All pictures generously provided by Tavernier Clément Photographie