Chilly, challenging Season Opener!
Less than 2 weeks ago competitors, crews and volunteers braved the extremely cold temperatures at the opening event of the year, Rallye Perce Neige. The stages around Maniwaki, Quebec hosted round 1 of the OPRC (as well as RSQ and CRC), where we saw 19 of the 22 competitors that drove off the starting ramp, finish all 11 stages of the rally.
Back in its regular slot as a Winter event for 2023, competitors found themselves battling cold weather (well below -30'C), snow storms, snowbanks and icy patches, that kept everyone on their toes. Many of the OPRC competitors also rallied on afterdark in the CRC event, making it a challenging long day for all.
Jean-Sebastien Besner with codriver Yvan Joyal took the overall win (& the lead in the 2023 Championship) after a smart & fast drive, with a 2 minute advantage over the 2nd place team of Simon Aube and Francois Joanisse. Rounding out the Overall podium were Vincent Trudel & Michael Szewczyk.
2WD honours went to Mathieu Leblanc and codriver Eric Dube with a minute plus lead over Mathieu Royer and Alyssa Voyzelle-Montminy, who were competing together for the first time. Completing the 2WD podium were the 2022 2WD driver and codriver champions Kurtis Duddy and Matthieu Toupin.
William Pardiac took top Novice driver at the event finishing 8th overall with Codriver Manuel Arsenault.
Despite challenging temperatures, competitors all appear to have thoroughly enjoyed the winter conditions and classic stage roads.
A great start to the 2023 season.
Full results can be found on rallyscoring.com
Competitors now have a couple of months to prepare themselves for round 2 of the OPRC, the return of the Shannonville Stages Rally in April. This predominantly tarmac event has been absent from the calendar for the past few years but is now back in time to celebrate the host club, PMSC's 70th anniversary.
Supplementary Regulations are available online with some significant savings for registering early https://pmscrally.com/sss/
We'll see you out there!