OPRC 2022 Kicks off with eventful Rallye Perce Neige
The OPRC season began this past weekend with the double header challenge in Maniwaki, Quebec, for the 2022 Rallye Perce Neige. Having been postponed from its usual slot earlier in the year, the normally cold temperatures, snow-covered roads and large snowbanks were nowhere to be seen. As expected for this time of year, the spring transition offered up very different conditions; snow, ice, thick mud, gravel and huge water crossings made the two events incredibly challenging for competitors.
Deteriorating conditions throughout the day unfortunately led to the cancellation of some of the stages in the 2nd event, but competitors still had enough stage mileage to knock off the winter cobwebs & get some decent seat time in. The weekend saw 19 of 21 teams finish the first OPRC event and 13 of 17 entries finish the second.
Congratulations to Olivier Martel & codriver Vincent Hubert who took Overall 1st Place in both events, finishing Event #1 (OPRC-A in the RPN results on Rallyscoring.com) almost 4 minutes ahead of the team of Gabriel Monette & codriver Olivier Martineau in 2nd Overall.
3rd Overall in Event #1 went to 2021 OPRC Production class winner Vincent Trudel with Michael Szewczyk sitting alongside.
Top step 2 Wheel Drive honours in Event #1 went to Mal Swann and Timothy Dine in their Volvo 242 Turbo. 2WD National winners Marc-Olivier Leblanc and codriver Marc-Olivier Cavanagh took 2nd 2WD in the first OPRC event with their Mazda Protégé, while rounding up the top 3 2WD were Kurtis Duddy & Danny Hudon in their Nissan Sentra.
OPRC Event #2 (OPRC-B in the RPN results on Rallyscoring.com) had the results switching around a little from the morning stages, with Martel & Hubert edging out 2019 OPRC Driver Champion Matthew Ballinger for the win. Switching seats for this event, 2021 OPRC 2WD driver champion Gary Sutherland sat beside Ballinger as they finished ahead of Gabriel Monette & Oliver Martineau in 3rd.
2WD results saw Hans Larose & codriver Alexandre Pesant take first place in their VW golf, followed by Duddy & Hudon, with Leblanc & Cavanagh in 3rd.
The next event is the standalone Black Bear Rally in August. The conditions should be more predictable at that event with 100% gravel roads!