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2013 Rally of the Tall Pines - 1st P2WD and 10th Overall for Jeff and Emily.

Jeff & Emily 2013 TP  - Photo by Flagworld.com, Claude Lamorueaux

Jeff and Emily winning the Production 2WD class on the 2013 Rally of the Tall Pines. They finished an excellent 10th overall and ensured a manufacturer's title for Mitsubishi yet again.

November 2013 - Having missed the Rocky Mountain Rally, the Riverbank Rally Team of Jeff and Emily lost the closely fought battle for the Canadian 2WD Championship to Hartl & Storry. Paul and Chuck are very popular champions, having clinched the title by finishing second on the Rocky. Jeff and Emily were still in the running for the Production 2WD title and needed to finish first, two places ahead of Deschenes/Asselin on the Tall Pines to win. The Ladies Cup was also going to be decided on the Tall Pines with Emily and Lynne Murphy both in the running.

This year, Rally of the Tall Pines was scheduled a week later than its traditional third week in November. The result was icy roads and cold temperatures, both no stranger to the last rally of the season. (Oldtimers may recall a time when the Rally of the Tall Pines was the FIRST rally of the season and counted in the following year's championship). Friday was recce day and again the McGeer/Wiliams notes proved to be most helpful. Tall Pines is the only event in the series that provides a set of stage notes - these are excellent and much appreciated.

As it climbed the starting ramp Saturday morning, thanks to Jerry and Whiticar Auto Body, the Lancer was all shiny and clean with no sign of the brush with the scenery on the west coast. Roads were still icy and attrition started to take its toll. By the end of the rally, more than half of the field was sidelined with some kind of problem. This included Crazy Leo who was convincingly leading overall. For those spectating, the flourescent-orange Subaru was quite spectacular until its camshaft gave out.

Deschenes/Asselin Toyota, winners CRC2013 P2WD - Photo by Flagworld.com, Claude Lamorueaux Jeff and Emily finished a most impressive 10th overall and 1st Production 2WD, almost 10 minutes ahead of Deschenes/Asselin. They also made 2nd on the 2WD podium behind Walter & Trauttmansdorff Nissan. With Lynne Murphy not finishing, Emily tied for first place in the Ladies Cup on points but the award went to Lynne who had more wins. Although a runner-up in five championships, Riverbank did make a strong contribution for Mitsubishi again winning the Production 2WD Manufacturer title.

As another season draws to a close, congratulations go to Antoine and Mitsubishi for their overall placings. It is also great to see Paul and Chuck win the 2WD - best wishes to Paul as he retires on a high note! Kudos to Deschenes and Asselin, Production 2WD champions, for a solid performance finishing four events and scoring in each. Finally, thanks also to the organizers, workers and the host communities who make the Canadian Rally Championship possible.

2013 Pacific Forest Rally - Much Ventured, Little Gained for Riverbank Rally

PFR Contenders for 2WD - Photo by Y.Klostranec

2WD Championship contenders Hartl/Storry and Dowell/Dowell on the starting line. Both teams failed to finish the PFR and the championship standings remain unchanged.

October 2013 - It was Tuesday that Big Red arrived in Merritt, BC. with Jeff, Jerry and the Lancer ending their 4300 km cross-country journey. On Wednesday evening, Emily and Yavor arrived having driven from Calgary airport in the rental Rondo. Dinner was at the Home restaurant where perfectly good schnitzels are smothered with ultra-high viscosity Franco-American turkey gravy.

Thursday schedule included registration, recce and tech inspection in the evening. At mid-day, a trip was organized to Kamloops airport to pick-up Jason and the service twins, Christopher and Kevin. Finally, the Team had all arrived. Dinner, again at the Home restaurant, was ordered with care to avoid another ride on the gravy train.

Friday, service park finally opened in the gravel lot of a busy Husky truck stop. The organizers best plans of assigning service spots turned to naught when a number of loaded transport trailers remained parked randomly in the service area. All this resulted in a challenging, maze-like access to each team's stall. Park expose was in downtown Merritt, with free hot dogs and tee shirts giveaway by a local merchant. Cars were finally flagged off at 5:30 starting at two minute intervals which made an already long day seem longer.

Soon after the start, the news that BOTH 2WD classmates Nelson/Newell and Hartl/Storry were off spread thru the park. We felt bad for Paul and Chuck, out so soon after hauling 4000 km from Ontario. Still, this put Jeff and Emily in a commanding place in the championship needing only a finish to pull away in the standings. At first service, Jeff said he was content to drive with plenty of reserve and concentrate on finishing. However, the Goddess of Rally had other ideas and about 1.5 km from the end of Stage3 She arranged that the Lancer should hit a tree. The damage to the RF quarter was substantial. Jeff kept it going and got to finish the stage. At the turnaround, thanks to the teams that helped with the sheet metal removal and tree-&-towstrap wheel-alignment, the Lancer made the start of Stage4. J&E managed to complete the stage but the long transit back to service along a 4-lane highway was not to be attempted with 30 degree tow-out.

After a short meeting, it was decided that trying to fix the car long-distance while stored in Invermere for four weeks was too ambitious a task. It was time to pack up and go home. We got the Lancer loaded into the Big Red and arrived back at the hotel around 2:30am. Then, a mad scramble ensued to re-schedule flights, hotel bookings and travel plans.

And so ended Riverbank's first visit to Merritt and the PFR. Both Jeff/Emily and Paul/Chuck picked up a point for their trouble and are still essentially tied for the lead in the 2WD Championship. Thanks go out to Paul Westwick and his organizing team, all the workers and the town of Merritt for its hospitality. Also, thanks to the Rocky folks who organized safe storage in Windermere which we were not to need, after all.

Jeff & Emily - Winners Rallye Defi - Canadian 2WD Rally Championship

First at 2013 Defi - Photo by Melina Lamouroux - Flagworld.com

2WD Winners Jeff and Emily celebrating with second place Vincent/Gaudreau, left, and third place Hartl/Storry, right.

September 2013 - Jeff and Emily put on a rally clinic in the Riverbank Production Class Mitsubishi Lancer and captured first place on the Rallye Defi, the third event in the 2013 Canadian 2WD Rally Chapmpionship Series. The event took place over three days around the Laurentian towns of Ste-Agarhe-des-Monts, Montpellier and Ripon, Quebec. This is the first 2WD win for Riverbank after a strong second place showing on the last event, Rallye Baie des Chaleurs.

The competition started early Friday with bi-directional runs of Montcalm and Lac-des-Plages stages. These stages can be rough and punishing but Jeff and Emily stayed clean throughout. The afternoon was dedicated to the spectators with repeat passes of the local spectator stages. The team finished the day in second place, two minutes behing the Gauvreau/Roussin Ford Fiesta. Those spending the day hanging around the service park were subjected to a megadose of Frank Zappa courtesy of Tremblay Beer. Finally, it became clear why Manuel Noriega surrendered to the CIA. At least at Perce Neige they play The Zac Brown Band! The day ended with the obligatory service park spaghetti dinner and a trip to Montpellier, which, unlike last year, unfolded without incident.

Saturday morning began with double passes of the Crique-a-la-Roche and Elmitt-Dosch stages. Elmitt-Dosch was quite rough and claimed a few competitors, including the Gauvreau/Roussin Ford Fiesta - too bad since they were having a good run and leading. The final six stages are among the best in the series; smooth and fast where it is difficult to make up time. With Jeff now in the lead and driving smoothly, it was unlikely that anyone could challenge Riverbank for the win.

Riverbank Lancer Defi 13 - Photo by Melina Lamouroux - Flagworld.com Second place went to the young team of Vincent/Gaudreau in their RWD 86 Corolla GTS. Great to see young competitors do so well in a tough event. Paul Hartl/Chuck Storry finished third in their Volkswagen and added 14 points to their championship total. That's three finishes in a row for Paul & Chuck and we hope they can keep their streak going. In the class categories, Jeff and Emily also scored a win in 2WD Production.

Defi 2013 provided the best ever result for Riverbank and shifted to focus onto the big prize - Canadian 2WD Rally Championship. Credit goes to all those taking part - Jeff and Emily for a superb drive; team manager Jerry and crew Jason, Suzanne, Chris and Kevin for servicing; Barbara as the LQ manager; Yavor as the team cook in Oblivio's Rally Kitchen. Special thanks go to locals Mark & son Sam for their enthusiastic support and help this year as in previous years. Finally, thanks to B.Gilles and all the workers who always make the Defi a memorable experience.

Podium Finish for Jeff and Emily at Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs 2013!

Second 2WD at 2013 Baie
 Photo by Y.Klostranec

July 2013 - After two gruelling days of tough competition, Jeff and Emily put Riverbank on the podium, finishing second in the CARS 2WD category. The team also finished second in the 2WD Production Class and an impressive 11th in the overall standings.

Rally started Saturday mid day with a cloverleaf tarmac spectator stage. Teams then went on to tackle slippery Gaspe roads made much worse by a heavy downpour just after the dinner break. As darkness fell, fog and humidity caused problems for many competitors, including Riverbank. After a strong performance, Jeff and Emily finished the day in second place in 2WD.

The final leg was run on Sunday with the road conditions improving as the day progressed. Jeff and Emily maintained their position and finished second to the production BMW of Larose/Lafreniere. Walter/Trauttmansdorff were third in 2WD after surviving an incident that featured electricity, flames and a fire extinguisher.

The Riverbank team was also awarded a prize as the best-prepared-car; great news for Jerry who was following the progress from Perth. Thanks go to the service crew, especially Sue, who shovelled a lot of mud during the course of the event. Also, thanks to the pressure-washing squad who made the Riverbank Lancer look good.

Traditionally, the Baie is a great event and the 2013 edition did not disappoint.

Rallye Perce Neige 2013 - An Unfair Disadvantage

Riverbank Lancer Perce Neige 2013
 Photo by Y.Klostranec

February 2013 - New rules for 2013 classify the Riverbank Lancer into 2WD Production class. We are also grouped into the new 2WD Canadian Rally Championship and with a separate podium presentation after each rally. Finally, 2WD gets some respect...welcome news. Further changes include a new video production crew headed by ACP. The philosophy has changed and the coverage will include more depth-of-field. Again, very good news and best wishes to ACP and his production crew.

As last year, for 2013 Perce Neige Riverbank entered Yavor/Emily. Recce was in a rented Saturn Vue which did the job nicely with the traction control off this time. 2wd competitors Deschenes/Asselin and Martin/Ferd chose to do the recce in their rally cars and both needed to be towed up Hill#1 on Kitigan Zibi; harbinger of things to come! Roads were from "very" to "insane" icy with many open-water washouts along the way.

At driver's meeting we found that the scheduled second of three passes of Kitigan Zibi was cancelled; a welcome news for all. The day was divided into ten short sprint stages for the first half and then two passes of Kitigan and Lac de l'Arch. A final mini-stage for the spectators was to be at Chateau Logue.

We went out on snow tires since we felt it was too cold for untractionized ice tires. Morning stages were ice with a bit of sand in sections. We managed to nudge a few snowbanks but made it to first service unscathed. Next set of stages included two passes of Farley which was frozen over completely. We just couldn't get any grip and felt embarrassed for being so boring to the busloads of spectators. Problem One was to accelerate and get up to a reasonable speed. Problem Two was to slow down to make it around the next corner. Once you take away acceleration and braking, all you have left is cruising at constant speed. We whacked a bunch of snowbanks doing just that.

The real test came on the first pass of Kitigan. We couldn't make it up Hill#1 and brakes would not hold the car on the hill once we stopped. We slid backwards until we nudged ourselves against a snow bank so that Emily can get out and put out a triangle. Meanwhile, by spinning wheels forwards, the car's nose slipped downhill and the car did a nice 180 swing. This allowed Yavor to drive down to the bottom, turn around and take another run. Things worked out this time except that Emily had to run up the very long hill with the triangle. Total loss about 10 minutes. Just as an indication for those who were not there and who think that all this talk about icy conditions is embellished, have a look at these stats; PN 2012 winner L'Estage KZ time = 21:46.......PN 2013 winner Richard KZ time = 29:37! That's around 15 sec/km slower!

For the final 50k stage we decided to go with ice tires, taking a risk of a puncture but hoping to gain some grip. Several triangles greeted us as we came to the L2 at the bottom of Hill#1. Most of the 2WD field was here; Hartl/Storry VW, Deschenes/Asselin Echo, Larose/Lafreniere BMW, Gauvreau/Roussin Fiesta and our Lancer. The Echo, BMW and VW were on the hill while the Fiesta and we were waiting to take a run once the coast was clear. Course closing arrived together with the Sweeps. One sweep car went up to presumably clear things up. Fiesta took a run and came back down. Officials instructed us to take a run and the sweep above will assist us if we need help to get to the top. We got up to about 2/3 but no Sweep was there to help. Yavor had perfected the 180 swing and drove back down and turned around for another go only to discover we had a flat. The Fiesta went up. We changed our tire and now waited for permission to go. The Sweeps who now controlled the top and bottom of the hill didn't want us to go for some time so we sat and waited. Finally, we went up being pulled by the Sweep. Once off the worst incline, we unhooked and continued to the end of the stage. At the finish control, we got the good news from Mike Koch that we are still in the rally and that the max lateness was extended. We came to check in at the last mini-stage only to find that spectators were leaving and all over the track. The starting marshal rightly said that he cannot have us run but that we should go to the park ferme by another route and check in. He also wrote the explanation on our our route card. We checked in at park ferme and handed in our route card. The Riverbank Team felt great that we got another finish and scored some points in the 2WD Production championship. Paul and Chuck finally cought some long deserved luck and got 1st 2WD. Martin and Ferd got 2nd and also made the new 2WD Podium. Congratulations guys! Deschenes/Asselin palced on the 2WD podium with an impressive drive. Larose/Lafreniere led the 2WDP class throughout in their BMW only to be robbed at the finish.

The rude awakening for Riverbank was that the official results had us listed as DNF due to max lateness. Disappointing, but WE'LL BE BACK!

Rally of the Tall Pines 2012 - Riverbank Delivers The 2012 PS Championship

Dowell-Klostranec Tall Pines 2012
 Photo by Peter MacDonald

November 2012 - Bancroft in the late fall means Rally of the Tall Pines. (For history buffs, the first Rally of the Tall Pines was based in the the Township of Chinguacousy, one of Brampton's founding communities. Chinguacousy, meaning "Land of the Tall Pines", was a term used by the First Nations Peoples to describe the area).

Recce went well considering that same roads were used in different configurations and directions. Williams/McGeer notes again proved to be a great help. There was an issue concerning an overturned propane delivery truck which eventually required cancelling a stage the following day.

Rally day was cold and, surprisingly, stages were icy. Most of us ran gravel tires but conditions improved during the day. While waiting during a turn-around, Jeff and Yavor managed to walk to the concessions at the spectator area, get coffees and get back to the queue! The rest of the rally went according to plan and the only close call was with a deer on Egan Creek.

Having won two events in the PS class, Riverbank Rally Team delivered another Production Sport Championship for Mitsubishi. Congratulations to Antoine and Nathalie who again are the overall champions. Class structure is changeing for 2013 and Production Sport Class will be no more. For 2013, Riverbank hopes to compete in the new 2WD Production class. Furthermore, CARS has implemented new rules to move 2WD into the spotlight. This is welcome news!

Rallye Defi 2012 - It Happens Again!

Dowell-Klostranec Defi 2012 
Photo by Marie-Lyse Tremblay/Pole Position

September 2012 - The Rally Defi decided to change the route this year and added a few new stages to the Friday schedule. During the recce, we found these quite rough and worried about how things will go on Friday.

The first day started by getting the long rough stages out of the way. Road conditions improved since the recce and, even when running at the back of the pack, we found things weren't as bad as we feared. The afternoon was the usual back and forth from service to short spectator stages, running the gauntlet of kids looking for autographs and freebies. At the end of the day, the team packed up and set out to drive to Montpellier. Yavor decided to stay the night in Ste-Agathe and meet up in the morning in Montpellier. Unfortunately, that was not going to happen.

As the teams were getting ready to start day two in Montpellier, there was no sign of Riverbank. Slowly, the news trickled out about an accident the night before on the highway leading into Montpellier. Again, another serious no-fault road accident befell the team. Many thanks to a number of rally teams that stopped at the scene to help. Special thanks go to Yvan Joyal and the Swap Shop crew.

Considering the circumstances, the team withdrew from the rally.

Rallye Perce Neige 2012 - The "B" Team Steps Up

Yavor & Emily PN 2012
Photo by Philippe Ericksen

February 2012 - In early 2012 Mitsubishi announced that it is discontinuing its Rally Support Program. There was hope that Mitsubishi may continue to work with some select teams and Riverbank decided that it was important to show goodwill by running the first event of the season, Rallye Perce Neige. Jeffrey's work commitments prevented him from entering and Yavor took on the driving duties with Emily co-driving.

Recce was done in a Kia 4wd rental with bald tires. While climbing the first steep hill, the Kia electronic traction control gave up and caused a minor traffic jam to the recce convoy. Eventually, Yavor learned to turn off the ETC and things improved until he went straight into an unplowed clearing at the end of Tortue. A local samaritan soon appeared and pulled us out with his truck. We thanked him and called him an angel. He said that's not what his wife calls him!

The Perce Neige is a long rally and very icy. We decided to try to run clean and make an effort to stay between the snowbanks. Some stages like Kitigan Zibi are just wide enough for a single car which makes passing a real problem. We lost about 15 minutes when we pulled over to let another car by and found ourselves high centered with right wheels in a ditch. Thanks to course-closing, we were soon on our way. There was panic at last service when the Lancer starter refused to crank. We had to push start and then hope that we don't stall. Driving the last few stages, it was a real challenge to stay off the brakes and avoid stalling. Still, we stalled a couple of times but got going again thanks to Martin and Ferd and their tow-strap.

The winter forest stages on the Perce Neige are fantastic! Tortue, Foret de L'Aigle and Kitigan Zibi surely rate as some of the best rally roads in the world. At the finish, another class win for Riverbank Rally Team and Mitsubishi!

Rally of the Tall Pines 2011 - Production Sport Championship for Riverbank

Dowell-Klostranec TP 2011
Photo by Ben Fry/AotoMotoFoto.net

November 2011 - The Tall Pines recce is less demanding than most since the organizers provide excellent notes prepared by Mark Williams and Tom McGeer. At the hotel on Friday evening, we were next door to the classic Datsun 240Z of Greg Healey. When complimented about his great car, Greg said "It could be yours!"

Saturday morning it looked like the weather is going to be overcast and dry. We ran the first few stages clean. Stage 4 was rough and the car lost power after hitting a bump. The exhaust note changed and we guessed that we pinched a pipe. We carried on to Stage 5, The Peanut, and at roughly half distance, the Lancer just shut itself down. First DNF in eight starts. This stage was to be run again and the sweeps did not want to tow us out until the second pass was over. So, we became spectators and watched the top cars in action; something we never get to see. Congratulations to Crazy Leo on his first win. Also congratulations to Antoine and Nathalie on another championship together with Mitsubishi.

For 2011, Riverbank Rally Team wins another three titles in Production Sport class.

Rallye Defi 2011 - Back on the Road

Dowell-Klostranec Defi 2011
 Photo by Tom Hayston

September 2011 - The Riverbank Rally Team had two short months to rebuild after the mishap following the Rallye Baie des Chaleurs. It all came down to the wire but with the Lancer and the Super Duty expertly fixed at Whiticar Auto Body in Perth and with a new trailer in tow, the team headed out for Ste-Agathe on Wednesday before the event. We arrived at headquarters just late enough to miss recce registration. This caused us to skip driving the morning stages, and, even though we had notes from last year, made for some problems on day two.

Friday's stages were rough and caused some minor problems with the suspension. Saturday started early as the service park moved to Montpellier for 8 am start. The first four stages were quite rough. The first pass of the Chevreuil stage was run by sight since our notes from last year weren't working. By missing the recce, we didn't know that the start was moved ahead by about a dozen instructions. By coincidence, our first page of last year's notes still worked!...then everything stopped making sense. The toll for the morning was a flat tire and broken control arm. Jason rigged up a ratchet strap to hold the rear axle in place which made do for the rest of the rally. A high-speed spin in Montpellier was a highlight of the afternoon.

Another successful outing for the Riverbank Rally Team and another class win. It was good to be able to re-group and carry on after the post BDC nightmare. With three class wins so far, another Production Sport title is almost assured for the Riverbank Team.

Rallye Baie des Chaleurs 2011 - Good Result and then.....Misfortune!

Autoroute 20 
 Photo by Y.Klostranec

July 2011 - The BDC for 2011 had a change of venue. The rally headquarters and service park was located some 25 minutes north on New Richmond at a ski resort called Pin Rouge. We trailered the car to Carleton on Wednesday. It was raining most of the day which made Thursday's recce a mud-bath. There was a formidable transit up a hill that never ended and we just barely made it to the top in Yavor's 2wd truck only to be warned by the officials to watch for bears! However, the recce schedule was very compact and recce was over for us by mid afternoon. A lazy evening and a barbecue at our hotel followed.

Rally started Friday evening with a "parade" thru town and continued with a "drive-by" past the spectators at Camp Brule. We ran six stages on Friday night. Roads were slippery and all the cars accumulated a thick layer of mud. Saturday was warm and sunny with the roads rapidly drying. Apart from a flat tire on B3, no other drama befell the team. The final leg was a double pass of Saut du 5 Stage with its famous jump. We finished first in Production Sport. Aurelia Dalbera/Julie Tremblay drove well and were just behind us, finishing second. So, at the half point in the season, the Riverbank team is on top of the standings in Production Sport and 2WD class.

We had a good post-rally laugh recalling notes from Saut du 5;

1000, L2>R2

Jeff Recovering.
 Photo by Y.Klostranec So another good event and a 4:30 departure Sunday morning. All was well and we made Drummondville by 12:30. Traffic was heavy along Route 20 but moving above the 100 kph limit. Then things unravelled in a hurry. First a smoking trailer wheel made us pull-off onto the shoulder. Then, to jack-up the trailer, we drove the Lancer off and parked it just behind. Fortunately, all four of us were standing at the passenger side of the vehicles when a pick-up & motorhome combo plowed into the rally car, continued to destroy the trailer and then smash into Jeff's F350. The fifth wheel motorhome separated and continued on its side to completely block the highway. The pick-up rolled heavily back into the centre of the road. Yavor was hit by the Lancer and launched into the weeds. Jeff was hit by the trailer. Remarkably, all traffic came to a stop with no further collisions even though the motorhome was across the road. Route 20 was shut for over 2 hours. Lucky, everyone got away with minor injuries. The Quebec emergency, police and fire teams were fantastic. I wish the same could be said for insurance companies. It's impossible to use the words "good" and "insurance company" in the same sentence. Many thanks for messages of support and good wishes from all our rally friends.

Rallye Perce Neige 2011 - Lucky Break

Hooking a ditch.
 Photo by Y.Klostranec

February 2011 - The season opening Rallye Perce Neige could not be called a "clean" event for the Riverbank Rally Team. On Wednesday aftrenoon at the Lancer homebase, Whiticar Autobody in Perth, we discovered that we had no ramps to drive the car onto the trailer. There was no Plan B so we drove the car to Lac Ste-Marie which was about an hour south of Maniwaki. A dawn to dusk recce (in the rally car!) followed by registration and tech made it a long and tough day.

The Rally started well and, while contemplating the upcoming Kitigan Zibi stage with its ridiculous rough and icy hills, we cut a corner on Stage 4 and found ourselves permanently angled deep in a ditch. High start numbers do have advantages and, thanks to the Sweeps, we only dropped 16 minutes. Back on track, all was well until the second running of Kitigan Zibi. About 2/3 of the way through, a real comedy of errors ensued in the form of a road blockage involving about half a dozen cars and a few pick-up trucks trying to be helpful. Being one of the last cars on the road, we could only wait and watch the proceedings.] Turnaround Bonfire.
 Photo by Y.Klostranec A lot of time was being lost and our hopes of finishing were fading. Then, all of a sudden, rally official Patrick Rainville appeared and took charge! In no time at all, he devised a plan to clear the road and lead us in a convoy to the end of the stage and back into the rally. As it turned out, there were some bizarre problems (an incident in which some say an axe was involved) with the following stage and, like many other competitors, we got a bye. This led the way to the fantastic Tortue North and South stages with the bonfire in between.

So, The Riverbank Rally Team managed to finish the first event of 2011 and post a first in Production Sport.

Riverbank Rally Team - 2010 Canadian Production Sport Champions!

Riverbank Lancer at Tall Pines.
 Photo by Robert Roaldi

November 2010 - Jeffrey Dowell, Yavor Klostranec and Mitsubishi have captured the 2010 Canadian rally title in the Production Sport class for drivers, co-drivers and manufacturers. The Riverbank team, based in Perth, Ontario, clinched the championship after the Pacific Forest Rally and drove to another victory on the final event of the series, the Rally of the Tall Pines in Bancroft, Ontario. The Overall title was won by Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard driving the muscle-bound cousin of the Riverbank Lancer, the Mitsubishi Evolution. Mitsubishi also won national titles in Group2 and 2WD classes as a result of great drives by the Zedril brothers. For all the 2010 Canadian Rally Championship results, see the final standings .

Winning championships in motorsport takes dedication and effort by many groups and individuals. Thanks must go to Mitsubishi Motors for building a great car and for their assistance through the rally support program; Thanks to Jerry for providing a good home with lots of TLC for the Lancer and for taking care of logistics at all the events; Thank you to Jason, our chief mechanic, for never failing to have the Lancer serviced in short-order and running like a clock; Thanks to Yves for doing a great job on the rally car and the recce truck at the Defi; Special thanks go to Barb for keeping the whole show on the road.

The Canadian Rally Championship is comprised of 6 events spanning the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Contesting the series is a great way to see this magnificent land and meet its wonderful people. The Perce Neige in Maniwaki, which is one of the premier winter rallies anywhere in the world, provides incredible roads like Kitigan Zibi and Tortue. The Rallye Baie des Chaleurs is famous for its fans. The Rallye Defi is all about the Laurentians in the fall. At the always unpredictable Rally of the Tall Pines, it is an accomplishment just to get to the finish line. We had every intention to run the Rocky Mountain Rally this year but it was not to be. The Pacific Forest Rally was a wait-and-see proposition. We hope not to miss these two events in the future. Thanks to all the communities, organizers and workers who have helped to make 2010 our championship year and a great one to remember.

Riverbank Rally Team Lancer scores another class win in Quebec

Riverbank Lancer at Montpellier.
 Photo by Sarah Woods

September 2010 - Mitsubishi Lancer driven by Jeffrey Dowell and co-driven by Yavor Klostranec scored another win in the Production Sport class on the 2010 Rally Defi. The rally is the fourth round of the Canadian Rally Championship and took place in the Laurentians hosted by towns Ste-Agathe, Montpellier and Ripon. The Riverbank Rally Team entry now has a solid lead in the championship for production vehicles under 2000cc engine displacement.

The competition took place over two days and was run on public roads which were closed to all other traffic for the event. Keeping up with Quebec tradition, thousands of spectators trekked to the forests to enjoy the action and the wonderful late summer weather. A highlight of the event is a special stage which is run twice through the town of Montpellier on Saturday afternoon.

"We had a few minor problems...two flat tires, bent rims, broken exhaust system and malfunctioning intercom." said Jeffrey. "Our Riverbank Service Crew did a great job and even welded the exhaust system at one service stop." The sport of rallying is notorious for the great camaraderie between competitors and the welding equipment for the job was borrowed from the rival Subaru camp; the Can-Jam team of Crazy Leo!

Early on in the event, the Production Sport rivals Grant Riddell and Jeff Hagan in another Mitsubishi ran into mechanical problems and this left the Riverbank Lancer as the sole entry in the PS class. Instead of slowing down, the team went on to establish six new best-stage-time records for the PS class. "Once we got the intercom working, we concentrated on running clean and practicing our pace-notes. Even though we have ran many rallies together, pace notes are still something new for us." said Yavor.

The next event for the Riverbank Team will be the jewel of the Canadian Rally Championship, the Rally of the Tall Pines. Jeff and Yavor first ran the Pines in 1974; that's 36 years ago and before most of this year's competitors were born! It should be a fun event and a great end to another rally season.

Riverbank Rally Team in the chase for the Canadian PS Rally Championship

Riverbank Lancer at Camp Brule. Photo by Philippe Ericksen August, 2010 - Riverbank Rally Team is currently on top of the leader board for poduction Sport Class in the 2010 Canadian Rally Championship.

Driver Jeff Dowell and co-driver Yavor Klostranec are competing in a 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer DE in the Production Sport class. The Lancer DE is a 2 wheel drive car very similar to ones that can be found in the showroom of the local Mitsubishi dealer. Engine and drivetrain are completely stock. The modifications to the Lancer include only the mandatory safety equipment required to compete in the Canadian Rally Series; a roll-cage, rally seats, and 5-point safety belts. With these and a set of Yokohama rally tires, the car is ready for competition!!

The rallying duo first started competing together in 1974 when they met at university while studying mechanical engineering. The team has reunited this February on the 2010 Rally Perce Neige, the first round of the 2010 Canadian Rally season. The rally crew battled the narrow icy roads to finish second in the Production Sport Class.

More recently the rally team travelled to New Richmond, Quebec for the 2010 Rallye Baie des Chaleurs. The rally was extremely tough on both the crews and cars; 46 cars started the event but only 19 crossed the finish line. After two days of competition and 200 km of special stages, The Riverbank Rally Lancer won Production Sport Class by over 2 minutes over another Mitsubishi Lancer, piloted by Grant Ridell and Emily Dowell.

The first place finish at the Baie des Chaleurs puts both the Riverbank Rally Team and Mitsubishi in the points lead for the Production Sport Championship. With three events remaining in the Canadian Rally Season the Riverbank Rally Team are confident that the combination of the experienced rally team and the reliability of the 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer will result in continued success. Next event in the series takes place on September 10th and 11th in Ste-Agathe, Quebec. The two day event features challenging and rough roads between the Quebec towns of Ste.-Agathe des Monts and Montpellier, Quebec.

Riverbank Rally Team encourages rally fans to stop by their big red rally trailer at the event to say hello and have a closer look at the Production Sport Lancer.