Canadian champion Richard joins Yokohama squad for 2010 rally season
LANGLEY, B.C. (4 January, 2010) – Four-time Canadian rally champion Patrick Richard will proudly carry the Yokohama colours in the 2010 Canadian Rally Championship, Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. has announced.
Driver Richard and co-driver Allan Ockwell captured their second consecutive national title in November with a resounding victory in the 2009 season finale Rally of the Tall Pines. Richard also won the driver’s title in 2004 and 2002. He joins Antoine L’Estage and Andrew Comrie-Picard as Yokohama Canada drivers for the 2010 season.
Richard, of Squamish, B.C., has been deeply involved with Subaru Canada, Inc. since 2001 and has spearheaded the Subaru Rally Team Canada since 2007. His Rocket Rally Racing shop was among the first to prepare the newest generation Subaru Impreza WRX STI, and has scored eight wins with the cars in the Canadian national title chase in the past two years, including a victory in its North American debut performance at the 2008 Rocky Mountain rally – the first national level win for the new model in the world.
In addition to a busy schedule in Canada, Richard has found time to win two Rally America Championships in the US (2004, 2005) and a pair of North American Rally Cup crowns since 2002.
Since he burst onto the scene in 1999, Richard has won divisional and class championships on both sides of the border and scored well in numerous international events. He is the first North American driver to score points in the prestigious World Rally Championship Production Cup.
At 35, Richard has covered a great deal of ground in a short time. He had a successful career in competitive snowboarding and was principal in a high-technology firm before discovering rallying and creating Rocket Rally, his competition car preparation shop. Rocket Rally has been appointed a Yokohama motorsport tire dealer for western Canada. Rocket Rally built two 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI competition cars for Subaru Rally Team Canada.
“Everyone in motorsport has watched Pat’s career with interest and enthusiasm,” says Jonathon Karlese, national marketing manager for Yokohama. “His committed driving style, high level of preparation and clear determination to win not only make him a great competitor, they reflect Yokohama’s approach to providing the very best tire technology in every application. He will be a terrific addition to the team.”
As part of the Yokohama team, Richard finds himself lined up beside friendly rivals and Mitsubishi drivers L’Estage and Comrie-Picard. Richard’s sister Nathalie is co-driver for L’Estage, adding an element of sibling rivalry to the mix.
Yokohama has been a supporter of rally motorsport in Canada for more than a decade.
The Canadian Rally Championship has been televised nationally since 1993, and the 2009 series was made available on multiple media platforms, including as downloads from iTunes, on-line on Flat Over Crest (www.flatovercrest.com) and to 80 million homes in Europe on MotorsTV.
Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. markets and distributes a full line of tires for high performance, passenger car, light truck, and commercial truck applications, as well as off-the-road tires for mining, forestry and construction applications. It maintains distribution centres across Canada to serve more than 700 independent tire dealers.
Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc.
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