When the dust finally settled (quite literally) on the 2011 Pacific Forest Rally this past weekend, it was the racing team of driver Patrick Richard and co-driver Alan Ockwell from Whistler, B.C. that emerged victorious.
Driving a 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, the Subaru Rally Team Canada twosome finished just over 47 seconds ahead of the second place finishers, the Rockstar Royal Team of Antoine L’Estage from St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and Nathalie Richard from Halifax, Nova Scotia in their 2009 Misubishi Lancer Evolution X.
Richard and Ockwell picked up most of their lead on Day 1 of the competition, winning six of the seven contested legs, including the first Active Mountain Super Special and both Princeton Cut-off Night Specials.
Despite their win in this year’s PFR, Richard and Ockwell failed to make up enough ground on the team of L”Estage and Richard who locked up the six-race 2011 Canadian Rally Championship Series with their second place finish in Merritt.
Behind the wheel of a 2000 Toyota Celica GT-S, driver Jim Sheppard from North Vancouver and co-driver Nicki Beverley of Merritt finished 15th out of 22 cars in their first Pacific Forest Rally as a team. Their time of 1:54:29.80 was just under 35 minutes behind the race winners.
Sheppard and Beverley also placed sixth in the PIAA EcoChallenge with an EcoScore of 3,946 points. The winners were Kevin Aartsen and Marcus Hoffert from White Rock, BC in a 1994 Acura Integra with 3,021 points.
Finally, Sheppard and Beverley placed 17th in each of the two regional legs that were contested – Helmer by Day and Merritt by Night.
Also competing on the weekend was driver Brandon Semenuk from Squamish, BC along with co-driver Adam Vokes of Red Deer, AB. Semenuk, 20, is best known as one of the top ‘freeride’ mountain bikers in the world. Back on August 10 of this year, the daredevil rider wrapped up the 2011 Freeride world title thanks to a victory at the Bearclaw Invitational at Mount Washington on Vancouver Island.