Subaru clinches 2017 CRC Manufacturer’s championship with Pacific Forest Rally Win

2015 Subaru WRX STI, winning team’s vehicle at 2017 Pacific Forest Rally. (CNW Group/Subaru Canada Inc.)

It was another first-place finish for Subaru Rally Team Canada (SRTC) and another podium sweep for Subaru at the 2017 Pacific Forest Rally (PFR) in Merritt, BC, the fifth round of the 2017 Canadian Rally Championship (CRC) season.

The victory marked SRTC’s third in a row and keeps the team atop the championship standings with two events to go, despite having had a rough start to the season.

At the PFR, held Oct. 13-15, Subaru also clinched the 2017 Manufacturer’s championship.

Led by Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Alan Ockwell, SRTC emerged victorious even with varied conditions that made the final day of the event particularly challenging. With the team facing ice and snow early on, the choice to run gravel tires cost the team speed and with it two stage wins the morning of Day 2.

Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Alan Ockwell were victors at the 2017 Pacific Forest Rally. (CNW Group/Subaru Canada Inc.)

With gravel roads in the afternoon, however, it was back to their winning ways for L’Estage and Ockwell as the pair guided SRTC to its third consecutive victory of the 2017 CRC season.

“We’re really thrilled,” said Ockwell after the event. “It sets us up for a very strong finish for the end of the season so we can make one final push to try to win the driver’s and co-driver’s championships.”

Eight of the rally’s top 10 finishers, including all three on the podium, were Subaru vehicles, helping Subaru clinch the 2017 Manufacturer’s championship with 100 points after the PFR, with two events left.

The Manufacturer’s championship is a record 13th for Subaru.

The 2017 CRC season continues next month in Ontario with the 47th running of the Rally of the Tall Pines. The 21-stage event is scheduled to take place Nov. 24-25 in Bancroft, Ont.

Pos. Time Vehicle Class Driver/Co-Driver
1 1:14:59.01 2015 Subaru WRX STI 4wO L’Estage/Ockwell
2 1:16:21.87 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 4wO Semenuk/Hall
3 1:20:14.98 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX
STI
4wPd Urlichich/Roxon
4 1:23:54.63 2017 Subaru WRX STI 4wPd Nease/Skucas
5 1:24:37.36 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO
VIII
4wPd Dimpers/Kotane
6 1:25:08.31 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX 4wPd Pehota/Daly
7 1:25:55.59 2016 Ford Fiesta 2wO Wallingford/Junnila
8 1:26:34.44 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX 4wO Salsberry/Meyers
9 1:26:43.91 1999 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 4wPd Grochowski/Headland
10 1:27:14.27 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX
STI
4wO Ostrowski/Galati