Subaru Canada, Inc.

Subaru Canada, Inc.

February 02, 2009 15:40 ET

Subaru Rally Team Canada Wins 2008 Canadian Rally Championship Title and Returns to Defend in 2009

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 2, 2009) - Subaru Canada's return to the Canadian rally circuit in 2008 was a resounding success. Subaru Rally Team Canada not only clinched the overall Canadian Rally Championship (CRC) title with driver Pat Richard and co-driver Alan Ockwell firmly planted in the seats of their new 2008 Subaru WRX STI, but the dynamic duo also gained the podium in all six races over the season, winning three of them outright.

Early in the season the team overcame many mechanical challenges while learning the new rally car. They drove solidly through tough conditions at several events that knocked many of the other top contenders out of rallies. In so doing, they accumulated enough points to secure the CRC Manufacturer's Championship and the North American Rally Cup for Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI). The North American Rally Cup is an award given to the manufacturer with the highest number of points accumulated in rallies in Canada and the United States throughout the year.

The team of Ted and Lise Mendham, driving a Subaru won the CRC P4 championship and driver Hardy Schmidtke was the recipient of the CRC top Novice driver's award. The all-new annual Subaru President's Trophy and $3,000 for the highest-placing Subaru throughout the year went to Craig Henderson and Lyne Murphy.

In 2009, Richard and Ockwell will be back for Subaru Rally Team Canada to defend their championships. Subaru will return for its eighteenth consecutive year of participation in the Canadian Rally Championship series and another year as the major series sponsor. Subaru is proud to partner with Pat Richard and his Rocket Rally Racing shop, operating out of Squamish, B.C., which built and will continue to prepare the car this year.

"Subaru Canada is proud of its contributions to rallying in Canada over the years," said Ted Lalka, vice president, product planning and marketing for SCI. "Our long-time commitment has played a significant role in the increase of Subaru vehicles competing in events all across the country and the growth of rally in general. As a result, over the years there has been phenomenal growth in the number of Subarus competing in rallies across Canada. From only a few participants in the late 1990s, there were nearly 50 Subaru teams contesting the National Championship in 2008."

Subaru is pleased to announce that its highly successful contingency program for competitors is back for 2009. The program was initially launched to provide financial aid to all competitors who enter a Subaru in a national event. In 2008, the enhanced Subaru contingency program benefited competitors with over $60,000 paid out to the 47 Subaru teams who registered for the program.

Subaru will also continue to provide assistance to other teams through its popular marketing, parts and technical support program. Once again, the Subaru Event Van will attend all the national events providing valuable onsite technical support and emergency hands-on help for any Subaru competitor in need that has often proved invaluable and enabled many of them to continue in competition.

"While our parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, has made the difficult decision to withdraw from international rally competition, there is still enormous support for local and regional rally events around the world," said Katsuhiro Yokoyama, president and CEO of SCI. "Rallying is an outstanding demonstration of the safe, comfortable and pleasurable driving that Subaru vehicles provide on differing terrains and under any climate condition. All of this is enabled by our core technologies: horizontally-opposed engines and the Symmetrical full-time All-Wheel drive system."

Contact Information

  • Subaru Canada, Inc.
    Elaine Griffin
    (905) 568-4959