The dust has settled, the post Rally hangovers have begun to wane and the stories, photos and videos of another Rallye Baie des Chaleurs start to appear online. The 40th Anniversary of this storied event showed why, for many, Rallye BDC is one of the Premiere Rally events in North America.Conditions for this year’s rally were highly variable with the fast, technical roads changing from dry, to rough to muddy in the spam of feet keeping teams on their toes.
Local competitor Mal Swann returned to New Richmond, this year as co-driver to Sumit Panjabi in an open class Mitsubishi EVO X where they set a blistering pace. Panjabi is quoted as saying the BDC stages are ‘The fastest I have ever driven this car’. Minor incidents didn’t stop the team from securing a very respectable 10th overall, 8th in Open 4WD class. Also showing extremely well was Tim DIne calling the notes for Quebec driver Patrick Rainville came right behind in 11th place, 9th in Open 4WD class. Dine competed at the Baie in 2017 as Co-Driver for local competitor Jonathan Conrad.
James Whitman and Daphne Sleigh did not fare as well, unfortunately. After consistent and solid performances on Stage 1-5 the local veterans unfortunately joined the ranks of the many rally teams who have found out just what’s in the roadsides of the Baie’s stages after leaving the road on SS6. Both were unhurt but were unable to continue. Both are already considering a return in 2018.