Crerar (right) and co-driver Levesque celebrate on the Tour de Corse podium on October 2, 2016. (Photo-Nick Boucher)
By: ClearWater Design Racing
January 17 2017
Picton, Ontario – It's not just James Bond who has all the fun in Monaco. A brand new World Rally Championship (www.wrc.com) season is beginning and local racer Ian Crerar is taking a run at its first event—the renowned Rallye Monte-Carlo.
Crerar is a rally and road racing champion and PEC Syria sponsor, supported by his company Clearwater Design Canoes and Kayaks.
After their spectacular podium finish in the Tour de Corse last October, Crerar and co-driver Pat Levesque are ready to take on the mountains around Monte Carlo in the oldest rally of the series—2017 is its 85th running. And once again, they are the only Canadian team in the competition.
Crerar and Levesque are counting on their Canadian winter rallying experience to get them through changing conditions in the mountains. It has been snowing and the roads are reported to be quite slippery.
"We will be using all our skills throughout the race, "Crerar said. "So far the high alpine roads have been best described as treacherous—icy and exposed."
Crerar is back behind the wheel of the same Peugeot R2 prepared and serviced by Chazel Technologie Course (www.chazeltechnologiecourse.com) that brought the pair to the podium in Corsica.
After nearly three days of reconnaissance (recce), driving the stage roads and preparing their notes, the rally racing starts in the evening of Thursday, January 19 in Monte Carlo's Casino Square. Drivers race from there into the Alps around the French Riviera for the next three days.
The rally includes 380 km of special stages, divided over 17 timed sections and 4 race days. More than 85 percent of the course is new this year, making it an even greater challenge for seasoned competitors and novices alike.
Crerar hopes to be in the top 60 by the final day, as that will gain him the right to race the famous Col de Turini stage. It won't be easy, however, as there are 116 teams entered in the race, and the Peugeot R2 is not one of the faster cars.
"The Rallye Monte-Carlo is one of the most famous, and most technical of the WRC races," Crerar said. "It's a grueling contest, and an amazing experience to see the roads and the crowds of fans along the route."
Follow Ian and Pat in the ClearWater Design Racing Peugeot (Number 113) from Thursday January 19 to Sunday January 22 at http://www.wrc.com/en/wrc/livecenter/page/4175----.html
Ian will also be on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CWDRacing/