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Rockstar race car rocks at New England rally

The Rally America Championship ended at the New England Forest Rally in Newry, Maine, with Rockstar Energy Drink car drivers Antoine L'Estage and Nathalie Richard in first place. It was their second straight year on top.


The Rockstar Rally Team won 8 of the 11 stages. L'Estage beat Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins by 48 seconds.

Higgins and teammate Craig Drew needed to be fourth or higher to win a national title. Higgins took second overall to win the title back for Subaru. This victory marks the third American Championship title of Higgins' rally career.

Also at the podium were Super Production drivers Travis and Terry Hanson. The father-son placed third overall in Maine and third overall in the National Championship. The Hansons leave Maine with the SP class win and a Super Production Championship.

The New England Forest Rally showcases 100 miles of fast, rugged logging roads. Heavy attrition caused by the rough and rocky stage road surfaces make this rally a tough one to navigate and win.

Drivers of note who didn't make it through the races included Joseph Burke, Heath Nunnemacher, Ramana Lagemann, Chrissie Beavis, Lauchlin O'Sullivan and Scott Putnam. Some drivers' cars overheated and a few caught fire due to the stress of high temperatures; others crashed.

In Two-Wheel-Drive competition, more than 25 crews competed for the $15,000 MaxAttack! Series prize cash. Chris Duplessis and teammate Karl Atkinson came in first in their Ford Fiesta R2, a whopping 3 minutes ahead of the second-place finishers, Andrew Comrie-Picard and teammate Jeremy Wimpey's Scion xD.

RallyCar of Golden Valley, Minn., sanctions the Rally America National Championship Series. RallyCar conducts six National Championship events whose geography ranges from Olympia, Wash., to Newry, Maine. RallyCar drivers and teammate drivers push their cars to speeds of well over 100 mph in modified street cars on natural-terrain courses comprised of gravel, dirt or snow.

RallyCar's 2011 Rally America National Championship sponsors include Ford Racing, Subaru of America Inc., VP Racing Fuels, Best Buy, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, Danza del Sol Winery, Team O'Neil Rally School, RECARO USA, Hawk Performance Brakes, Exedy Racing Clutches, and

You can reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected].

Image source: Rockstar Rally Team