Monday, July 23, 2007

Yokohama support helps top Canadians at X Games

COQUITLAM, B.C. (July 23, 2007) ­ The two top competitors from this country’s tough rally motorsport series will represent Canada at the wildly popular X Games in Los Angeles, thanks to support from Yokohama Tires (Canada) Inc.

Yokohama will provide tires, sponsorship and other support for reigning Canadian Rally Champion and current series leader Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard and the team of Andrew Comrie-Picard and Marc Goldfarb when the top rally teams in North America converge on X Games 13, August 2-5, 2007.

The 13th annual X Games is among the premier action sports event in the world, featuring athletes from across the globe competing for medals and prize money in events in five categories like BMX Freestyle, Moto X, skateboarding, surfing and, new last year, rally. X Games 13 will be telecast live on ESPN and ABC. X Games has been dubbed “the Olympics of extreme sport.”

Created for television, the X Games has drawn a legion of fans and a cult following in the U.S. and elsewhere. The finale of the rally event last year was highlighted by the spectacular roll-over by former World Rally Champions Colin McRae and Nicky Grist, captured on live television.

Both L’Estage/Richard and Comrie-Picard/Goldfarb had to qualify for one of the 12 available spots in the event. L’Estage, with co-driver Mark Williams, earned the spot with a second place finish at a U.S. event in Maine in July; Comrie-Picard and Goldfarb will make their second appearance at the X Games thanks to their results in the Rally America championship so far this year. Both teams will run on Yokohama ADVAN A035e competition tires.

“With the costs and distances involved, it’s doubly hard for Canadian competitors to get a highly prized spot at the X Games,” says Brad Sherwin, marketing communications manager for Yokohama Canada. “We placed our faith in these two teams when we sponsored them in the Canadian championship and we have been delighted with their results. So when it came to supporting them at X Games, we were confident they would carry our colours -- and Canada’s hopes ­ with the same high standards.

“Rallying not only gives us a showcase for Yokohama’s revered engineering in our competition tires, it’s a demonstration of the real-world performance and durability of street tires like the Ice Guard IG 20 winter tires that the teams rely on in ice and snow,” adds Sherwin. “No tire company has contributed more to the success of rallying in Canada, and we’re proud to extend that support to Canadians showing their talents at X Games.”

L’Estage and Comrie-Picard are first and second, respectively, in the Canadian Rally Championship in 2007, while Comrie-Picard leads the chase for the North American Rally Cup.
But the format for the rally segment of this X Games will be a departure from their regular rally events for the 12 teams who qualify in their powerful, purpose-built rally cars. The teams will pair-off into head-to-head elimination racing on a closed dirt and pavement course that winds its way around and through the giant Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, and includes a 70-foot jump where competitors literally leap over each other.

The finals will be held on Sunday, August 5, 2007, and will be broadcast live on ABC beginning at 4:30 pm Eastern. More than 1.3 million viewers saw the 2006 event on the live broadcast and many more enjoyed it on subsequent rebroadcasts around the world.

L’Estage and Richard, from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., will compete in a Hyundai Tiburon supported by Royal Group, OMP and Libra Racing. Comrie-Picard, of Edmonton, and Goldfarb, of Atkinson, New Hampshire, will drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 with sponsorship from Slowboy Racing and Mitsubishi Canada. Comrie-Picard will chronicle his progress at the event on a special blog set up at

Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. markets and distributes a full line of tires for high performance, passenger car, light truck, and commercial truck applications, as well as off-the-road tires for mining and construction applications. It maintains distribution centres across Canada to serve more than 800 independent tire dealers.

Contact: Brad Sherwin (Marketing Communications Manager) Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. // brad.sherwin at

From: Doug Mepham (MacDonald & Co.)

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