Press Release - April 7 - 2024.

Olivier David/Leah Brisset -Shannonville Stages 2024

Olivier David/Leah Brisset Win the Shannonville Rally;
John Hudon/Josée Munger Claim 2-Wheel Drive class

April 7, 2024.- For the first time in its long and rich history, the motorsports complex Shannonville Motorsports Park welcomed a round of the Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC) this past Saturday. This event, named the Shannonville Stages Rally, constituted the second round of the 2024 ECRC season and was won by Olivier David and Leah Brisset in a Subaru WRX STI. It was the Quebec duo’s first series victory, while another Quebec team made up of John Hudon and Josée Munger, realized the feat of finishing second overall and winning the 2-wheel drive class in their Toyota Echo.

John Hudon/Josée Munger - Shannonville Stages 2024
Photo : © Jeff Lantz

Celebrating the 50th anniversary this year since its opening, the Shannonville Motorsports Park has hosted all types of motorsport competitions during its existence. Located near Belleville, Ontario, the site has seen a succession of road races, moto racing (Superbike and other series), karting, drift, and rally. Made up of multiple asphalt track configurations and short dirt sections used for the Shannonville Stages Rally, the complex delighted its spectators on a beautiful day.

Contested under sunny spring skies and on dry asphalt sections, other than a brief section that was still wet, this 2024 edition saw the Quebec crews dominate. Having recorded the fastest time on the first of the 10 competitive sections on the programme, Olivier David, co-driven by Leah Brisset, then relinquished top spot to the experienced Sébastien Clark. Co-driven by Ontarian Ian Lantz, Clark also won the third stage before mechanical problems resulted in an overheated engine and ended his hopes of finishing the event.

Ontarians Sean McConnachie and Omar Khan (Ford Fiesta ST) took the opportunity to clock the fastest time on the fourth stage. Another 2WD team of John Hudon and Josée Munger won the fifth stage, 3.1 seconds ahead of David/Brisset before the latter team replied by taking the fastest time on three of the next five rally stages. They were unable to completely runaway from the challenging Toyota Echo of Hudon/Munger, who finished in second place by just 17.8 seconds behind eventual Shannonville Stages Rally winners Olivier David and Leah Brisset.

Hudon/Munger, who won 3 of the 10 stages, also claimed the 2-wheel drive honours as well as the Novice Class, which came with $2,600 prize money. They finished 4 minutes and 23.4 seconds ahead of Mark Toufanov and David Bell, at the wheel of their Toyota GT86 Open 2WD. This duo benefited from a 30 second penalty assessed to Jim Morton and Mark Gonsalves (Mitsubishi Lancer) to complete the overall podium. Morton/Gonsalves placed 4th overall and 3rd in 2-wheel drive, 13.8 second behind Toufanov/Bell.

McConnachie/Khan rounded out the overall Top 5 (4th in 2WD), in front of Eric Vanderwal/Alton Gonsalves (Maxda RX8) and Paul Hartl/Bruce Leonard, who competed in a historic 1968 Saab 96. Other than Clark/Lantz, Michal Gielas and Jacek Gielas (Subaru) were the only other team to not finish the rally.

This season, the Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC) is comprised of nine rounds, spread out between Ontario and Quebec. The next event is only two weeks away and will once again take place on asphalt when the competitors congregate for the Rallye de Sanair. The St-Pie-de-Bagot complex in Montérégie, Québec will be hosting an ECRC event for its second time. It will also be the first of three consecutive series rounds in Quebec, followed by gravel events in Beauce and in the Gaspésie region in May and June respectively.

ECRC - 2024 Calendar