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Last Ditch Racing, comprised of driver John Cassidy and Co-Driver Dave Getchell, piloted their Subaru Impreza WRX to a 10th overall finish at the Rallye Perce-Neige Maniwaki, the first event of the Canadian Association of Rally Sport Championship series. The team finished 5th in the high-power Open Class.

The team also brought home their first career podium finish, placing 3rd in the Ontario Regional Rally Championship event and third in the Open Class.

Conditions were perfect with several inches of fresh snow falling the day prior to the event. The event also saw some of the longest stages in North American rallying with two stages exceeding 45 kilometers in length.
The team's achievements came despite a failing clutch that was first
noticed on the odometer check on Friday night. "I pulled away, and noticed that the clutch engagement was no longer progressive," said driver/owner John Cassidy. "I knew that the clutch was marginal at best, and we had no opportunity to change it prior to the race. We had to make the unfortunate decision not to try and tow any fellow competitors out of the ditch during the race because of it."

Not having much snow experience, the team decided to drive as tidy as possible, keeping their Impreza between the snowbanks. "We knew that if we had to pull a shovel out during the event, we wouldn't place well." The team acclimated well to their first rally based on a route book and not stage notes. "Dave did a great job with the route book, but he definitely wanted to be a bit busier in the car. I offered to stop and have him shovel for a bit, but he declined."

The team ran Carbotech brake pads for the first time during this event, and Cassidy found them a great improvement over previous pads manufactured by other companies. "Despite the low-grip surface, we decided to stick with out choice of the Panther-Plus and XP pads on the car. The pads were very progressive and easy to modulate. We experienced no fade despite heavy use and wear was excellent. Being able to slow more effectively will in turn allow us to go faster over the stages!"

The team will travel next to the Rocky Mountain Rally in Calgary May 28-30 in Calgary, Alberta.

The team would like to thank their 2004 team partners:

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For more information on the Rallye Perce-Neige Maniwaki, please visit

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