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Maine based performance rally team Last Ditch Racing brought home second place overall and first place in Open Class in the Ontario Provincial Rally Championship portion of the 40th edition of the Rallye Perce-Neige in Maniwaki Quebec. The team placed seventh overall, and fourth in the Open Class in the national event.

The one day event saw driver John Cassidy and co-driver Dave Getchell cover 233 km of special stages and 435 km of total distance over the 13 hour event. The event challenged the competitors with one of the longest stages in North American rallying at 50.40 km. "To drive a stage that long is exciting," said Cassidy. "It speaks to the way rallies used to be and really tests our ability to maintain focus over a long period of time. It's a challenge Dave and I enjoyed."
The snow and ice event, one of the few remaining blind rallies in the Canadian Rally Championship, finds teams running on standard street snow/ice tires. Studded tires are not allowed. The challenges of the low grip surface, standard tires, lack of pace notes and night stages all combine to make for an epic adventure for the crews.

Cassidy and Getchell, running the event for the second time, used the first few stages to get used to the recent changes to their car. "We recently upgraded the turbo, the fuel system and improved some other systems," said Cassidy. "I tend to push the team to their limits with development of the car, but they always rise to the challenge and preparation for this event was no different. We owe our finish to their substantial efforts."

The team is one of nearly 15 rally teams prepping for the upcoming Challenge Sur Glace in Sherbrooke Quebec, February 25-27. The Challenge Sur Glace is the penultimate round, and the only North American round of the Andros Trophy Ice racing series. 2005 is the first year that Rally cars will join the Andros cars and the motorcycles on track. Nearly 40,000 spectators are expected over the course of the weekend.

Last Ditch Racing would like extend thanks to their 2005 partners:

For more information on Last Ditch Racing, please visit:
For more information on the Challenge Sur Glace, please visit:
For more information on the Rallye Perce-Neige Maniwaki, please visit:

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