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“The impossible takes a little longer.”
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    Official statement about the penalty at the 2012 Snow Drift Rally

    January 31, 2012

    After post rally technical inspection, the catalytic converter was found to be not in full compliance with the regulations. The catalytic converter was new prior to the start of the rally, but it appears that the substrate was all blown out. We suspect this was a result of a backfiring issue caused by an ignition coil failure.

    We have lodged a protest against the decision and we are sure that Rally America will arrive at a fair decision based on the information we have given them.

    Meet Carl Williamson

    January 18, 2012

    Crazy Leo Can-Jam Rally team is proud to be going into the new season with a new co-driver from Wales, Carl Williamson. Carl has done over 700 (!) rallies, including 30 WRC starts. He has worked with a number of world class drivers, including today’s Ford’s number one, Jari-Matti Latvala.

    Here’s your chance to hear form Carl himself. Apologies for the wind noise.

    Mixed feelings and unexpected turns of 2011

    January 17, 2012

    Crazy Leo Can-Jam Rally Team

    If I had to sum up the 2011 season in one sentence I would say: “We’ve accomplished more than I could have predicted at the beginning of the year, but we haven’t reached the expectations that I had at mid-season.”

    To understand the present we need to remember the past. We had finished 2010 on a downer with 5 straight DNF’s including 4 crashes in a row. Something needed to be changed… so what do we do, crash again, at the first event of the 2011 season – Rallye Perce-Neige.

    Soon after, thanks to one of my dearest rally friends, a breakthrough followed. That was the partnership with an experienced Irish co-driver Martin Brady. Through his hard work and dedication, Martin proved to be the force I needed, to stay on the road, and he was great fun at all the parties.

    As consistency improved, I decided to conduct a bold experiment by introducing major changes to my ‘pace note’ system. It took nearly two events for me to realize that the changes were NOT working. The understanding came at Rally Defi, where a lot of my friends couldn’t understand, why I wasn’t happy with a second place finish… instead, I was so disappointed, because by then, I knew that all the hard work we had put into the new notes, was not working.

    We went into the last three events (Pacific Forest Rally, Rallye de Charlevoix and Tall Pines) with nearly a brand new ‘pace note’ system. The consistency was there, but the speed wasn’t. Yes, we had led rallies briefly and had some good battles… hell, we even won one of the most prestigious rallies on the continent, and finished second in the National championship, but we were never there on pace.

    I will say this again: I won’t be happy until we have the pace to win rallies. Therefore, 2012 will bring even more hard work for the team. We will compete on both sides of the border – trying ourselves in the Rally America Championship and I will have a new co-driver alongside me. I’ve already met with him in Europe and it looks very promising!

    I know we’ve improved in 2011, but the competition has gone forward as well. We are closer than we’ve ever been and I am definitely even more hungry for success, and still passionate about our amazing sport!

    Warm regards and thank you to my family, the team, friends, organizers, volunteers and sponsors… you people are the ones who make it all possible!

    P.S. Tomorrow we will announce, who the new co-driver is. Will post a short video interview that we shot on an iPhone in Bulgaria.

    Historic Tall Pines brings my FIRST NATIONAL WIN!

    December 12, 2011

    My dear friends, we have finally done it!

    I’d like to share what myself, co-driver Martin Brady and the team has said after the event. And, as always, some great shots for the fans we love!

    «This victory is a testament to the amazing effort of our entire team. Tall Pines is a very challenging event and luck was on our side… but luck only comes to those, who work hard! To have my first win just 100 kilometers away from the university I graduated from feels truly special. I am also very happy that we managed to keep Rally of the Tall Pines crown in Canada. Besides, this win puts us into a solid second place in the 2011 Canadian national championship!»
    — “Crazy” Leonid Urlichich

    Credit Claude Lamoureux

    «It was an epic event from the outset with a huge challenge posed by the arduous nature of the stages and the quality of the entry list. I knew after recce it was going to be a busy event and it played out just like that. We started the event not as fast as we would have liked and it took the first two stages to settle down and dial ourselves in. Antoine L’Estage was going very fast but the Tall Pines roads bit back and mechanical failure put him on the sidelines. We were now in our stride and went into Mayo Lake a stage we felt suited us, and it did because we came out of it leading the rally, we stayed clean but fast and David Higgins and Pat Richard succumbed to punctures. Not a surprise given the rough bedrock in that stage which Leo clearly managed to drive around!

    It was a lead we were never to relinquish and now came one of the most challenging tasks of my competition history, to keep Crazy Leo on the road for another 100km at a speed that was just enough to win, we had a 3 minute lead and we played the percentage game so well, knowing we were going slowly and bleeding time to Higgins but as part of a game plan. Can-Jam fettled us excellently in every service and just like the whole season gave us a car fit to be fast and lasting. The last stage was a nervous one we still had 29km to go but the plan and the team effort all culminated in success and we returned to Bancroft as winners of Canada’s most prestigious event.

    It was a great honour to be part of the team this season and to see our names on the Tall Pines trophy beside all the luminaries and legends of North American rallying was and will be one of my proudest memories in motor sports, a fitting end to the season.»
    — Martin Brady

    «A lot of sacrifice and dedication has been put in by the team. It’s a testament that hard work still pays off and to finish the season in style by giving “Crazy Leo” his first Canadian national victory on such a historic event, is a dream come true. He truly is “Living the Dream”!»
    — Can-Jam Motorsports

    Left to right:
    Stewart Hoo, Nicholas Hoo, Mac Calder, Kevin Hoo, Martin Brady, Christopher Ko,  Blake Hoo,
    Leonid Urlichich, Charlie Papapetrou, Duane Hoo, Sean Smith, Jason Hoo

    Special THANK YOU goes to our epic co-driver Martin Brady!
    You’ve kept us on the road for 7 events in a row and that brought us 7 podiums, including a national win!

    Credit Eric Choi

    Credit Michel Matton

    Credit John Merry

    Credit Rob McNeil

    Credit Eric Choi

    To follow us at Tall Pines Rally

    November 26, 2011

    To follow us at Tall Pines Rally please go to our twitter, Facebook Fan Page and check out the LIVE coverage!

    New poster — get one at Tall Pines!

    November 24, 2011

    Here is a story about how hard work pays off, and how you make your own luck.  Antoine Bélanger-Leclerc took some good shots at Rally Defi, and I was impressed by a new photographer on the scene.  We started talking and he got really excited, when he learned that there is a chance that one of his pics will make it on our poster.  The picture I liked had amazing sunlight, but also some sun stains. Antoine put in a lot of hours into cleaning the image up, merely hoping that the picture will be chosen.

    Our plan was to make a collage poster with 10-15 pictures from 2011 season. So a bunch of pictures were sent to our designer. I was pretty confident, that Antoine’s image will get used amongst 10 others. On the due date the designer sends me back the poster and a note that reads: “Sorry, the collage idea didn’t really work, so I made something very different, using only one picture. Hope you guys like it!” Can you imagine how surprised I was when the only picture that was chosen was Antoine’s?! What a coincidence. Some would say “luck”, some would say “work hard and it will come”.

    You can take a look at the poster here and get a copy this Saturday at the Tall Pines Rally!