Press release - For immediate distribution
Coming soon to Canada: An all new Performance Rally Championship!
Montréal, July 19 2016.- News was released today about an all new Performance Rally Championship that will be run in Canada starting next fall. This new championship, to be known as the "Challenge Extrême Élite" (CXE) will be sanctioned by the well known American organisation NASA Rally Sport.
This all new championship will consist of five events taking place in different regions across the province of Quebec and will be open to cars and motorcycles alike. Each of the events will be run over a distance of 160 to 200 km of timed stages, offering competitors a national-level route.
Cars will compete in four competition classes while motorcycles will compete in two classes. In addition, the championship's events will be run on different types of road surfaces including two on gravel, two in winter on ice and snow and one entirely on asphalt. The five rounds selected to form the first "Challenge Extrême Élite" calendar will be Rally Portneuf (November 12, 2016), Rally Mékinac (January 14, 2017), Rally Ville La Tuque (January 28, 2017), Rally Sanair (April 21-22, 2017) and Rally Ville Saguenay (June 17, 2017).
Also worth highlighting is the fact that both winter events will see competitors running on studded tires identical to those provided by Pirelli for use in the WRC (World Rally Championship) making the CXE the only series in North America to do so. This will not only offer a spectacular show for the thousands of fans assembled along the rally route but also provide level playing field for competitors. A similar approach will be used for events held on gravel road surfaces where Pirelli will provide a specific tire for competitors within each class.
For the series coordinator Éric Tremblay, spreading the championship across two calendar years is not insignificant and the decision was made after taking into consideration the realities faced by many competitors. As he mentions: "Condensing the calendar into the period across late fall, winter and early spring provides more time during the summer to be spent with family, enables focusing on the beginning of the school year and attending to the many professional obligations faced by competitors, series officials and fans." He also adds "It is our aim to create a calendar comprised of exciting events that will raise the level of interest in the sport and offer the challenge of a national-level championship. That is why we've engaged first-class sponsors—many of which are world renowned—and concluded an agreement with the American organization NASA Rally Sport to sanction the events."
The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) was established in 1991 and in 2003 it created its NASA Rally Sport division. Currently, NASA sanctions seventeen performance rally events and a total of over 300 motorsports events per year in the United States. The organization has more than 12,000 members and is dedicated to supporting its events in all aspects from organization, to management and event operation. As part of this support, NASA provides organizers and volunteers with several training videos along with various IT tools including an online registration system and an electronic timing system measuring to 1/1000thof a second.
The Challenge Extrême Élite 2016-2017 is presented by Uptown Volvo, Pirelli, Panta Racing Fuel, Lazer High Performance Lighting, Platto Motorsport, Boisvert Mitsubishi, Gulf and Virage Multimedia.