Saturday, February 7th, marked the 50th anniversary of Rally Perce-Neige. It was also my first time there. I was only running on a boiled egg, coffee, and about 5 hours of sleep from the previous afternoon, with a nap before setting off. I also was frozen below my knees after spectating for a few minutes.

All of that did not stop me from enjoying the experience. The 90 minutes or so of high speed driving from the west side of Ottawa to get to the event as well as the extra 5-10 between stages were very enjoyable too, my turbodiesel Volkswagen took the winding roads like a champ, occasionally [slowly] sliding in the snow, with nanny aids ruining the fun. Once I got to the area, I spotted the vehicles of fellow Opponauts Bigbossyboss and WhiskeyGolf heading the other direction to their first stage. I U-turned at the next intersection, and eventually caught up with them at the spectating area.

I also had a bored and tired friend in tow, who came because he had nothing better to do.

Mind you this was not my first rodeo, I previously went to the Lanark Highlands rally last spring, and this rally was much larger and much more organized.

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Photo of said "champ":

As for photos, I had to stay up until 3 AM scouring for the best ones. Being now sleep deprived, I was having a hard time believing myself that I took these. Yes, me.

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Among the usual Subaru Impreza WRXs and Mitsubishi Lancers, there were a few oddballs, like this Hyundai Accent. Who's crazy enough to race one of these? This guy. The fact that it has an Evo 8 swap makes it more insane.

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I went to two stages (namely Blue Sea and Farley), and unfortunately had to leave early because my friend was getting cold and tired. He enjoyed it, despite being practically dragged around.

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On the Farley stage, a couple cars went in too hot, and slid out, one even stalled while trying to get back on route. Thankfully the one pictured did not lose control so much.

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All photos were taken with a Canon EOS 20D and a Sigma EX 70-200mm lens. Feel free to leave a comment below if you want any originals.

A quick guide:

  • Be prepared, and have the schedule in hand.
  • Wear adequate clothing. Double up on your pants and socks, and get boots.
  • Don't try to chase down the race cars during the reece, they'll most certainly outrun you.
  • You may as well use snow tires if you're going to drive off the main roads.

Also as a bonus: Video of the cars flying by.

Even more bonus: Rally fans are such a treat.