ECRC- CREC Jean-Sébastien Besner and Yvan Joyal Win the Tall Pines Rally and Confirm Their 2023 Title

ECRC- CREC Jean-Sébastien Besner and Yvan Joyal Win the Tall Pines Rally and Confirm Their 2023 Title

Monday, November 27th, 2023

November 26 2023.- Five weeks after claiming their 2023 championship title at the Rallye de Charlevoix, Montrealers Jean-Sébastien Besner and Yvan Joyal won the Tall Pines Rally, contested in the Bancroft region of Ontario. The event, presented this past weekend, was the final round of the 2023 Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC).

As usual, the Tall Pines offered its competitors quite the challenge with a thin layer of snow, and sometimes ice, covering the gravel roads and leaving the region’s fast roads particularly tricky.  This makes up the charm and the challenge of an event that has been a classic Canadian rally for over half a century.  With more experienced than anyone else in the ECRC at the Tall Pines rally, an event that they’ve both contested in the 1990s, Jean-Sébastien Besner and Yvan Joyal dominated the ECRC portion of the event from start to finish, despite mechanical issues that halted their Ford Fiesta R5 three times during the eighth competitive stage.

They won the rally, for the fifth time this season, by a margin of two minutes and 23 seconds over Ontarians Jeremy Drake and Deric Jackson (Subaru WRX STI). The novice team of Drake/Jackson had a flawless day. The podium was completed by Vincent Trudel, who earned his second consecutive podium in his Subaru WRX STI (Production Class). For this event, Trudel was co-driven by Albertan Michael Szewczyk.

The battle for fourth place was something to keep an eye on in this rally as American Emmanuel Cecchet, co-driven by Quebecker Jonathan Desgroseilliers, and Ontarians Trevor Pougnet and Ryan Rouleau (both driving Subarus) had to contend with the 2-wheel drive leader hot on their heels.  Nicolas Laverdière was back to competition for this event, co-driven by Marc-Olivier Lamontagne in a Ford Fiesta ST. In the end, Cecchet/Desgroseilliers finished ahead of Pougnet/Rouleau by 39 seconds, with Laverdière/Lamontagne another 40 second back.

Martin Donnelly and Cezary Maciocha (Subaru WRX STI) finished in seventh spot, ten seconds in front of Sébastien Clark and Patrick Lévesque (Subaru WRX STI). William Pardiac and Manuel Arsenault (also in a Subaru) followed in ninth place.


In 2-wheel drive, Nicolas Laverdière and Marc-Olivier Lamontagne built a lead of a little more than two minutes ahead of their closest competitors, Jonathan Drake and Brandon Pace (Ford Focus). In a rally where the gaps amongst Top 10 finishers were relatively small, the Ontarian duo finished tenth overall, ahead of the Subaru of Michel Drapeau and Jean-Sébastien Delisle, and third place 2WD finishers Eric Vanderwal and Alton Gonsalves (Mazda RX8).

16 of the 18 registered ECRC teams (of the total 26 event starters) finished the rally. Rookie Zachary Bourassa, co-driven by Érika Séguin (Subaru), went off the road while Mark Toufanov/David Bell (Toyota GT86) abandoned with mechanical problems.

The Eastern Canadian Rally Championship (ECRC) is comprised of seven rounds this season, taking place between Ontario and Quebec. The 2024 season will re-start in February with the traditional running of the Rallye Perce-Neige Maniwaki, in Québec.

For more information, please visit the website


Photos © Paul Murray / CRC Rally


2023 ECRC Calendar

Date Event Town (Province) / Club 2023 Winners
February 4 Rallye Perce-Neige

Maniwaki (Quebec)

Club Rallye Maniwaki

Overall : J.S.Besner & Yvan Joyal

2WD : Mathieu Leblanc & Éric Dubé

April 29 Rallye de Sanair

St-Pie-de-Bagot (Quebec)

Club Autos Sport La Licorne

Overall : K.Duddy & M.Toupin (2WD)


July 1 Rallye Baie-des-Chaleurs

New Richmond (Quebec)

Club Rallye Auto Baie-des-Chaleurs

Overall : J.S.Besner & Yvan Joyal

2WD : Mathieu Leblanc & Éric Dubé

August 12 Black Bear Rally

Catchacoma (Ontario)

Maple Leaf Rally Club

Overall : Sébastien Clark & A.Laliberté

2WD : Mark Toufanov & David Bell

September 8 & 9 Rallye Défi Petite Nation

Montpellier (Quebec)

Club Autosport Défi Outaouais

Overall : J.S.Besner & Yvan Joyal

2WD : Francis Belley & Dany Mallette

October 21 & 22 Rallye de Charlevoix

La Malbaie (Quebec)

Club Rallye De Charlevoix

Overall : J.S.Besner & Yvan Joyal

2WD : Kurtis Duddy & Danny Hudon

November 25 Tall Pines Rally

Bancroft (Ontario)

Maple Leaf Rally Club

Overall : J.S.Besner & Yvan Joyal

2WD : Nicolas Laverdière & M.A.Lamontagne



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