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    Rideau Lakes 1974
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  Home > Rallies > Canada - Rideau Lakes
Rideau Lakes
The Rally of the Rideau Lakes was a short lived Canadian summer rally. It was first held in 1973 and Saab competition chief Bo Hellberg was present to observe the event. As he gave a very favorable report to FISA, the Rideau Lakes was included in the championship calendar in the following year but unfortunately was not run again after that, due to budget problems. The 1974 date was changed to October in order to allow the Rideau Lakes and Press-on-Regardless rally in United States to run within two weeks of each other.

The event did not come to existence out of the blue, as it had its roots in the Silver Lake Rally which started as a club rally in the mid-1960's. By 1973, it had evolved into an FIA international rally and the name was changed as well. At that point, the organisers had a long term plan to get into the world championship eventually but because FISA wanted another rally in North America, WRC status was gained somewhat sooner than expected. In hindsight, they might have been better off had they been able to establish a solid financial base for the event to run in the future.

Canadian and US competitors customarily crossed the border to visit each country's rallies and so it was no wonder that there were numerous US crews in the Rideau Lakes. Despite the distance from Europe and lack of special incentives to attract foreign crews, there also were many crews from Europe, even works Fiat/Lancia entries.

Despite some stage names, virtually all stages were traditional forest roads. Only one was in a gravel pit but even that consisted of a nice road, other stages with strange sounding names just happened to have old mines nearby. The terrain was much akin to that of Scandinavia so it was no wonder drivers liked the route and Scandinavian gravel specialists thrived there. Sub-zero temperatures were experienced during nights but that there was no snow.

The event was run very professionally and gained lots of praise for its smooth organization, particularly at a time when certain other WRC events struggled to reach even satisfactory status in this respect. Losing the Rideau Lakes only after one outing in the WRC was a huge shame, especially given that championship began to gain momentum after the fuel-crisis marred 1974 season. However, it influenced the Canadian national championship both with its own professionalism but also by introducing locals to European teams and their approach to rally.

Previous winners
 1974:   Munari, Sandro   Lancia Stratos HF HF    
Driver wins
  Munari, Sandro (1)
Manufacturer wins
  Lancia (1)