ProRally: Rim of the World report

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>From Andy Schupack, Michelin SCCA Pro Rally Series: CHOINIERE SURVIVES STEERING WOES TO EDGE ZWART, MERRILL IN SCCA/MICHELIN PRO RALLY IN ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST PALMDALE, Calif. -- May 15 -- Last year, when national champion Paul...

>From Andy Schupack, Michelin SCCA Pro Rally Series:

CHOINIERE SURVIVES STEERING WOES TO EDGE ZWART, MERRILL IN SCCA/MICHELIN PRO RALLY IN ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST PALMDALE, Calif. -- May 15 -- Last year, when national champion Paul Choiniere, of Shelburne, Vermont, and co-driver Jeff Becker, got a two minute in a SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally event, counting on their Audi Quattro S2 to win the event was money in the bank. But this year, there are four legitimate contenders for an overall win, and each event is a dogfight. Choiniere and Becker drove to their first national PRO Rally win of the season at the Rim of the World event here, edging the Porsche Carrera 4 of Jeff Zwart of Woody Creek, Colo., by less than two minutes and exhausting both drivers and crew in the process. "Our steering rack separated from its mounting, not a good situation when driving on one-lane mountain roads at 100 mph and 100-foot drops into canyons below," said Choiniere, whose Libra Racing crew welded the unit twice to keep it intact. He lost ten pounds fighting the car through the forest road stages during the 90 degree-plus heat in Southern California's Antelope Valley. The Carl Merrill/Jon Wickens Ford Escort Cosworth, from Ogunquit, Maine was third, with the Henry Joy/Brian Maxwell Mitsubishi Eclipse, from Wilmette, Illinois, fourth. Joy and Maxwell won the last three stages of the event and would have finished third if they had not incurred a penalty minute earlier in the event. Choiniere, Zwart, Merrill, and Joy - whose cars are all turbocharged, all-wheel-drive, 325-plus horsepower racers - all have a legitimate shot to win each SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally series event, a change from a year ago when Choiniere dominated the series. So far in '94, Zwart leads the series with two wins and a second, while Choiniere has two wins, Merrill has two seconds, and Joy has a second and a fourth. In the other classes, Goran Ostland and Steve Baker, from Seattle won the Group 2 class and finished fifth overall in a Saab 99; Vinnie Frontinan and Frank Arruda, from Somerville, Mass., were winners in Group A and sixth overall in their Toyota Celica GT4; Rhys Millen and Chris Griffin, from Newport Beach, Calif., captured Production GT in their Toyota Celica All-Trac; and the Dave Turner/Ben Bradley Mitsubishi Eclipse, from Hemet, Calif., won the Production class. In all, 15 of the 24 starters completed the 105-mile course, said to be the roughest, twistiest on the SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally circuit. "Beverly Hills 90210" star Jason Priestley, along with co- driver Kevin Caffrey, debuted a Toyota Celica All-Trac in the Production GT class, but turbo problems put the Hollywood pair out after completing 7 of the 13 competition stages. Zwart now leads the Michelin PRO Rally series with 51 points after four events, with Choiniere second (36 points), and Joy third (29 points). In a PRO Rally, each team consists of a driver and a co- driver (or navigator), and the exact course is kept secret until just before the event. The cars then start at one-minute intervals and race at top speed against the clock over competition stages - in this case the closed forest roads of the Angeles National Forest. Speeds of more than 120 miles-per-hour can be reached on long straight-aways, with the team achieving the fastest combined times over the competition stages winning the event. Drivers stay on the existing roads, and never blaze their own trails. SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally events run around the country, in conditions from the blazing Arizona desert in August to the frozen tundra of Maine in December, and pit Audis, Mitsubishis, Porsches, Fords, Toyotas, Subarus and other marques against each other. The 1994 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally Series consists of eleven events, and is sponsored by Michelin Tire Corporation, with field administration by the American Rally Association, and series sanction by the Sports Car Club of America. The next event on the SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally circuit will be the Susquehannock Trail PRO Rally, to be held in Wellsboro, Penn., June 3 - 5. SCCA/MICHELIN PRO RALLY SERIES ROUND #4 - RIM OF THE WORLD PRO RALLY PALMDALE, CALIFORNIA MAY 15, 1994 Final Results - National Car Driver/ Class/ # Co-driver Hometown Vehicle Time 1 Paul Choiniere* Shelburne, VT Audi Open* Jeff Becker Great Neck, NY Quattro S2 2:53:03 4 Jeff Zwart Woody Creek, CO Porsche Open Tony Sircombe Corona Del Mar, CA Carrera 4 2:54:53 3 Carl Merrill Ogunquit, ME Ford Escort Open Jon Wickens Bloomfield Hills, MI Cosworth 2:56:43 5 Henry Joy Wilmette, IL Mitsubishi Open Brian Maxwell Port Hope, ONT Eclipse 2:57:25 24 Goran Ostlund* San Salvador Saab 99 Group 2 Steve Baker Snohomish, WA 3:08:36 98 Vinnie Frontinan* Somerville, MA Toyota Group A Frank Arruda Johnston, RI Celica GT4 3:10:09 46 Rui Brasil San Jose, CA Audi Quattro Open/ Tony Tavares San Jose, CA 3:11:10 83 Chris Weleff Riverside, CA Toyota Celica Group A/ Brian Paul Anaheim, CA All-trac 3:12:34 28 Sam Bryan Kent, WA Saab 900 Group 2 Mark Simons Buckley, WA 3:14:44 14 Rhys Millen* Newport Beach, CA Toyota Celica Prod. GT Chris Griffin Tujunga, CA All-trac 3:15:17 16 Selcuk Karamanoglu Bath, ME Mitsubishi Prod. GT John McArthur Honeoye Falls, NY Eclipse 3:15:36 32 Kazushi Kita Osaka, Japan Nissan March Group A Hiroyuki Okuda Hyogo, Japan 3:15:58 94 Dave Turner* Hemet, CA Mitsubishi Production Ben Bradley Portland, OR Eclipse 3:18:35 42 Mitch McCullough Laguna Nigel, CA Mazda 323GTX Open Scott Webb Hermosa Beach, CA 3:20:13 36 Matt Sweeney Van Nuys, CA Toyota Group 2 Lucinda Strub Van Nuys, CA Pick-up 3:47:52 DID NOT FINISH 21 Greg Lund Kent, WA Mazda 323GTX Group A Lynne Lund Kent, WA 25 Peter Moodie Kingston, Jamaica Mazda 323GTX Group A Michael Fennell Kingston, Jamaica 34 Makio Yamanaka Tokyo, Japan Mazda 323GTX Group A Fumiaki Yamazaki Tokyo, Japan 20 Mike Whitman Farmington, NM Datsun 510 Group 2 Kevin Linville Durango, CO 33 Jeff Henricks Prescott, AZ Jeep Comanche Truck Noble Jones Prescott, AZ Pick-up 43 Peter Lahm Phoenix, AZ Datsun 510 Group 2 Keith Roper Peoria, AZ 23 Tony Chavez Santa Fe Springs, CA Datsun 510 Open John Elkin Lytle Creek, CA 35 Jay Priestley Van Nuys, CA Toyota Celica Prod. GT Kevin Caffrey North Hollywood, CA All-Trac 71 Janice Damitio Montesano, WA Datsun 510 Open Ray Damitio Montesano, WA Div. * Class Winners

-- Ben Bradley There are only two types of rally drivers: bradley@reed.edu Those who HAVE rolled and those who WILL Portland, Oregon Will co-drive for food... ICSCC HP Opel Kadett #444

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Series SCCA-PRO