ProRally: Lake Superior leg one results

Houghton, Michigan - Perfect weather and road conditions added considerable speed to several stages of this year's Lake Superior SCCA ProRally, an unfamiliar circumstance for many teams accustomed to the Upper Peninsula's often wet or otherwise...

Houghton, Michigan - Perfect weather and road conditions added considerable speed to several stages of this year's Lake Superior SCCA ProRally, an unfamiliar circumstance for many teams accustomed to the Upper Peninsula's often wet or otherwise adverse conditions. For teams with their Championships already in the bag, this made for a fun and refreshing change - smooth and fast yet challenging roads that several call the best in the nation. For the teams still fighting it out, particularly those in Groups 2 and 5 - it called for absolute concentration and determination - a tough work assignment as the temps dropped to near freezing, and the rapid fire rally schedule pulls them on into the early morning hours.

At the end of last night's lengthy 10-stage Leg One activity, overall series points leader Paul Choiniere has a substantial, nearly 2 minute lead over Doug Shepard, who himself is nearly two minutes ahead of third place Garen Shrader. Don't expect these margins to be easily maintained - the entire leg two of the rally is held in the daylight, and all teams in the top 6 are podium contenders.

Noel Lawler's hard luck season finished up this weekend with yet another DNF, this time caused by engine failure just after completing stage 2. At the time he was running a close 2nd overall to teammate Paul Choiniere, and he went out with style - the engine let go 3 miles from the finish of SS2, and Lawler still set fastest time on the stage - 11 minutes, 93 hundredths, to Choiniere's 11:98.

In the overall standings, the big winners in this long night of rally include the relatively unknown team of Shane Mitchell/Paul Donnelly, who picked up an amazing 26 positions and now sit in ninth place overall. Also doing well despite some bad luck early on are Karl Scheible and Russ Hughes, who had a tire failure in SS3, and had to run all of SS4 on the right front rim. Thanks to the smooth stage roads, Scheible was able to get the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V back to service with minimal damage to the car, and rapidly worked his way up the leaderboard, finishing his night in 4th position overall.

In the 'bad rally luck - but still running' column include Bryan Hourt, who had a minor electrical glitch part-way into SS1. Pulling over to the side of the stage road, he found the loose connection and repaired it in under 2 minutes, got back in the car, and promptly slid the car into the swamp he was unknowingly parked right next to. Those kind of 'scenic details' aren't generally listed in the route book - and on this clear and moonless night, there aren't many places in North America darker than Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Hourt finally got unstuck an agonizing 14 minutes later, but the delay has the unfortunate consequence of virtually ending his Group 5 title chase with Mark Utecht.

Also in that column include Patrick Richard, who suffered two tire failures on SS2. As with most rallyists, Richard only carries one spare, so he placed that one up front, and continued on, only for the 2nd tire to go flat shortly thereafter. Richard, who drives a Subaru Impreza, did have a little luck - the flat occurred at a viewing area, and a rally fan volunteered his temporary spare from his own 2.5RS, easily one of the most common cars at most performance rally spectator areas. The really bad luck, however, came later - the delays cost Richard a whopping 13 minutes in road points. While this isn't too bad for Richard - he's already sewn up the Production GT Drivers and Manufacturers Championships, Ben Bradley, his co-driver is the big loser - now effectively written out of the PGT co-driver's championship points chase.

Road Penalties in general are running rampant this year, with several front running teams earning points, with 14 teams picking up anywhere from a relatively inconsequential 1 minute to several being assessed 10 or more - enough to knock any entry from the leaderboard.

Leg two of the lake Superior SCCA ProRally begins at 10:30 AM, following a 1-hour Parc Expose in downtown Calumet. Also featured in Saturday's leg is a special spectator stage, the long-time favorite tarmac hillclimb up Brockway Mountain the early afternoon, prior to the rally's finish in downtown Hancock. <pre> Leg One Finish Order (unofficial) times are in hours:minutes: hundredths of seconds srt Fin Car Time Seed Class Driver Co-driver year Car 1 1 2 1:34:08 FIA Open Paul Choinere Jeff Becker 00 Hyundai Tiburon 4 2 52 1:36:04 1 Open Doug Shepherd Pete Gladysz 92 Mitsubishi Eclipse 5 3 4 1:38:01 1 Open Garen Shrader Michael Fennell 97 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV 3 4 61 1:41:19 FIA Open Karl Scheible Russ Hughes 98 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V 6 5 6 1:41:20 1 Gr N Henry Krolikowski Cindy Krolikowski 95 Subaru WRX STI 8 6 115 1:42:03 2 Gr N Seamus Burke Frank Cunningham 97 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV 19 7 567 1:42:14 2 Gr 5 Steve Nowicki David Stone 85 Mazda RX-7 10 8 12 1:43:32 1 P GT Steve Gingras Bill Westrick 94 Mitsubishi Eclipse 35 9 950 1:43:33 4 P GT Shane Mitchell Paul Donnelly 90 Eagle Talon 15 10 94 1:44:03 2 P GT Bryan Pepp Jerry Stang 90 Eagle Talon 22 11 107 1:44:57 3 Open Tim Paterson Scott Ferguson 99 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V 25 12 971 1:45:49 3 P GT Brendan Cunningham Paul McClean 90 Eagle Talon 18 13 83 1:45:57 2 Gr 5 Mark Utecht Brenda Corneliusen 86 Dodge Omni GLH turbo 23 14 501 1:46:06 3 Open Todd Jarvey Richard Faber 92 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 29 15 98 1:46:52 3 Gr 2 Robert Nielsen Brett Corneliusen 87 VW Golf Gti 13 16 20 1:47:32 1 Open George Plsek Alex Gelsomino 90 90 Audi S2 31 17 165 1:47:41 3 P Dennis Chizma Claire Chizma 73 Porsche 911 17 18 82 1:48:55 2 Gr 5 Mike Hurst Rob Bohn 93 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 21 19 116 1:49:09 2 Gr 2 Tom Lawless Brendan Lawless 93 Honda Civic 14 20 21 1:49:53 2 P GT Chris Czyio Eric Carlson 91 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX 11 21 16 1:50:08 1 P GT Gail Truess Patti Hughes 88 Mazda 323 GTX 38 22 42 1:50:57 4 Gr 2 Eric Burmeister Mark Buskirk 86 VW Golf Gti 33 23 132 1:51:53 4 Open Robert Burtis James R. Burtis 85 Audi quattro coupe 46 24 15 1:51:55 5 Gr 2 Brad Hawkins Adrian Wintle 96 VW Golf GTI 30 25 55 1:52:36 3 P Brian Vinson Richard Beels 88 VW Golf GTI 24 26 551 1:52:51 3 Open Mark Sarnecki Rick Hansen 98 Subaru Impreza 2.5 28 27 97 1:52:59 3 P GT Paul Dubinsky Yvon Dubinsky 92 Eagle Talon 42 28 149 1:55:16 5 Open Jonathan Ryther Janice Damitio 00 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 44 29 232 1:55:44 5 P GT Mark Tabor Kevin Poirier 89 Mazda 323 GTX 43 30 173 1:56:08 5 Gr N Patrick Lilly Mark McAllister 95 Subaru Impreza 34 31 11 1:56:17 4 Open Ivan Orisek Olga Orisek 84 Audi Quattro 12 32 71 1:56:32 1 Gr 5 Bryan Hourt Mike Dunn 97 Honda Civic 37 33 65 1:57:16 4 Gr 5 Don Rathgeber Jimmy Brandt 87 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 47 34 84 1:59:11 5 Gr 2 JB Niday Al Kintigh 86 VW Golf Gti 58 35 967 2:04:13 6 P Perry King Mark Williams 00 Hyundai Tiburon 27 36 73 2:05:18 3 Gr 2 Nicholas Robinson Carl Lindquist 97 Honda Civic 56 37 69 2:09:16 6 Gr 2 Charles Sherrill Mark Rea 89 Honda CRX Si 57 38 41 2:10:20 6 Gr 2 Art Burmeister Bob Martin 87 87 VW Golf Gti 9 39 162 2:11:29 1 P GT Pat Richard Ben Bradley 98 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS 54 40 575 2:49:58 6 Gr 5 Jeremy Butts Jonathan Vrzal 93 Ford Mustang GT

ClubRally results were unavailable at press time

Leg One Retirements - unofficial Car # Drivers Name Co-Drivers Name Class Year Make stage Retirement cause (unofficial) 19 Rodney Dean Nichole Dean GT 91 Eagle DNS Unknown 58 Roland McIvor TBA Gr 2 93 Nissan DNS Unknown 914* Noel Nash Bernard Farrell Gr N 97 Mitsubishi DNS Withdrawn - engine 110 Mark Nelson TBA Gr N 97 Mitsubishi DNS Withdrawn 148 Lon Peterson Bill Gutzman Open 00 Subaru SS2 Electrical - fuel pump 512 Jouni Pohjolainen John Matikainen P 91 Nissan SS3 Tree 555* Colin McCleery Jeff Secor Gr 5 85 Merkur SS3 Gearbox 59 John Rek Bob Dupree Open 95 Audi SS4 Engine management 601* Michael Halley E. Burton-Weinman Gr 5 87 Dodge SS4 Roll-over 166 John Daubenmier Stanley Rosen Gr 5 88 Chevrolet SS5 unknown 51 Jay Streets Bill Feyling Gr 2 85 Toyota SS5 Unknown 104 Martin Donnelly Gavin Coyle Open 90 Eagle SS5 133 Tom Young Jim Lebeau P 95 Dodge SS5 168 Celsus Donnelly Barry Smith GT 90 Eagle SS4 Accident 194 Wiktor Biegalski Marcin Kornellik Gr 5 90 Mitsubishi SS5 Tree 904* John Drislane Paul Geary Gr 5 87 Mitsubishi SS5 926* Aidan McCormack Ed McCormack GT 90 Mitsubishi SS5 unknown 137 Phil Smith Dallas Smith GR 2 68 MGB SS7 Engine 33 James Warren Charles Binder Open 83 Audi SS8 Unknown * indicates teams that have the option of re-starting Leg 2 as ClubRally entrants only.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Mike Dunn , Paul Choiniere , Jeff Becker , George Plsek , Alex Gelsomino , Jay Streets , Bill Feyling , Mark Nelson , Seamus Burke , Frank Cunningham , Mark McAllister , Shane Mitchell , Patrick Lilly , Eric Burmeister , Roland McIvor , Pat Richard , Rob Nicholas , Patrick Richard , Jeff Secor , Martin Donnelly , Art Burmeister , Adrian Wintle , Mark Williams , David Stone , Jimmy Brandt , Scott Ferguson
Teams Williams