ProRally: RallyRhybuddRacing takes first Group 2 win

Chattanooga, TN, March 2001 Competing in the two ClubRallies accompanying the Cherokee Trails International ProRally, Team Paradox drove their 1968 MGBGT to their first ClubRally victory for the RallyRybuddRacing program, taking a First in...

Chattanooga, TN, March 2001

Competing in the two ClubRallies accompanying the Cherokee Trails International ProRally, Team Paradox drove their 1968 MGBGT to their first ClubRally victory for the RallyRybuddRacing program, taking a First in Group 2 in the Hiwassee Stages ClubRally. Of the eighteen competitors in the two ClubRally events, the Team finished 5th overall in both the Ocoee Stages and the Hiwassee Stages rallies, and placed second in Group 2 in the Ocoee Stages rally.


Team Paradox 1968 MGBGT for RallyRybuddRacing Photo: RallyRybuddRacing

These two ClubRallies ran over the same route as the latter two days of the three-day, FIA listed Cherokee Trails International ProRally. This ProRally marked the first time in which teams competing in the national level event were allowed recce and the use of pace notes. The ClubRally events were run more to the usual SCCA Performance Rally standards, meaning the route was unknown to the competitors prior to actually running the stages. Team Paradox had elected to forego the national level event and compete in the ClubRallies, consistent with the SCCA Historic Class rules. However, since no other Historic Class competitors participated in these events, the Team's efforts were directed at doing well in Group 2.

"These stages were some of the most diverse we've seen in our young experience with Performance Rally," said driver Phil Smith. "It was a great mix of fast flat runs, tight slippery switchbacks, rough areas, road hazards such as 'exposures' and elevation change." This highly varied course proved quite challenging, and resulted in high competitor attrition. Of a total 56 starters in the ProRally event, only 23 finished. Of 18 ClubRally starters, only 14 and 10 finished the two divisional rallies.

Cherokee Trails was the second national event of the 2001 SCCA ProRally series, and was notable for being the first FIA listed ProRally event in years. Performance Rallying involves racing modified, but street-legal, automobiles against the clock over back-country public roads, closed for the event. All Performance Rally cars are equipped with safety devices such as roll-cages and safety harnesses, and are classified according to the degree of modification and engine power. Group 2 classification is for modified small-displacement non-turbo, two-wheel drive cars, and has been the classification for the vintage MGB of the RallyRhybuddRacing program. Beginning this year, the SCCA has added an Historic Class for the divisional ClubRally program, allowing limited modifications to pre-1973 rally cars. Cars eligible for Historic Class are marked with an "H" in addition to the regular classification marks. The team's MGBGT was initially constructed with period modifications, and was readily prepared to meet the Historic Class rules for the 2001 Performance Rally season. As no other Historic Class cars competed in the ClubRallies at Cherokee Trails, Team Paradox competed directly in their usual Group 2 classification in the two ClubRallies.

The RallyRhybuddRacing program was launched in 1997 by dedicated MG enthusiasts Phil and Dallas Smith, aka Team Paradox, to campaign an MG in the SCCA Performance Rally series. Two years were required to find and prepare a 1968 BGT for the rigors of Performance Rally. After obtaining their rally licenses at the Ski Sawmill Performance Rally school, Team Paradox made their ProRally debut at the Susquehannock Trails ProRally in 1999. As the Team's rally skills and car preparation knowledge increases, a more aggressive rally schedule has been pursued each year, and participation in most of the eastern ProRally events is planned for 2001. The RallyRhybuddRacing program receives assistance from several sources, including their newest sponsor, World Wide Auto Parts (www.nosimports.com).

For further information about RallyRhybuddRacing, Team Paradox, and the rally MGBGT, check out their website at www.rhybudd.com. Information about the SCCA Performance Rally series can be found at www.scca.com.

-Rally MGBGT

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Series SCCA