Oh Canada! Richard gets first national win at Sno*Drift HILLMAN, Mich. (Jan. 31, 2004) -- Canadian Group N competitor Patrick Richard bided his time on Day One, started first on the road Saturday and then cruised in for the victory at Sno*Drift,...
Oh Canada! Richard gets first national win at Sno*Drift
HILLMAN, Mich. (Jan. 31, 2004) -- Canadian Group N competitor Patrick Richard bided his time on Day One, started first on the road Saturday and then cruised in for the victory at Sno*Drift, Round One of the 2004 SCCA ProRally Championship.
Ireland's Seamus Burke, with co-driver Charlie Bradley, held on to second place for much of Saturday before giving way to late hard-charger and fellow-Irishman Shane Mitchell. Mitchell, last year's SCCA ProRally Group N Champion, turned in the fastest times over the last three stages with co-driver Paul Donnelly in Mitchell's 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX in overtaking Burke. The weekend was a success for Burke even though he didn't win the event overall as he placed first in Open class competiton.
The Open class American duo of driver Dennis Martin and co-driver Kim Demotte was solid all weekend finishing fourth, and the husband-and-wife tandem of Henry and Cindy Krolikowski gave Group N three of the top five spots with their fifth-place finish.
Although Richard, with co-driver Brian Maxwell, only won one stage out of the first seven on Friday, he still started first on the road Saturday in his Group N 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX and ran fast when he had to - posting the fastest times on four of the event's 11 final stages.
"I've done a lot of snow rallies and I know that one mistake can cost you," said Richard, whose overall time (1 hr., 55 min. and 57 sec.) beat Mitchell by one minute. "Early on, we wanted to shadow the others and find out what they were doing. We went a little too slow early (Saturday), but the thing with this rally is the short stages. No one can sneak up on you. I pushed and picked up time on Seamus on stages six and 13 after he got some good times and that got us the win I think.
"It's my first National win and I'm proud of that." Richard added. "It's also the first National win for Brian (Maxwell) and the first win overall by a Group N car in a while. I'm also really proud of my crew."
Mopar Dodge driver Doug Shepherd, with co-driver Pete Gladysz, turned in the best Two-Wheel Drive performance of the weekend, finishing first in Group 5 and seventh overall in Shepherd's Dodge SRT-4. Otis Dimiters, with co-driver Peter Monin, snared the first Production GT win of 2004 while also nabbing a top 10 finish overall in Dimiters' 1999 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS.
Shepherd's Mopar Dodge teammate, Chris Whiteman, began his Group 2 title defense with a class win and 17th-place finish overall in Whiteman's 2003 Dodge Neon SXT. Jon Hamilton, with co-driver Ken Sabo, finished first in Production class competition and ended up 18th overall in Hamilton's 2000 Volkswagen Golf TDI.
Round Two of the 2004 SCCA ProRally Championship sets its sights on the western United States as the caravan heads to Hillsboro, Ore., for the Oregon Trail Rally, Apr. 23-25.
For more information about the SCCA and the SCCA ProRally Championship, visit www.scca.com.
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