Susquehannock Trails ProRally to host Vintage competition May 31-June 1, 2002 Wellsboro, PA Two of the first rally cars to compete under the new SCCA Historic Class rules will be competing in the upcoming Susquehannock Trails ProRally, to be...
Susquehannock Trails ProRally to host Vintage competition
May 31-June 1, 2002
Two of the first rally cars to compete under the new SCCA Historic Class rules will be competing in the upcoming Susquehannock Trails ProRally, to be held in forests surrounding Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, on May 31-June 1, 2002. While ProRally events are not formal hosts to Historic Class competitions, the vintage rally MGBGT of Team Paradox / RallyRhybuddRacing and Red Mist Rallysport's Datsun 510 will be battling it out on the stages, not only in the ProRally Group 2 competition, but also for the informal top honors among the Historic Class cars appearing at this rally
At a pre-event press conference, driver Phil Smith of Team Paradox said, "This is only the second year of Historic Class, so we're still working on building the visibility of the class. Both the Red Mist team and our team have really enjoyed this rally in the past, and are looking forward to our own informal competition with each other. MGBs were never really developed for rallying by the factory, whereas the 510s were popular rally cars in the early days of STPR. We think we have developed the MG to the point where we can give Red Mist some good competition." Added Dan Cook from Red Mist Rallysport, "STPR is an incredibly popular rally. Both of our teams have found that the vintage rally cars are popular with the spectators. And the 510 is especially relevant at this rally, since the first STPR was won by Eric Jones in a 510. Phil and Dallas will give us a good run, so we're really looking forward to it." While fierce competitors on the stages, both teams are on very friendly terms, and following the interviews retired to the local pub for a pint, where development of the Historic Class was considered in earnest. There is rumor of discussion of creation of a special traveling Historic Class trophy to be awarded to the best performance at each ProRally event. If this comes to fruition, STPR will be the likely first site of its award.
Both cars are starting well back in the pack, at positions 79 and 80 for the MG and the Datsun. It is widely believed this was done to avoid diverting attention from the high-dollar, and very sponsor-sensitive WRX/Evo/Hyundai parade comprising the first half of the starting field of 90 cars. According to Bill Rhodes, "Well, you run an Historic Class car, you just gotta have thick skin. If the organizers didn't put those fancy new machines right up there in front, those boys would probably just take their ball and go home" and the event can't afford to lose that financial backing. Both teams are confident that loyal Datsun and MG enthusiasts as well as vintage rally fans will stand their spectator grounds and cheer on the Historic cars.
Red Mist Rallysport campaigns a 1969 Datsun 510 sedan. These cars were among the most successful rally cars in the early days of SCCA Pro Rally. This car was originally built and successfully rallied by Pete Lahm, and came to Red Mist Racing two years ago. Since then it has had a strong history in Performance Rally. Stage times continue to drop as the Team gains more experience with this car. Web users will find more information about Red Mist Rallysport at www.redmistrallysport.com.
Team Paradox created RallyRhybuddRacing in 1998 to build and campaign an MGBGT in SCCA Performance Rally. Over the past three seasons, the Team has continually improved their 1968 MG and their own skills, culminating in winning the Central Division's Group 2 honors in 2001. They were also the winners of the first official Historic Class competition, held at the 100 Acre Wood ClubRally in February 2002. The Team's website is www.rhybudd.com.
SCCA Performance Rally is the premier stage rally series in the United States. In this form of rallying, competitors race against the clock over closed forest roads. The routes are unknown to the competitors until shortly before the start of the rally, and no practice is allowed. The ProRally series is a nine event series of rallies across the country; the ClubRally series' are the regional rallies, and tend to be somewhat smaller events. Further information about SCCA Performance Rally can be found at the SCCA website, www.SCCA.org. Further information about the Susquehannock Trails ProRally is found at www.stpr.org.