Lawless/Quinn Narrowly Win Rally New York USA Tom Lawless and Graham Quinn (in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) achieved victory by the slimmest of margins in Rally New York USA, the opening round of the 2006 U.S. Rally Championship. At the finish...
Lawless/Quinn Narrowly Win Rally New York USA
Tom Lawless and Graham Quinn (in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) achieved victory by the slimmest of margins in Rally New York USA, the opening round of the 2006 U.S. Rally Championship. At the finish they were a mere three seconds ahead of Seamus Burke/Chrissie Beavis (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo). The two teams finished also finished first and second in the Open 4 class, for extensively-modified, four-wheel-drive, turbocharged cars.
The special stage roads in the Catskill Mountains (only pavement, for the first time in this rally) were dry during Thursday's reconnaissance. But light to moderate rains began before the mid-Friday start in Monticello, and continued for most of the day. Many teams fitted wet-weather tires or made extra cuts on the treads of their dry rubber, some while the cars were in the display area before the start. But reigning national champion Lawless gambled that the roads would not deteriorate too badly and chose to stay on dry tires - incorrectly, as he would later admit. By the time that the teams reached the first service stop, Lawless was in second place, 29 seconds behind Burke (who won this event last Spring).
What followed was a classic rally, with the two teams trading fastest times on the special stages (speed tests), and with Lawless generally cutting into Burke's lead. By the time that the cars reached the overnight stop in Monticello, the gap was reduced to 24 seconds. Lawless continued to close on Saturday, under clearing, windy, cold conditions. Going into the last special stage on Saturday evening, he had reduced the deficit to eight seconds.
The tactical situation for co-drivers Quinn and Beavis was complicated by the presence of chicanes - composed of plastic barrels and cones - on the fastest stretches of road, to slow the cars. Because reconnaissance was conducted at "regular" road speed (per regulations), and the barrels and cones were NOT in place, the first time that competitors actually negotiated them was during the rally. Most of the top drivers knocked down a few markers, with a ten second penalty for each charged against their times.
On the final test, Lawless was once again fastest - by one second. But Burke nudged two markers on the stage, to Lawless's one, and that ten- second difference gave the rally to Lawless when they reached the finish line in Liberty.
David Anton/Robbie Durant (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) placed third overall and first in Group N (production), nearly four and a half minutes down on the top two, but comfortably ahead of the Open 4 class cars Matt Iorio/Jeremy Wimpey (Subaru Impreza) and Daniel O'Brien/Stephen Duffy (Subaru Impreza WRX STi). For Anton this was the first rally that he had driven with entirely paved special stages, and he admitted that he paced himself during the Friday rains. But his speed proved enough to earn a podium position at the end.
In the rally-within-the-rally for two-wheel-drive cars, Mark Lawrence/Robert Maciejski (Volkswagen Golf) were the winners by 16 seconds from Eric Burmeister/Dave Shindle (Mazda 3 turbo). Burmeister was in command on Friday night, but a penalty for an overly long service stop (when his crew had to change an axle joint) cost them first place. Bruce Davis/Jimmy Brandt (Dodge Neon SRT-4) finished third in the category.
Each of the two days of Rally New York USA counted as a round of the Eastern States Rally Championship, both of which were won by Lawless/Quinn. (Burke/Beavis were not entered in the divisional.) Second went to the up- and-coming team of Jeremy Drislane/Carl Williamson (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4), who were faster than the national cars on two special stages, and would have placed third overall in the national rally if they had entered it.
Rally New York USA
Monticello, New York
April 7-8, 2006
Results: <pre> Pos Driver Co-driver Car Pos Class 1 Tom Lawless Graham Quinn Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1st O4 2 Seamus Burke Chrissie Beavis Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 2nd O4 3 David Anton Robbie Durant Subaru Impreza WRX STi 1st Group N 4 Matt Iorio Jeremy Wimpey Subaru Impreza 3rd O4 5 Daniel O'Brien Stephen Duffy Subaru ImprezaWRX STi 4th O4 6 Brian Scott John Dillon Subaru Impreza WRX STi 5th O4 7 Otis Dimiters Alan Ockwell Subaru Impreza WRX STi 2nd Group N 8 Mark Lawrence Robert Maciejski Volkswagen Golf 1st 2wd, 1st O2 9 Eric Burmeister Dave Shindle Mazda 3 turbo 2nd 2wd, 2nd O2 10 George Georgakopoulos Faruq Mays Subaru Impreza WRX 6th O4 11 Bruce Davis Jimmy Brandt Dodge Neon SRT-4 3rd 2wd, 3rd O2 12 Brian Street Dave Weiman Toyota Celica 1st SS
Reason DNF Craig Studnicky Jeffrey Hagan Toyota Celica drive shaft DNF Patrick Farrell Bernard Farrell Subaru Impreza transmission DNF Hampton Bridwell Joshua Katinger Toyota Celica Alltrac rolled