Styles Gets Win But Richard Gets Championship at Colorado Cog Dodge Wraps Up Manufacturers' Title STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 26, 2004) -- Leon Styles knew going into the Colorado Cog ProRally that making a comeback in the Overall Drivers...
Styles Gets Win But Richard Gets Championship at Colorado Cog
Dodge Wraps Up Manufacturers' Title
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (Sept. 26, 2004) -- Leon Styles knew going into the Colorado Cog ProRally that making a comeback in the Overall Drivers Point Championship was going to be difficult, with winning Cog being step one in that direction.
Thanks to turning in fast stage times on five of the final seven special stages, Styles leaped to the front of the pack and never looked back, earning the second ProRally victory of the season and of his career.
He got the win but unfortunately for him, Pat Richard only needed second to clinch and he got it, barely.
At the post-rally technical inspection, Richard's 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX was originally disqualified by SCCA officials for incorrect positioning of the car's intercooler spray bottle per FIA Group N rules. Richard protested the disqualification and the decision was reversed by a hearing committee, giving the second-place finish needed to clinch the Championship back to Richard.
The win was bittersweet for Styles, and co-driver John Dillon, as they ruled the Colorado roads Sunday in Styles' 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, only to see Richard and his sister, Nathalie, overcome a rapidly failing engine in Richard's WRX and clinch the Championship for Pat. Peter Workum and co-driver Alex Gelsomino wound up third, 12 seconds behind the Richards in Workum's 2002 Subaru WRX.
"Colorado has been good to us," Styles said, referring to Cog and his team's win at Pikes Peak in June. "We just pushed everything aside, forgot everything else and pushed harder and harder throughout today. And the harder we pushed, the more comfortable the car felt."
With the win, Styles earned 22 points (one point each for a start and finish and 20 for winning) and bumped his total up to 86. However, Richard came into the weekend with 94 points and earned 17 more for his efforts, pushing his total to 111, three more than Styles' potential maximum with one event remaining.
ProRally veterans Doug Shepherd and co-driver Pete Gladysz admittedly pushed their Group 5 Mopar Dodge 2004 Dodge SRT-4 as hard as it would go all weekend long, even taking the stage win on Special Stage Nine, and earned fourth overall with the Group 5 win, just over a minute behind Workum/Gelsomino.
Shepherd's suitcase may not pass security on the way home considering the amount of hardware he and Gladysz amassed. Shepherd wrapped up the Woodner Cup, given to the top 2WD driver of the year, and the Manufacturers' Championship for Dodge in addition to the Group 5 title he earned after Ojibwe Forests.
Gladysz earned the Overall 2WD Co-Drivers' crown and the Group 5 Co-Drivers' Championship with the results this weekend.
Behind Richard in Group N, Mark Utecht and co-driver Jeff Secor were second in Utecht's Cel-Cool Subaru WRX, finishing sixth overall. The Californian husband-and-wife tandem of Wolfgang Hoeck and co-driver Julie Lin managed a third-place finish while overcoming Lin's occasional bouts of car sickness.
Honors for the weekend's tightest class battle went to Group 2 as Group 2 Drivers' Point Champion Mark Brown, with co-driving champion Ole Holter, scored a top ten finish and won the class by 11 seconds over Brooks Freehill and co-driver Sean Elliot. The two went toe-to-toe all weekend, exchanging the lead back and forth before Brown/Holter took control for good by winning the final two stages. Craig Hollingsworth, with co-driver Jason Grahn, finished a little more than a minute behind Freehill/Elliot.
Though they didn't finish, thanks to a multiple-tree mishap on SS6 late Saturday, the weekend was a good one still for Production class competitors Mark Tabor and co-driver Kevin Poirier as they wrapped up the Production Championship.
The Lake Superior ProRally is set for October 22-23 in Houghton, Mich., and signals the end of the 2004 SCCA ProRally Championship Presented by Hot Wheels® slate. For information about this event, or information regarding the entire Championship, visit www.scca.com.
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