ProRally: D&N Bank Lake Superior Thursday Notes

D&N Bank Lake Superior PRO Rally The Ottawa Divisional PRO Rally The Auto Value Keweenaw Challenge Divisional PRO Rally Round ...

D&N Bank Lake Superior PRO Rally The Ottawa Divisional PRO Rally The Auto Value Keweenaw Challenge Divisional PRO Rally Round #8 - 1998 Michelin PRO Rally Championship October 23-24, 1998 10/21/98 - 11:30 PM

1. Welcome to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the 5th running of the D&N Bank Lake Superior PRO Rally (the 25th running of a PRO Rally in the Upper Peninsula, and the 51st running of some sort of rally event (Press on Regardless, Marquette 1000, etc.). The weather, which has brought snow and sleet to this event in the past, promises to be seasonably cool, but not cold, with highs in the mid-'50s and lows in the high '30s F, but little or no precipitation forecast. The route is contained in an area 75 miles south and 50 miles north of Houghton, Michigan, which includes land in the Ottawa National Forest; Houghton, Ontonagon, Iron and Keweenaw Counties. The national event has a total of 450 miles (143 stage, 307 transit). The Ottawa Divisional on Friday is 277 miles (98 stage miles, 179 transit), and the Keweenaw Challenge Divisional on Saturday is 174 miles (45 stage, 129 transit). Road surfaces are rough, smooth, straight, twisty, sand, gravel & hard packed dirt.

2. This is also the last event of the season for the 1998 Michelin PRO Rally Championship - the first time the season has ended in Houghton in more than 10 years. Several years ago, the SCCA PRO Rally Board decided to vary the schedule so that each section of the country would get to host a final awards banquet. The season ended in Shelton, Washington, in 1996; Rumford, Maine, in 1997; and here in '98. We will review the championship points chase by class shortly, but all eyes will be focused on the overall championship, where David Summerbell, of Kingston, Jamaica, only needs to finish sixth or better to unseat Paul Choiniere, from Shelburne, Vermont, as the perennial PRO Rally champion. Choiniere has won the drivers' title since 1992, and must win or finish second in his Hyundai Tiburon to have any chance for his seventh straight championship.

3. For those who follow the series on TV, here is the list of which events are running when on ESPN2 (all times listed are Eastern):

Ojibwe Forests Rally - Tuesday, October 27, 6:30 PM Wednesday, October 28, 5:00 AM Prescott Forest Rally - Sunday, November 15, 7:30 PM Thursday, November 19 3:30 AM D&N Bank Lake Superior Rally - Sunday, November 29 - 7:30 PM

4. A late call from Eric Marcus, owner of the Dominos Pizza PGT Mitsubishi Eclipse, let the organizer know that their service vehicle has broken down in Ohio, and will not make it to the event. Driver Cal Landau, with Marcus as his co-driver, won the Production class national title in 1991, and the Production GT championship in 1996. In Production GT, the '97 champions Steve Gingras/Bill Westrick will try to overcome a one point deficit in their Eagle Talon against the Lee Shadbolt/Paul Eklund Subaru Impreza. Whoever can finish in front of the other will win the '98 class title.

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