RUMFORD, Maine - The Metalmarks Rally Team was well on the way to another Group 5 victory at the Maine Forest ProRally when an errant rock caused an oil leak that eventually sidelined their Volkswagen Golf on a stage. At the end of Friday night's...
RUMFORD, Maine - The Metalmarks Rally Team was well on the way to another Group 5 victory at the Maine Forest ProRally when an errant rock caused an oil leak that eventually sidelined their Volkswagen Golf on a stage. At the end of Friday night's four stages, Driver Chris Havas and Co-driver Dave Kean had built up a lead of one minute, 36 seconds, over the next Group 5 competitor, Doug Shepherd in a Dodge SRT-4. Some of that lead came when Shepherd had a front tire blow out that cost him nearly a minute on Stage Three. Havas had a tire go flat on Stage Two, but it was near the end of the stage and did not cost the team much time.
"I haven't pushed that hard in a long time and our stage times showed it," said Metalmarks driver and owner Chris Havas. "The car felt good and we were in good spirits at the end of each stage. With that much of a lead, maybe I should have eased off a bit, but we were having too much fun."
The problem occurred on Stage Five, the first of Saturday's stages, when a rock creased the oil pan and pushed it into the oil pump gear, which created a small hole in the pan. There was a quick service between Stages Five and Six, but not enough time to make repairs. They added oil and carried extra with them, but the oil pressure light came on only a couple of miles into Stage Six, so they pulled off the road to save the engine.
After Havas and Kean retired, Shepherd and co-driver Pete Gladyz went on to win Group 5.
With the SCCA Group 5 championship now out of reach for this season, the Metalmarks Team is considering a run at Rallye International Charlevoix in Quebec, Canada, in October. They may contest the SCCA Lake Superior ProRally in October, however, the two events are only a couple of days between the finish of one and the start of the other, so they won't enter both.