Maine Forest PRO Rally Round ...
Maine Forest PRO Rally Round #6 - 1998 Michelin PRO Rally Championship Rumford, Maine Press Notes #2 - Thursday, July 30 - 9:00 PM EDT
5. A couple of late DNS (did not start): --Defending Maine Forest Rally champions (summer and winter '97) Frank and Dan Sprongl and the Audi Dealer Team Castrol entry will be a scratch for the forthcoming Maine Summer Rally. The team's sponsorship arrangements are for Canada only, and they have not been able to complete negotiations to expand their program to include all of the U.S. rounds of the North American Rally Cup in time for Maine. The team hopes to have arrangements in place in time for the next event in Minnesota, and to be able to complete the SCCA calendar.
--The Dean Panton Hyundai Elantra, which ran well until a crimped exhaust put it out of the rally at STPR, will not make it to this event as the big Trinidad rally is coming up next week, and the Jamaican team needs time to prepare for that event.
6. After its shunt at STPR, the Bruce Newey Toyota Celica will take the rest of the season off in order to gear up for a yet-to-be finalized new effort for 1999.
7. Every year, Gary Webb's Atlantic Driving School puts on a TSD rally for local charities, and this year, 17 entries competed for prizes in three classes as well as two sets of Michelin tires. Howard and Patti Mikkelsen from Harrison, Maine, were the overall winners with just nine points, with Fred and Jessica Maplebeck - last year's winners - from Salem, NH, second with 12 points. The tires were won by Andrew Sylvester, of Livermore, Maine, and Walter Pulkkinen, of Minot, Maine.
8. Carl Merrill brought the series-leading Ford Escort Cosworth in on Thursday to give rides to the Mead Publishing Papers executives on one of the stages not being used for this year's event. After two rides, Merrill lost fourth gear and developed turbo problems - giving his service crew a busy night before the real rally begins.
9. Many of the early-season, West Coast drivers who have forged early points leads have made the trip to Maine - unlike previous years when the East Coasters have taken over the classes at this point. Trevor Donison, leader in the Production class in his Plymouth Neon ACR, has made the trip from Vancouver, Washington, to try to lengthen his lead of 34 points, while Lee Shadbolt, from Tigard, Oregon, will try to build on his six point lead in Production GT earned in his Subaru Impreza. Dave White, from Benicia, California, has a ten point lead in Group 2 in a VW GTI over Bill Malik's Volvo 240 (from Burbank, California - both are here. Finally, Ralph Kosmides' Toyota Supra, from Newport Beach, California, will try to build on its 11-point lead in Group 5. The only leader not from the West Coast is Carl Merrill, the overall points leader. # # #