ProRally: Maine Forest ProRally Friday Notes, Part Two

Maine Forest ProRally 15.) Moving on to other topics, 70 cars started the ProRally this afternoon on Rumford's main street, driving under an impressive arch formed by the aerial ladders of two big "hook-and-ladder" fire trucks from the...

Maine Forest ProRally

15.) Moving on to other topics, 70 cars started the ProRally this afternoon on Rumford's main street, driving under an impressive arch formed by the aerial ladders of two big "hook-and-ladder" fire trucks from the local communities. Canadian National Champions Frank and Dan Sprongl led the big field away with their Audi quattro S2. They were followed by current series points leaders Noel Lawler and Charlie Bradley, in their Hyundai Tiburon, and Blomqvist, in the ex-Merrill Escort Cosworth. 16.) However, sitting forlornly back at the headquarters hotel --- with the freshly installed number 1 shining on its doors in the afternoon sun --- was the Hyundai Elantra that was to have been driven by defending series champion David Summerbell. The transmission problems mentioned earlier proved to be insurmountable, and the car never moved. Libra Racing had considered a mad dash back to their Vermont headquarters to get Paul Choiniere's new Tiburon, but there wasn't enough time when they realized how serious the problem was. 17.) As teams began arriving earlier in the week, there was some concern that the severe drought here in the Northeast would mean that this event would be the third-consecutive "dust" event this year. However, a serious rain storm passed through the area in the middle of the night, about 12 hours prior to the start. It very effectively ended the likelihood of any dust problems. 18.) One naturally occurring element of the area that isn't going to go away is the large moose population. This entire portion of the Northeast is practically alive with warning signs for moose crossings --- and they aren't kidding. The largest member of the deer family is quite abundant here, and they are perhaps the largest in the world. Locals say that a big bull can weigh 1700 lbs. (800 kg). 19.) In a way, the presence of so many moose may make Blomqvist feel right at home. They are so common in Sweden that, at one time, one traffic accident in five involved hitting a moose. They call them "elk" over there, but they're still the same animal; only the name is different. (They call our elk "wapiti," which is their real name anyhow.) We're mentioning moose here because one was seen on Stage 1 yesterday morning. 20.) Dean Fry and Don Kennedy are looking for great things this weekend from a new engine in their very reliable Open Class Subaru Legacy. It^Òs a 2.2-liter non-turbo unit with high-lift, long-duration cams and extensive head work. This is matched up to a new custom exhaust system. 21.) The rally is run exclusively on private lands owned by paper and timber companies. The majority of the roads are owned by Mead Paper, whose publishing paper group and Rumford mill are going out of their way to help this event and make rallyists feel welcome here. The remaining roads have been provided through the courtesy of International Paper and Seven Islands. 22.) Noel Lawler is sporting some additional new sponsorship on his Hyundai Tiburon this weekend. Snap-On Tools, which has major involvement with several other forms of motorsports, has made its first sizable move in ProRally. They have teamed up with our current points leader, forming a relationship which both sides expect to grow in the near future. 23.) The initial reports have come in from the first pair of stages -- which are actually the same road run in opposite directions -- and things aren^Òt going well for some of the nicer cars in the field. Production GT leader Gail Truess had a big ^Óoff^Ô a mile into Stage 1 and is out of the event. Early reports are that she went off backwards, hit a tree and then flipped at least once before coming to rest upside down in a ditch ^Ö- narrowly missing a photographer who was wisely positioned behind a stout tree. She and Pam McGarvey were unhurt. Reports are that just about the first words from Gail after she climbed out of the car were, ^ÓDid you get it!?^Ô Apparently, the photographer^Òs response was, ^ÓNo.^Ô 24.) George Plsek and Renn Phillips have retired their Audi quattro with a blow head gasket. This happened on Stage 2. 25.) Demetrios Andreou and John Bellefleur are said to have had a hard crash within sight of the finish of Stage 2. Apparently, Andreou missed the downhill 90-degree left turn leading onto the final quarter mile of the stage. Reports are that the car went straight across the road, cleared a small bank and ended up in a ditch with the front end pushed in significantly. 26.) Ivan and Olga Orisek have retired their Open Class Audi quattro after the engine abruptly quit. Prior to that time, they had been experiencing overheating, but they are unsure of the cause that put them out. 27.) Leslie Suddard and Marc Goldfarb have retired their Group 5 Dodge Charger after severely damaging their right-rear suspension. If they can locate a rear axle, they intend to make repairs and run in the ClubRally tomorrow. 28.) The Open Class Subaru Impreza WRX of Bill Driegert and Claire Chizma is thought to have done some landscaping a time or two. One of our press assistants reported that he saw it sporting fresh greenery more than once. 29.) Chris Havas and Eric Tremblay lost the grill on their six-speed Group 2 Volkswagen Golf GTi early on. However, not long after that they retired the car when the rubber vibration-damping portion of their crankshaft pulley failed. That would have left them with no way to drive the belt that turns the alternator and water pump. This came about two miles into Stage 2. 30.) Jim Anderson and Martin Dapot also are through for the event. On Stage 2 they encountered a "yump" that was bigger than it appeared. The resulting hard landing failed their right-front shock absorber, and they had to retire their pretty yellow Group 5 Honda Prelude. 31.) Reports from the first two stages suggest that Mike Hurst and Rob Bohn are having gear-selection problems with their Group 5 Mazda Rx-7. 32.) It appears that Bill Malik and Christian Edstrom are having engine or ignition problems in their Group 2 Volvo 240. The engine is reported to be running well at times, but sputtering and stuttering at others. 33.) Garen and Doc Shrader are said to have had two spins in the early stages with their Open Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV. 34.) It seems that Karl Scheible and Gail McGuire now have a real challenge on their hands, if they are to give their Volkswagen New Beetle its third-straight Production Class win. Both front shocks failed in the early going, and the resulting problems have put them about two and a half minutes back of first place. 35.) Ted and Lise Mendham have had to change the right-rear shock on their Nissan Sentra SE-R, apparently as the result of damage sustained on the second pair of stages. 36.) Mike White and Mike Ronan are experiencing an unexplained partial loss of power in their Group 2 SAAB 99 Gli. 37.) Donal Mulleady and John O'Reilly lost the skidplate of their Production GT Mazda 323 GTX on Stage 4. 38.) Stage 6, which was to have been the final stage of the evening, has been cancelled, because communications in the area were judged to be spotty. Competitors transited the stage and returned to Rumford to end the evening's activities. 39.) Scores at the end of the first day do not show any surprises at the front of the field. Blomqvist and Smith are first overall in the Ford Escort Cosworth, with a time of 37:28. The Sprongls are second, at 38:94, in their Audi quattro S2. Lawler and Bradley are third in their Hyundai Tiburon, with a 39:81. 40.) Jon Nichols and Mike Koch are a surprising seventh overall in their Group 2 Volkswagen Golf GTi, with a time of 41:78. Bill Malik and Christian Edstrom are second in their Volvo 240, 11th overall, at 42:92. 41.) Seamus Burke and Mark Williams are the surprise Production GT leaders in their Mitsubishi Galant VR4, ninth overall with a 42:26. Cal Landau and Eric Marcus are breathing down their necks in 10th with their Mitsubishi Eclipse, at 42:87. 42.) Henry and Cindy Krolikowski have the lead in Group 5, 14th overall in their Dodge Shadow, at 44:14. Mike Hurst and Rob Bohn are a mere 4.2 seconds behind in their Mazda Rx7, at 44.21. 43.) Ted and Lise Mendham are tops in the Production Class with their Nissan Sentra SE-R, at 44:91. Evan Moen and Tom Young are second in their Plymouth Neon ACR, at 45:53. 44.) Detailed times for all competitors will be posted shortly on the rally's website -- In meantime, it is possible to view them on the scoring team's own website -- 45.) Reports will resume after the restart, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

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Series SCCA
Drivers George Plsek , Bill Malik , Christian Edstrom , Seamus Burke , Jon Nichols , Marc Goldfarb , Mark Williams , Lise Mendham , Jim Anderson
Teams Williams