ProRally: Ojibwe Forests Saturday Notes

47.) Jim Anderson and Martin Dapot hit a rock hard and cracked the skidplate on their Group 5 Honda Prelude VTEC. They hope that it will last to the end of the event, but are seeking a TIG welder to make repairs. 48.) Scores for...

47.) Jim Anderson and Martin Dapot hit a rock hard and cracked the skidplate on their Group 5 Honda Prelude VTEC. They hope that it will last to the end of the event, but are seeking a TIG welder to make repairs. 48.) Scores for day one will not be posted this evening. They will be made available in the morning. 49.) At the end of the first day Noel Lawler and Charlie Bradley were all smiles, just as they were at Wild West, which they won. Running first-on-the-road, they had no issues with the sporadic dust that hounded people behind them. Lawler figured that the great duel they had with the Sprongls in Maine brought both teams up a notch. They had a great battle all evening. The gap is about a minute back to the Sprongls’Audi. 50.) The Sprongls had very little drama. Their thermostat failed and the car ran a bit hot, but they took care of that by flipping a manual fan switch. They, too, made the switchover to HID lighting and are very pleased with the big improvement. 51.) The flower in the New Beetle this weekend is a yellow gladiola. The organizers brought navigator Gail McGuire a single long stalk of gladiolas prior to the start. She selected a nice bloom, put it in the Beetle’s bud vase and put the remainder in water for day two. 52.) McGuire and driver Karl Scheible are doing very well. They’re leading Production by about a minute over Jay Kowalik and Carl Lindquist in the Honda Civic HX, the only car in the rally with a continuously variable transmission. 53.) The drama Andrew Havas had getting his new Mazda Rx-7 ready for this event continued through the long tow from North Carolina and right into the parking lot of headquarters. The crew was still completing last-minute items just a couple of minutes before the start. Fortunately, things went relatively well once Havas and Scott Slingerland left the start. 54.) Bob Nielsen and Brenda Corneliusen had a bit of an adventure as they started Stage 5. Their Group 2 Volkswagen Golf GTi suddenly lost its driving lights about a mile into the stage. They proceeded with the stock headlights, but then the fuse panel began sparking. Neilsen pulled a fuse to check it and dropped it. Then it was totally dark. Cornieliusen leaped out of the car, ready to set out their hazard triangles, but Neilsen installed a new fuse got them underway again in about a minute. 55.) Eager rally enthusiasts following Ojibwe Forests probably are wondering about the lack of press notes concerning former national champions Paul Choiniere and John Buffum, who are together this weekend in Choiniere’s Hyundai Tiburon. Returning to headquarters after the first night of competition, Choiniere jokingly remarked that “it was completely boring”…just as teammate Noel Lawler walked up behind him and loudly said, “except that I’m going much faster than Paul, of course.” Choiniere and Buffum had no offs and the car is running great. 56.) Production Class leader Karl Scheible reports that the Light Performance Works crew has gotten so good at suspension work on the new-style Beetle that they were able to switch the springs and shocks on all four corners in just 14 minutes. 57.) Eric Burmeister and Mark Buskirk are going to have to baby their Group 2 Volkswagen Golf GTi today. The clutch began slipping halfway through Friday’s activities. Now, they’ll have to rely on the Coke-and-flour trick to keep things moving. Eric’s father, Art, and co-driver Randy Moore withdrew from the event earlier in the week when Eric’s grandfather had a mild stoke. He is doing well now. 58.) While we’re on clutch problems, Andrew Havas stopped by to say that he’s lost the throwout bearing in his Rx-7 and will have to run day two without using the clutch. 59.) Kunihiko “Ken” Shimizu from Falken Tires is here this weekend observing the rally with the Tony Takaori/Ken Cassidy team (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III), the lone Falken-shod entry in the field. Mr. Shimizu is the technical field service manager for Falken. 60.) Jim Anderson has been making a strong showing this weekend, and credits his new motor and suspension for it. This has made for a close race in Group 5, with the top 3 teams within 2 minutes of each other. 61.) We haven’t given any background on where the event is taking place, so here goes: The rally running in both the Paul Bunyan and White Earth State Forests. These forests are both very close to Lake Itaska, which is the start of the Mississippi River. The event organizers have a great relationship with the local park service and hope to run here for many years to come. 62.) Due to a road blockage, Stage 3 on Friday has been thrown out for ClubRally competitors. The effect on ProRally competitors has not yet been issued. 63.) The Group 5 Rx-7 of Mike Hurst and Rob Bohn that broke a transmission in day one is back up and running for day two. The team was able to find a transmission locally and installed it in time to take the start for the second day’s festivities. 64.) Brian Scott and David Watts’ PGT Eagle Talon retired on the way to Stage 1 today, when their spare alternator expired. They had been looking forward to a fun day and were quite disappointed to be out before the day really got going. 65.) Richard and Brian Pilczuk rolled their Volkswagen Golf GTi about halfway through today’s first stage. The car was unable to continue, but not too badly damaged. 66.) Near the end of Stage 1 the Audi quattro of Robert and James Burtis hit a dip at high speed and smashed an intake pipe on their turbo. This stalled the car immediately. With the assistance of several spectators who helped push the inoperable car several hundred feet up the hilly road they were able to finish the stage. They then pieced the car back together well enough to drive it back in, but unfortunately their day was done. 67.) Several teams that returned early have commented on the dust, saying it has been worse today than it was yesterday, causing them to slow up in places. 68.) The Group 5 Mazda Rx-7 of Jim Dale and Robert Logue lost both fuel pumps on Stage 1 and was unable to continue. They were towed out and fixed the car, but at that point it was too late for them to continue. 69.) Seamus Burke’s PGT Mitsubishi Galant broke on its way out of the service stop and withdrew. More information later. 70.) The international team of Tony Takaori and Ken Cassidy is out. They got airborne on a jump, left the road and hit some massive rocks on Stage 2, destroying both rims on the left side of the car. They stopped and put the spare on and then finished the stage on one flat, but the crew was unable to get to them with another spare before they were time barred. 71.) The Honda Civic of Jay Kowalik and Carl Lindquist broke early into the day’s action and has withdrawn.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Seamus Burke , Ken Cassidy , Eric Burmeister , John Buffum , Brian Scott , Jim Anderson