ProRally: Ojibwe Rally report


For Immediate Release Contact: Andy Schupack CLOSEST SCCA/MICHELIN PRO RALLY FINISH EVER TIGHTENS UP SERIES POINTS AS JOY UPSETS CHOINIERE AND MERRILL FOR OJIBWE FORESTS WIN BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Aug. 25 -- Looking more like a NASCAR last-lap shootout or the finals of a drag race than an SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally event, the 350-horsepower right-hand-drive Mitsubishi Lancer of Henry Joy and co- driver Michael Fennell broke away from the PRO Rally pack on the very last stage to steal a five-second win at the Ojibwe Forest PRO Rally here. Joy, from Atlanta, Michigan, captured his second overall PRO Rally win after entering the last stage in a flat-footed tie with the defending national champion entry of Paul Choiniere/John Buffum in a Hyundai Elantra and only one second ahead of the Ford Escort Cosworth of Carl Merrill/John Bellefleur Ford Escort Cosworth. "The turbo had come loose on an earlier stage, and we had re-attached the housing with baling wire, but I knew that if I didn't run the best stage of my life, I wouldn't have a chance to beat two fastest rally cars in America," said Joy, whose other win came last year at the Lake Superior PRO Rally in Houghton, Michigan. Merrill and Choiniere ran terrific last stages - good enough to have the second and third fastest times on the stage - but Joy beat them both (Merrill by three seconds and Choiniere by 11 seconds) to clinch the win. It was the closest top-three finish in the 24-year history of the series. All three drivers had relied on their service crews to keep their cars running to be in position for the last stage shootout. Besides Joy's turbo problems, Choiniere had been experiencing clutch difficulties causing him to need a push start before every stage, while Merrill had a broken wheel bearing as a result a roll earlier in the event. In the overall points, Choiniere now has 104, while Merrill has 91 and Selcuk Karamanogly 84. In the other classes, Selcuk Karamanoglu/Yorgi Bittner swept to victory in Production GT in their Eagle Talon, with Selcuk's victory enabling him to be the first driver to clinch a 1996 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally national class championship; Henry and Cindy Krolikowski were victorious in Group 5 in their Dodge Shadow for the third event in a row; Mike Whitman and Paula Gibeault won Group 2 in their Datsun 510, with Whitman closing in on a national title; and Jim Anderson/Anne Thomas won Production in their Honda Prelude VTEC. The 1996 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally Series consists of eleven events, and is sponsored by Michelin Tire Corporation, and sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America. The 1996 Ojibwe Forests PRO Rally was presented by the SCCA's Land 'O Lakes Region. The next event will be the Sunriser 400 PRO Rally in Chillicothe, Ohio, September 27 - 29. # # #

1996 Ojibwe Forests PRO Rally Round #7 - 1996 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally series Final Results - National Event Car Class/ Num. Driver/Home Town Navigator/Home Town Vehicle/Tires Time ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 Henry Joy IV Michael Fennell Mitsubishi Lancer E-2 Open Atlanta, MI Kingston, Jamaica Michelin 2:36.28 3 Carl Merrill John Bellefleur Ford Escort Cosworth Open Ogunquit, ME Thornhill, ONT Michelin 2:36.33 1 Paul Choiniere John Buffum Hyundai Elantra Open Shelburne, VT Colchester, VT Michelin 2:36.39 13 Selcuk Karamanoglu Yorgi Bittner Eagle Talon PGT Bath, ME Plain City, OH Michelin 2:43.16 15 Henry Krolikowski Cindy Krolikowski Dodge Shadow Group 5 Wyandotte, MI Wyandotte, MI Michelin 2:49.27 16 Ralph Kosmides Joe Noyes Toyota Supra Group 5 Newport Beach, CA Bothell, WA Michelin 2:52.51 14 Steve Gingras Bill Westrick Mitsubishi Eclipse PGT Elk River, MN Orion, MI Michelin 2:53.06 20 Jim Anderson Anne Thomas Honda Prelude VTEC Prod. Mebane, NC Nashua, NH Michelin 2:56.40 39 Mike Whitman Paula Gibeault Datsun 510 Group 2 Farmington, NM Ridgecrest, CA Michelin 2:58.53 19 Lon Peterson Bill Gutzmann Kia Sephia Prod. Victorville, CA Ontario, CA 3:00.20 29 Pete Lahm Jimmy Brandt Datsun 510 Group 2 Phoenix, AZ Lake Odessa, MI Michelin 3:00.25 96 Bruce Newey Matt Chester Toyota Celica Turbo Group 5 Atlanta, GA Atlanta, GA Michelin 3:17.52 10 Mike Hurst Lynn Dillion Porsche 911 Group 5 Pendleton, IN Evansville, INN Michelin 3:17.53 21 George Plsek Renn Phillips Saab 99 Group 5 Del Mar, CA Del Mar, CA 4:04.15 # # # Did_Not_Finish Reason 7 Cal Landau Eric Marcus Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX PGT Coraopolis, PA Dayton, OH Michelin Electrical 4 Sam Bryan Robinson Walden Saab 900 Turbo Group 5 Kent, WA Seattle, WA Michelin Crash 22 Al Kaumeheiwa Craig Sobczak Dodge Neon Prod. Brighton, MI Marquette, MI Throttle Sensor 23 Mark Larson Heather Cox Dodge Shelby Charger Group 5 Blaine, MN Spring Lake Park, MN Bridgestone Crash # # #

-- Ben Bradley *There are only two types of rally drivers: Those who HAVE rolled and those who WILL Portland, Oregon USA *Will co-drive for food... *89 323 GTX, 67 Cortina GT

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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , George Plsek , Ralph Kosmides , Joe Noyes , John Buffum , Jimmy Brandt , Jim Anderson