ProRally: Oregon Trail: Notes of interest, schedule

SCCA ProRally Championship Round 5 - Oregon Trail TOPEKA, Kan. - Fifth round of nine for the 2003 season. Over 85 SCCA and FIA Performance Rally cars from across North America and the world will compete on demanding gravel roads along the ...

SCCA ProRally Championship Round 5 - Oregon Trail

TOPEKA, Kan. - Fifth round of nine for the 2003 season. Over 85 SCCA and FIA Performance Rally cars from across North America and the world will compete on demanding gravel roads along the mountainous terrain of the Oregon coast range. While temperatures are expected to be in the moderate 80s for the Rally, severely dry conditions have caused an extreme fire danger in the area, prompting local fire enforcement to place a ban on all outdoor open flames, including smoking, for the event. The teams who climbed Pikes Peak two weeks ago will be in familiar driving environments as stages climb from sea level up to 3000 feet elevation and back again. This rally event is sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America, Inc., (SCCA) through its Northwest and Oregon Regions.

When & Where:

* July 12-13, 2003; starting from Hillsboro, Oregon; approx. 20 miles west of downtown Portland, Oregon. Rally crosses the high country of the Coastal Ranges. The 3,000-ft. elevation change makes it second-highest in the series in that department, behind only Pikes Peak. Time zone at event: Pacific Daylight Time (same as Los Angeles).

Schedule:

1:00 PM -- 6:00 PM
Scrutineering -- Royal Moore Subaru, 1225 SE Enterprise Circle; Hillsboro

7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM
Welcome Party -- Hors d'Oeuvres / No Host Bar : Cascade Ballroom

Saturday, July 12

9:00 AM -- 10:00 AM
Parc Expose -- Hillsboro Stadium : 4400 NW 229th in Hillsboro

10:00 AM
First car starts Day 1 of Oregon Trail ProRally -- Hillsboro Stadium (approx.) 11:53 AM

First car to Vernonia Service Park #1 (approx.) 2:19 PM

First car to Vernonia Service Park #2 (approx.) 4:42 PM

First car to Vernonia Service Park #3 (approx.) 7:28 PM

First car to Vernonia School grounds 8:48 PM (approx.)

First car finishes Day 1 of Oregon Trail ProRally -- West Coast Hotel

Sunday, July 13

10:00 AM
First car starts Day 2 of Oregon Trail ProRally -- Tillamook Fairgrounds (approx.) 3:38 PM

First car to Service Station at Tillamook Fairgrounds (approx.) 3:38 PM

First car finishes Oregon Trail Rally (approx.) 5:38 PM

End of OTR (approx.) 7:30 PM

Provisional Scores Posted (approx.) 8:00 PM

Awards at Hillsboro Stadium

Event Rank:

* Drivers and Co-Drivers earn points towards the national championship, and supporting manufacturers (Mitsubishi, Subaru, Dodge & Mazda) earn points towards overall and class Championships.

* There will also be two SCCA ClubRally events for regionally based teams.

Selected entries (driver/co-driver):

*         David Higgins returns in an attempt to win his third straight
Oregon Trail Rally.  Last year, the Wales native teamed up with Chris
Patterson, of the UK, in a 2002 Subaru WRX to take the win.  This year,

Higgins is with co-driver Daniel Barritt in a 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The two have paired up to win three out of four ProRally Championship events this season, including the first three of the year. Higgins (66) and Barritt (66) lead the overall points championships for both driver and co-driver, respectively.

* Subaru Rally Team USA's Mark Lovell will try to continue his winning ways after grabbing first at Pikes Peak two weeks ago in his 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX with co-driver Roger Freeman. Oregon Trail has been tricky for Lovell, where he finished on the podium in 2002, but failed to complete the rally last year.

* British driver Jonny Milner will not be alongside co-driver Duncan McMath at this event. After serving a one-race suspension and being cleared to compete, Milner has decided to concentrate his efforts on the British Rally Championship circuit. Julian Reynolds, of Wales, will drive the Team Dynamics Subaru Impreza WRX with McMath as his co-driver.

* FIA-Group N continues to be the closest class points race of the 2003 season. Driver Mark Utecht holds the slightest of margins (25-24) over Shane Mitchell. Mitchell has not been on top of the class leaderboard yet this season, although he and Utecht were tied after two events. Wolfgang Hoeck has crept up into third place (with 13 class points) after winning the Group N crown at Pikes Peak.

Format:

* SCCA ProRally Championship events are unlike any other national motorsports series in the US, featuring flat-out competition, in any weather, on challenging forest, mountain, or desert roads, following a format similar to that used in rally championships around the globe. At-speed rally competition takes place on "Special Stages," using challenging back roads closed by local authorities for the event. "Transits" connect the "Special Stage" sections together and are driven at normal highway speeds, with teams fully subject to all traffic laws. The team with the lowest cumulative time from the Special Stages, wins.

* SCCA Performance Rally vehicles are production-based cars and trucks from manufacturers around the world. They compete both for the overall victory and wins within a class structure that groups together vehicles with similar performance.

* Each vehicle carries a driver and a co-driver/navigator. In a role as crucial as the driver's, the co-driver uses a detailed, event organizer supplied route book and a rally computer, keeping the team on-course and advising the driver of any hazards ahead.

-scca pro rally-

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Mark Lovell , Shane Mitchell , David Higgins , Daniel Barritt