Higgins: "There were no winners this weekend." Hillsboro, Ore. (7-13-03) -- Moments after being named the winner of the Oregon Trail Rally, David Higgins stood off to the side with his advisor, Team Mitsubishi Motor Sports Manager Richard...
Higgins: "There were no winners this weekend."
Hillsboro, Ore. (7-13-03) -- Moments after being named the winner of the Oregon Trail Rally, David Higgins stood off to the side with his advisor, Team Mitsubishi Motor Sports Manager Richard Kelley, and toed the grass, head down.
"There were no winners this weekend," said Higgins, reflecting on the loss of competitors Mark Lovell and Roger Freeman of Subaru Rally Team USA on Saturday. "Those guys were true ambassadors for the Rally sport over here in America."
Kelley echoed those sentiments.
"Those gentlemen were great champions and competitors," said Kelley. "Our team feels for their families, teammates and for all of those who were a part of their extended families."
The end of the rally in Oregon ended for the remaining field on Sunday without major incident. Tim O'Neil and co-driver Alex Gelsomino, in the Air Force Reserves Ford Focus, finished a strong weekend by placing second, under a minute behind Higgins. Lauchlin O'Sullivan, Team Mitsubishi Motor Sports America teammate of Higgins, closed out the top three.
"We just wanted to get in as safely and as steadily as we could," said Christian Edstrom, co-driver for O'Sullivan. "We set out that way and that's what we did, we're happy with the finish," added O'Sullivan.
Following the cancellation of Special Stage One, Subaru Rally Team USA withdrew its remaining entry, driver Ramana Lagemann and co-driver Michael Orr. Julian Reynolds, who was to make his US rallying debut with Duncan McMath, and Ralph Kosmides also withdrew from the rally following the incident.
The final finishing order of the Oregon Trail Rally will be released when it becomes available.
The 2003 SCCA ProRally Championship will move back into the northeast as Rumford, Maine hosts the Maine Forest Rally, the sixth round of the Championship, Aug. 1-2.