Championship and Back-to-Back Wins for Lawler PRESCOTT, Arizona -- The Michelin SCCA ProRally Championship went seven rounds before anyone won twice this year. Now, just one event later, the series has its first three-time winner, first ...
Championship and Back-to-Back Wins for Lawler
PRESCOTT, Arizona -- The Michelin SCCA ProRally Championship went seven rounds before anyone won twice this year. Now, just one event later, the series has its first three-time winner, first back-to-back winner and 1999 overall champion -- all in the form of Noel Lawler.
Lawler and navigator Charlie Bradley started the event first-on-the-road after their teammates discovered an oil leak on their car immediately prior to the start. From then on, the Irish expatriates had things pretty much their own way, as their remaining challengers fell victim to attrition one by one. Their long day among the ponderosa forests and rocky cliffs surrounding Prescott was anything but a walk in the park, but they could breathe increasingly easier as mechanical problems sidelined competitors or dropped them out of contention. In the end they had built a comfortable eight-minute lead over the second-place car in their factory Hyundai Tiburon.
The win clinched the 1999 overall driver's championship for Lawler and the navigator's crown for Bradley.
Second overall went to Group 2 winners Mike Whitman and Flynn Baglin, who were in a classic Datsun 510. At the finish they had a four-minute advantage over the second Group 2 car. That was the Honda Civic driven by Bryan Hourt and Pete Cardimen, who also had run second overall, until a minor lapse bit them and dropped them down the order.
Group 5 winners Ralph Kosmides and Joe Noyes brought their Toyota Supra Turbo home third overall after a rally long battle with Henry and Cindy Krolikowski, in a Dodge Shadow. They dueled throughout the event, trading fast times until the panhard bar on the Krolikowski car broke. At the next opportunity, the Krolikowskis lashed it back into place and continued on, but they could no longer match Kosmides, who was driving what he called the rally of his life. Kosmides got the win by about 45 seconds.
The closest finish of the event was in the Production GT class, where first and second were separated by just three seconds, with third only 26 more further astern. Seamus Burke and Tom Lawless were the victors, in a Mitsubishi Galant VR4. Roger Hull and Sean Gallagher were second in an Eagle Talon; and Patrick Richard and Ben Bradley were third in a Subaru Impreza.
One of the cars attracting the most attention during the rally was the factory Daewoo Nubira of Peter Malaszuk and Derek Szerejko. In only the car's third event, Malaszuk and Szerejko took the Production Class win in a determined drive that brought them home an impressive ninth overall. However, what's even more remarkable is that, had a freak electrical gremlin not struck them at the start of the rally's final stage, they would have finished as high as fifth overall.
The final round of the Michelin SCCA ProRally Championship will be the D&N Bank Lake Superior ProRally, which will take place in Houghton, Michigan, on the weekend of October 21-22.
Prescott Forest ProRally Round 8; 1999 Michelin SCCA ProRally Championship Prescott, Arizona October 2, 1999
# Driver / Co-Driver Car Seed Score Place Class
2 Noel Lawler / Charles Bradley Hyundai FIA 1:45:52 1 Open 4 Mike Whitman / Flynn Baglin Datsun 510 1 1:53:43 1 Group 2 7 Ralph Kosmides / Joe Noyes Toyota Supra 1 1:54:50 1 Group 5 44 Henry Krolikowski / C Krolikowski Dodge 1 1:55:37 2 Group 5 71 Bryan Hourt / Pete Cardimen Honda 3 1:57:20 2 Group 2 115 Seamus Burke / Tom Lawless Mitsubishi 3 1:58:47 1 GT 72 Roger Hull / Sean Gallagher Eagle 2 1:58:50 2 GT 162 Patrick Richard / Ben Bradley Subaru 4 1:59:16 3 GT 119 Peter Malaszuk / Darek Szerejko Daewoo 4 2:00:27 1 Production 10 Bill Malik / Eric Tremblay Volvo 240 1 2:01:16 3 Group 2 90 L O'Sullivan / F O'Sullivan Audi Quattro 2 2:01:23 2 Open 35 Lee Shadbolt / Claire Chizma Subaru Impreza 2 2:01:44 4 GT 16 Gail Truess / Pattie Hughes Mazda 323 1 2:02:05 5 GT 101 Mark Brown / Ole Holter Toyota Corolla 4 2:05:16 2 Production 68 Doug Robinson / Susan Robinson Mazda 323 3 2:09:56 3 Open 601 Mike Halley / Emily Weinman Dodge 4 2:10:47 3 Production 232 Mark Tabor / John Dillon Mazda 323 6 2:14:01 6 GT 20 George Plsek / Renn Phillips Audi Quattro 2 2:14:20 4 Open 21 Trevor Donison / John Allen Plymouth Neon 6 2:14:44 4 Production 127 Chad Dykes / Deborah Fuller Toyota P.U. 2 DNF Group 2 39 Carl Jardevall / Amity Trowbridge Volvo 740 3 DNF Group 5 32 Paul Eklund / Dave Jameson Subaru Impreza 2 DNF Open 61 Karl Scheible / Gail McGuire VW New Bettle 3 DNF Production 95 Tony Chavez / Ken Cassidy Galant VR-4 2 DNF Open 3 Paul Choiniere / Jeff Becker Hyundai FIA DNF Open 70 Kendall Russell / Dave Weiman Dodge Shadow 5 DNF GT