ProRally: Preseason notes

Pre-season notes - 1995 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally --Some interesting items about Paul Choiniere's new Hyundai Elantra (specs posted at the end of this message): o Buffum has taken technology from several Hyundai models and meshed it...

Pre-season notes - 1995 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally

--Some interesting items about Paul Choiniere's new Hyundai Elantra (specs posted at the end of this message):

o Buffum has taken technology from several Hyundai models and meshed it with the proven Audi experience to come up with a combination that may be hard to beat.

o The car that raced at Maine, and will be at South Carolina this coming weekend, is a "mule" for a more finished product that will be ready later this spring.

o Because Maine was so icy and this rally will be so sandy, we still might not have an idea exactly how fast the car will run.

--Because of his busy schedule, Jeff Zwart will not be able to race his Porsche in 1995. By the way, if you missed the feature article on the front page of the Life section on Jeff (with color photo) last month in USA TODAY, let me know and I can send it to you.

--Carl Merrill will join the series - complete with a new tub on his powerful Ford Escort Cosworth - at the Doo Wop weekend March 18-19. Henry Joy's new right-hand-drive Mitsubishi Lancer should debut at the Sunriser event April 7-8 in Ohio, while Greg Lund's Ford Merkur Cosworth will make it first appearance in the firendly confines of the Wild West PRO Rally in Washington April 21-22.

--Because of a legal dispute involving ownership of their Toyota All-trac rally car, Vinnie Frontinan and Frank Arruda will not be at South Carolina. Vinnie flew to Ireland to run an event this past weekend. We will be able to say more once we receive a lawyer's statement of the topic.

--Rapidly-improving rallyist Jason Priestley, who was fourth overall at one of the recent California Rally Series events in his Toyota All-trac, hopes to make his national points debut at the Doo Wops as well, and plans to run "at least five nationals if the show doesn't get in the way."

--Lesley Suddard will be making her second start in the ex- Doug Shepherd Dodge Charger - more horsepower than Lesley has experienced in her short rally career.

--The Greg Trepetin Honda Prelude V-Tech will be making its debut in South Carolina. It will be interesting to see how it runs against the V-Tech of Jim Anderson, with a year of rally seasoning on his car. Throw last year's Production rookie sensation Tad Ohtake into the mix with his Ford Escort GT, and the Production class could be the battle of the weekend.

--In Production GT, defending champion Selcuk Karamanoglu has not found a rally car for 1995 as of yet, so South Carolina looks like a battle between two veterans: the Mitsubishi Eclipse of Cal Landau and the Mazda 323GTX of Tom Ottey.

--So far, no trucks or Group A cars are entered.

1994_Hyundai_Elantra Open Class PRO Rally Car

Driver: Paul Choiniere Co-driver: Jeff Becker

1990, 1992 - 94 Overall SCCA PRO Rally National Champions 1994 - six victories in eight rallies to win the overall title 1994 - winner for 2nd year in a row at Mt. Washington 1995 - signed to drive a Hyundai Elantra in the series


Length: 4369 mm (172.0")

Width: 1679 mm (66.1")

Height: 1321 mm (52.0")

Wheelbase: 2540 mm (100.0")

Wheel Track:

--Front 1480 mm (58.3") --Rear 1490 mm (58.6")

Weight: 2520 lbs.

Driveline: Hyundai Elantra converted to all- wheel-drive; technology from new HCD III sport-utility vehicle

Engine: 4 Cylinder, 16 Valve 2.0-Liter, Turbocharged (based on Hyundai Scoupe turbo); water injected with special intercooler; Turbo and Electronic Controls

Power: 340 HP @ 6500 RPM

Torque: 360 F/LBS @ 4700 RPM

Transmission: 5-Speed Close Ratio "Dog" gear box; Front & Rear Clutch Type Limited Slip Differentials, Viscous or Locked Center Differential Suspension:

--Front 50 mm. diameter Bilstein gas pressure shocks - degressive valving; spindles modified for larger wheel bearings; fabricated lower control arm and compression strut of Libra Racing design; upgraded springs on adjustable platforms.

--Rear Bilstein gas pressure shocks with coil cover springs; rear trailing arm with twin adjustable transverse links.

Steering: Standard Hyundai power steering system modified to give a "quicker" ratio; steering arms modified to eliminate "bump" steer

Brakes: Lockheed 4 Piston aluminum Calipers with 12" discs front and 11" discs rear

Tires: Michelin Special XGT Rally Tires on 7" Speedline Wheels

Electrics/Lights: Hand-built wiring loom with PIAA driving lights

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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Jeff Becker , Jason Priestley , Jeff Zwart , Jim Anderson