ProRally: Rim of the World: Day one report

Higgins leads Rim of the World SCCA ProRally after day one. PALMDALE, Calif. (May 2, 2003) -- Defending event and SCCA ProRally Drivers' Champion David Higgins jumped ahead of both Mark Lovell and Ramana Lagemann in the late stages of Day One of...

Higgins leads Rim of the World SCCA ProRally after day one.

PALMDALE, Calif. (May 2, 2003) -- Defending event and SCCA ProRally Drivers' Champion David Higgins jumped ahead of both Mark Lovell and Ramana Lagemann in the late stages of Day One of the 20th Rim of the World Rally, Round Two of the SCCA ProRally Championship.

After coming into the Pelona Park Service following the opening three stages in third place, Higgins and co-driver Daniel Barritt were lightning-quick in stages four and five to put his Mitsubishi Rally Team USA Lancer Evolution into the overall lead by 0.78-minute over early leader Mark Lovell.

"We ran well the last two stages," said Higgins. "The weather conditions never got any better. In the last stage, it was more slippery than Sno*Drift. They were so disgusting that we're just looking forward to tomorrow."

Subaru Rally Team USA driver Lovell led the rally into the service break through three stages that included rain, fog and rough terrain, but he fell behind in his Subaru WRX in the fourth and fifth stages to Higgins. Lovell's teammate Lagemann was second going into stage four, but became high-centered on a berm and lost 10 minutes to leader Higgins while fellow Subaru WRX driver Jonny Milner towed him out.

2002 Group 2 Manufacturers' and Drivers' Champion Lauchlin O'Sullivan, this time running his home rally in an Open Class Evolution for Mitsubishi Rally Team USA, finished a strong third.

Leon Styles, driving an independently-entered Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI, was consistently quick and was fourth after the first stage, followed by George Plsek in a similarly-prepared Lancer Evolution VI.

Shane Mitchell led Group N in a Subaru WRX after five stages. Early leaders in Group 5 and Group 2 were Doug Shepherd (Dodge SRT 4) and Scott Fuller (Volkswagen Golf GTI, respectively. Eric MaCaire led Production GT in an Audi TT in the new car's ProRally Championship debut.

The final 10 stages of the 2003 Rim of the World SCCA ProRally event will begin Saturday at noon. For more information, please visit www.scca.com or www.rimoftheworldrally.com.

-scca pro rally-

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Series SCCA
Drivers George Plsek , Mark Lovell , Shane Mitchell , Leon Styles , David Higgins , Daniel Barritt