SUMMERBELL SCORES FIRST U.S. WIN IN WORLD RALLY MOUNT; MICHELIN PRO RALLY POINTS TIED IN A KNOT AFTER RIM EVENT PALMDALE, Calif. -- May 10 -- David Summerbell, of Kingston, Jamaica, in only his second U.S. rally, paired with local...
SUMMERBELL SCORES FIRST U.S. WIN IN WORLD RALLY MOUNT;
MICHELIN PRO RALLY POINTS TIED IN A KNOT AFTER RIM EVENT
PALMDALE, Calif. -- May 10 -- David Summerbell, of Kingston, Jamaica, in only his second U.S. rally, paired with local veteran co-driver Chris Griffin to pilot his SuperClubs Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV to a 20-second win in Round #4 of the Michelin PRO Rally Championship - the Rim of the World PRO Rally.
Summerbell, who battled the Japanese Subaru Impreza team of Hiroyuki Genta/Kazmasa Takata for ten stages on the El Nino-ravaged roads of the Angeles National Forest north of Los Angeles, said the thorough preparation of the Lancer - a right-hand-drive, 350 horsepower car not sold in the U.S. - was the difference.
"Although we have rough roads in Jamaica, these rocky stages, along with the dense fog, made this rally very challenging, especially because the Japanese team seemed to thrive on these conditions," said Summerbell. "Most of the cars had parts come off their cars - hammered by the roads - and we really held together."
Genta built up an early lead with very fast times in the Friday night fog, which caused the cancellation of three of the six scheduled stages, but Summerbell whittled away at the lead, taking first place for good with ten miles to go. Third overall was the Carl Merrill/Lance Smith Ford Escort Cosworth, with Group 5 winners Ralph Kosmides/Joe Noyes fourth in their twin-turbo Toyota Supra.
Other class winners included the Lee Shadbolt/Paul Eklund Subaru Impreza (Production GT); the Fred Ronn/John Dillon Toyota Celica (Group 2); and the Mark Brown William Neundorfer Toyota Toyota Corolla (Production).
With series leader Paul Choiniere home with the flu, car owner and former national champion John Buffum jumped into the Libra Racing Hyundai Tiburon, only to break a rear crossmember midway through the event. Other significant DNF's included the Henry Joy/Michael Fennell Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution II (transmission); the Rui Brasil/Carlos Tavares Audi Quattro S-2 (lost a wheel and crashed); and the Bill Malik/Christian Edstrom Volvo 240 (driveshaft).
Summerbell now leads the Michelin PRO Rally points chase with 36 pts., with Choiniere - 34 and Merrill - 32. The Rim of the World event will be telecast on Friday, May 29, at 6:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN2.
Round #4 - 1998 Michelin PRO Rally Championship RIM OF THE WORLD PRO RALLY - Palmdale, California Final Results
Fin. Car Driver/ Co-Driver/ Make/Model/Class/ Pos. No. Hometown Hometown Division/Tires/Time
1 77 Dave Summerbell Chris Griffin Mitsubishi Lancer Kingston, Jamaica Burbank, CA Evolution IV/Open/1:59:59
2 26 Hiroyuki Genta Kazmasa Takata Subaru Impreza/Open Kyoto, JAPAN Kyoto, JAPAN National/Dunlop/2:00:19
3 3 Carl Merrill Lance Smith Ford Escort Cosworth/Open Ogunquit, ME Colchester, VT National/Michelin/2:07:43
4 11 Ralph Kosmides Joe Noyes Toyota Supra/Group 5 Newport Beach, CA Bothell, WA National/Michelin/2:14:36
5 22 Vartan Samuelian Art Manoukian Mitsubishi Eclipse/Open Pasadena, CA Pasadena, CA Nat./Div./Michelin/2:19:12
6 33 Lon Peterson Jim Love Plymouth Arrow/Group 5 Victorville, CA Chino Hills, CA Nat./Div./Michelin/2:20:09
7 85 Tony Chavez Marcelo Mancilla Mitsubishi Galant/Open Santa Fe Sprgs. CA Ensenada, MEXICO Nat./Div./Michelin/2:20:28
8 20 George Plsek Mark Rathsam Saab 99 Turbo/Group 5 Del Mar, CA Del Mar, CA Nat./Div./Michelin/2:21:06
9 79 Lee Shadbolt Paul Eklund Subaru Impreza/Prod. GT Tigard, OR Tigard, OR National/Michelin/2:27:03
10 25 Fred Ronn John Dillon Toyota Celica/Group 2 Agoura, CA Thousand Oaks, CA Nat./Div./2:27:21 11 66 Doug Robinson Bill Hidde Mazda RX-7/Group 5 Ramona, CA San Diego, CA Nat./Div./2:30:20
12 31 Gerry Valentini Lee Sorenson Mazda RX-7/Group 5 Sacramento, CA Fair Oaks, CA National/Michelin/2:31:21
13 16 Tom Bier Ole Holter Saab 99/Group 2 Solano Beach, CA Long Beach, CA Nat./Div./2:35:33
14 35 Mark Brown William Neundorfer Toyota Corolla/Prod. Mesa, AZ Mesa, AZ Nat./Div./2:39:18
15 53 Pete Morris Nick Taylor Toyota Corolla/Group 2 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA Nat./Div./2:46:27
16 15 Dave White W. David Watts VW GTI/Group 2 Benicia, CA Carson City, NV Nat./Div./Michelin/2:46:43
17 65 Dennis Chizma Claire Marie Mitsubishi 3000GT/Prod. GT Newhall, CA Newhall, CA Nat./Div./Michelin/2:59:12
18 21 Trevor Donison Ben Bradley Plymouth Neon/Production Vancouver, WA Portland, OR Nat./Div./Michelin/3:13:12
19 30 Kendall Russell Lynn Dillon Dodge Shadow/Prod. GT Knoxville, TN Indianapolis, IN National/Michelin
Did Not Finish
2 Henry Joy Michael Fennell Mitsubishi Lancer Evo II Atlanta, MI Kingston, Jamaica Transmission
1 John Buffum Jeff Becker Hyundai Tiburon/Open S. Burlington,VT Great Neck, NY Rear Crossmember
41 Rui Brasil Carlos Tavares Audi Quattro S-2/Open San Jose, CA San Jose, CA Lost wheel/crash
27 Tony Takaori Ken Cassidy Mitsubishi Lancer Evo III Kyoto, JAPAN Tempe, AZ Left early for plane
8 Bill Malik Christian Edstrom Volvo 240/Group 2 Burbank, CA Los Angeles, CA Driveshaft
34 Carl Jardevall Amity Trowbridge Volvo 740/Group 5 San Carlos, CA Seattle, WA Rear end
19 Ben Medeiros Tony Medeiros Mazda 323GTX/Open Walnut Creek, CA Walnut Creek, CA Engine
45 Arthur Odero-Jowi Farina O'Sullivan Mitsubishi Eclipse/Prod. GT Arlington, TX San Fran., CA Cooling fan
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