ProRally: Rim of the World Final Release

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...



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

-more- -2-

 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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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Jeff Becker , George Plsek , Ralph Kosmides , Joe Noyes , Bill Malik , Paul Eklund , Carl Jardevall , Amity Trowbridge , Christian Edstrom , Ken Cassidy , Dave White , Lance Smith , Ole Holter , John Buffum , Carlos Tavares