Higgins takes second-consecutive SCCA Prorally win at Rim of the World. PALMDALE, Calif. (May 3, 2003) -- For the second time in as many events, weather was the major story of the SCCA ProRally Championship, but instead of snow, like the January...
Higgins takes second-consecutive SCCA Prorally win at Rim of the World.
PALMDALE, Calif. (May 3, 2003) -- For the second time in as many events, weather was the major story of the SCCA ProRally Championship, but instead of snow, like the January season-opening round in Michigan, the 20th Rim of the World Rally was wrought with cool temperatures, rain and high winds; eventually leading to the event being shortened. The end result was the same, though, with defending race and series Champion David Higgins, of England, along with co-driver, Daniel Barritt, taking the win in their Mitsubishi Rally Team USA Lancer Evolution.
Former series Champion Mark Lovell, of England, finished second with co-driver Steve Turvey in their brand-new Subaru Rally Team USA 2004 Impreza WRX, rebounding from a pair of DNFs at the opening Sno*Drift for the Subaru team in January. San Franciscan Lauchlin O'Sullivan returned to his home event for the first time in the open class with the Mitsubishi Rally Team USA to finish third with co-driver Christian Edstrom.
"This is the one that every one wants to win--it's a little more special because all the manufacturers are out here," said Higgins, who started off his 2002 Championship run by winning the first four events. "There is a lot of hospitality with lots of guests, so it's good to win for Mitsubishi at Rim of the World. It's also great to have my teammate get his first podium finish with the team.
"It's a shame that the event was cut short, since the last stage was the best one--you could really attack it."
In the debut of the latest Subaru Rally Team USA WRX, Lovell led the first three special stages on Friday night, but dropped behind Higgins in the final two runs of day one, and played catch up during the three special stages on Saturday.
"We were caught off-guard by the weather conditions," said Lovell. "We had a great car for dry conditions, but we made the wrong tire choice and it cost us. You'd think of all teams, we, being from England, would be prepared for the conditions, but we weren't."
"I couldn't picture the weather ever being like this," said O'Sullivan, who finished fourth at Sno*Drift. "My experience and knowledge of rallying really helped me back off and finish third."
In a great driving an independently-entered Mitsubishi Evo, Leon Styles and co-driver John Dillon finished fourth overall.
"The race played into my hands," said Styles. "I like wet roads and these fit my style. We never did anything wrong."
Shane Mitchell and Paul Donnelly finished fifth overall and first in Group N in their AV Sport/Piermont Iron Works Subaru WRX. Murat Okcuoglu and Hakan Okcuoglu drove to Group 5 victory in their Mitsubishi Eclipse, with Scott Fuller and Jeff Call winning Group 2 in their Volkswagen Golf GTI; Eric MaCaire and Urmas Kask winning Production GT in their Audi TT; and Trevor Donison and David Weiman winning Production in their Acura RSX Type S.
The Rim of the World Rally will be broadcast on Speed Channel Thursday, May 22 at 11:00 p.m. (EDT). The next SCCA ProRally Championship event is June 6-8 at Susquehannock Trail, Wellsboro, Pa. For more information about the SCCA ProRally Championship, please visit www.scca.com.
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