Courtesy of Andy Schupack, SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally Series media liason: CHOINIERE REGAINS SCCA/MICHELIN PRO RALLY SERIES LEAD; HE AND BECKER WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT RIM OF THE WORLD PRO RALLY IN THE ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST PALMDALE, Calif. --...
Courtesy of Andy Schupack, SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally Series media liason:
CHOINIERE REGAINS SCCA/MICHELIN PRO RALLY SERIES LEAD; HE AND BECKER WIN FIFTH STRAIGHT RIM OF THE WORLD PRO RALLY IN THE ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST PALMDALE, Calif. -- May 5 -- Paul Choiniere, from Shelburne, Vermont, and co-driver Jeff Becker, have regained the SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally series points lead in their Hyundai Elantra with a one minute, 17-second win at the Rim of the World PRO Rally. Choiniere nearly fell behind the Henry Joy/Chris Griffin Mitsubishi Lancer earlier in the day when the Hyundai experienced an electrical problem, but Paul put another one minute on the field in the next couple of stages to secure the win. The Ford Escort Cosworth of Carl Merrill/John Bellefleur was third, three minutes back. "It's like sprinting in deep sand," said Choiniere, describing the rim roads in the Angeles National Forest. "Our brakes are hot, our engine is hot, our bodies are hot, and our arms are tired from trying to push 2500 pounds of metal with 350 horsepower as fast as we can in 100 degree heat over roads designed for 15 miles-per-hour." In the classes, the Selcuk Karamanoglu/Yorgi Bittner Eagle Talon won the the Production GT class for the third time this season; the Mike Whitman/ Ben Bradley Satsun 510 scored a 5-second win in Group 2; and the Ralph Kosmides/Joe Noyes Toyota Supra won Group 5. Merrill lost his chance to contend for the win when he broke an alternator bracket, and had to run the final stage on Friday night with almost no lights - losing almost two minutes to the field. Joy had no brakes for much of Friday night as the hard, downhill braking caused his brake fluid to boil. In a PRO Rally, each team consists of a driver and a co-driver (or navigator), and the exact course is kept secret until just before the event - different from World Rally, where practice is allowed. At Rim, the cars start at two-minute intervals and race against the clock over 12 stages which range in length from four to 10 miles. The teams achieving the fast combined times wins. Only 19 of the original 40 starters finished the event. After four events in the SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally series, Choiniere now has 46 points, Merrill 45 points, and Karamanoglu 41 points. The much-anticipated debut of the factory Saab 900 turbo did not have a fairy-tale ending as the Sam Bryan/Rob Walden car rolled at the end of stage #8, breaking the windshield and damaging most of the car's body panels. Bryan's earlier turbo problems had put him back in the pack before the rolled caused the DNF. The next SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally Series event is the 20th annual Susquehannock Trail PRO Rally in Wellsboro, Penn., June 1 - 2.
-- Ben Bradley *There are only two types of rally drivers: email@example.com Those who HAVE rolled and those who WILL Portland, Oregon USA *Will co-drive for food... http://www.reed.edu/~bradley *89 323 GTX, 67 Cortina GT