ProRally: Rim of the World Saturday PM Notes # 2

Rim of the World PRO Rally Round ...

Rim of the World PRO Rally Round #4 - 1998 Michelin PRO Rally Championship Palmdale, California Notes #6 - Saturday, May 9, 5:00 PM PDT

Other notes from Friday night:

--The Tony Chavez/Marcelo Mancilla Open class Mitsubishi Galant blew a turbo gasket on stage #3, and was saved by the concellation of the remaining stages - saving him a DNF. The problem was fixed overnight, and Tony is still in the hunt.

--Ditto for Tony Takaori/Ken Cassity, who have orchestrated the North American debut of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III rally car this weekend, who broke a fuel pump last night an barely limped home after state #3. The pump was replaced overnight, and Takaori was ready for action today. Unfortunately, he has surgury scheduled in Japan for first thing Monday morning (he is a surgeon specializing in pancreatic procedures), and will have to drop out after the Lake Hughes service/dinner break after completing stage #10 to catch a plane home to Kyoto, Japan. Takaori will leave the car in this country, and hopes to compete in the Ojibwe Forests PRO Rally later this summer in Minnesota.

Although the rally re-started at 1:00 PM today under sunny skies, reports from the first two stages indicate that fog and cold will be the order of the day. The fog, reported to allow a 200-ft. visibility, is certainly lighter than last night's, and might clear before the rally is done.

After stage 8 (the first two stages today), two of the leading cars are in trouble. The John Buffum/Jeff Becker Hyundai Tiburon, which was running fourth about three minutes out of the lead, lost its rear crossmember and was forced to retire. Buffum, who was beginning to make time up on the leaders after last night, was subbing for Paul Choiniere, who was home with the flu.

The Rui Brasil/Carlos Tavares Audi Quattro S-2 went off the road on stage #8, damaging the left-front. Although Rui had not arrived at service at the normal time, he was not an official DNF at the time of this report - but he will certainly lose lots of time to the leaders.

Here are the leaders after stage #8: CAR # (DRIVER/CO-DRIVER) CAR SEED SCORE Class

 26 Hiroyuki Genta/K Takata    Subaru       1     34.95       Open
 77 D Summerbell/C Griffin     Lancer IV    1     35:81       Open
  2 Henry Joy/Michael Fennell  Lancer II    0     36.78       Open
  3 Carl Merrill/Lance Smith   Escort       0     38.85       Open

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Series SCCA
Drivers Jeff Becker , Lance Smith , John Buffum , Carlos Tavares