23.) The attraction of a winter rally has brought workers from long distances. One drove out from Boulder, Colorado. Another, a sailor from Rhode Island, dropped the kids off with grandma and snagged grandpa to help with the driving out to the ...
23.) The attraction of a winter rally has brought workers from long distances. One drove out from Boulder, Colorado. Another, a sailor from Rhode Island, dropped the kids off with grandma and snagged grandpa to help with the driving out to the rally.
24.) While they didn't come from there for this rally, there is a South African couple working the event. They really enjoy US events, and add that South African events are much more like our events than those in Europe.
25.) The Group 2 Charles Sherrill/Mark Rea Honda Civic has come into service with moderate front-end damage -- mangled fender and bumper cover, etc. They had been running third in class earlier, before their troubles. They will continue.
26.) Unofficially, after seven stages we have a pair of Production GT Mazda 323 GTXs running one-two. Tom Ottey and Pam McGarvey have the lead, hotly pursued by Gail Truess and Pattie Hughes. A little over a minute separates them. Interestingly, three of the four people in the two cars are ladies. John Kemp and Brian Maxwell (Audi quattro) have the Open Class lead, about 30 seconds behind.
27.) Karl Scheible and Gail McGuire had the Production Class lead in their rented Golf GTi. They sat 12th overall, a very comfortable six minutes ahead of their nearest competitor, unofficially. Right behind them were the unoffical Group 5 leaders, Henry and Cindy Krolikowski, in a Dodge Shadow. Right behind them were the Group 2 leaders at that point, Wayne and Annette Prochaska, driving a Volkswagen Golf. Next came Mark Utecht and Diane Sargent, the Group 5 leaders with their Dodge Omni.
28.) At that point, three vehicles were out of the event. First out was the Open Class Jeep Comanche of Scott Calborn and Dale Dewald, who had two flats on the first stage but only one spare. The other two dropped out after the fifth stage. In addition to the Eric Burmeister/Mark Buskirk Volkswagen GTi, the Open Class Audi quattro of Sylvester Stepniewski and Adam Pelc only completed five stages.
29.) Update to a previous note: Garen Shrader (Open Class Mitsubishi Evo IV with father Doc navigating) reports that he did not get his two flats simultaneously on Stage 2. He got one flat (right rear) and put on the car's lone spare, then got the other flat in Stage 3 and had to limp on.
30.) A number of drivers and co-drivers who had not been in their drivers' suits for several months were heard commenting on what they viewed as the odd phenomenon of Nomex shrinking when left in a dark closet unloved and unused for a few months.
31.) The battle at the front between the two Mazda GTXs continued throughout the rally's middle sages. Ottey and Truess both were running very well in their lighter and nimbler mounts than were those in the bigger, heavier, more powerful cars. Ottey and Truess traded fast times, with Ottey generally just a few ticks quicker.
32.) Update to a previous note: The Eric Burmeister/Mark Buskirk Volkswagen GTi retired on Stage 6 after hitting a bank and breaking a front strut. Driver and co-driver made repairs on the scene, in front of a spectator area. However, when they finished, they found that the force of the crash had pushed the wheel back against the body, and they were unable to continue.
33.) During a night service halt, Production Class leaders Ken Scheible and Gail McGuire (Volkswagen GTi) commented on the slick conditions. Co-driver McGuire, who started in TSD rallying more than 40 years ago, described Stages 6 and 7 as like being in a demolition derby. At the time, they were several minutes ahead of their nearest rivals.
34.) Scott Harvey Jr., son of one of rallying's well-known names from an earlier era, got caught out by ice on Stage 11. He and co-driver Al Zifilippo went straight off after encountering some of the ice. They centerpunched a tree and rumpled everthing on the front of the car virtually all the way back to the windshield. The crew is optimistic that the car will run again someday, but no more today.
35.) After 10 stages, the battle between overall-leading Mazda 323 GTXs still was going strong, with Ottey unofficially about 90 seconds ahead, and the two cars one-two on the road. Third and fourth on the road went to the first- and second-place Open Class cars, respectively. Jon Kemp and Brian Maxwell (Audi quattro) had the advantage there, by about a minute, over Peter Lahm and Matt Chester in one of the Mitsubishi Evo IVs.
36.) Back in Production, the Scheible/McGuire Volkswagen Golf GTi was enjoying roughly a 10-minute lead and cruising.
37.) J.B. Niday (Group 2 Ford Fiesta with Lea Hoffa navigating) rolled on Stage 15 and wound up with the car lying on its side facing oncoming traffic. Next along was the Open Class Chevrolet S-10 pickup of Ken Stewart and Jim Dale, who stopped and helped get the car back on its wheels. The Fiesta had lost a window but continued on to the finish. With temperatures falling toward zero, driver Niday reported that it got really cold in the car. This was a sold car, however, and he was speculating that the well-wrinkled bodywork meant that the sale was off.
38.) Twelve proved to be an unlucky number for Gail Truess. At one point on that stage, she could smell burning rubber. It turned out to be the belt that drives her Mazda 323 GTX's water pump. She got through the stage, but not before the engine overheated thoroughly. That ended the great battle for the lead that she and Pattie Hughes had been putting on up to then with the Ottey/McGarvey GTX.
39.) At the end of the rally, Truess and Hughes stopped by the press room. Despite the disappointment of being knocked out while running so well, they were very upbeat. Hughes summed up their emotions pretty well when she said, 'Fun deal, fun rally. Watch the girls kick butt this year!'
40.) With Truess and Hughes out, it suddenly was smooth sailing for Ottey and McGarvey. But not too smooth. Near the end of the event, five elk wandered across the stage not too far in front of them. Then, on the final stage, they got a puncture three miles from the finish. They elected to limp to the end and change the tire after the finish control. They did this, but watched their precious cushion over second overall melt away. In the end, they still came away victorious, first overall and first in Production GT.
41.) Open Class winners Jon Kemp and Brian Maxwell (Audi quattro) were second overall, just over two minutes behind. 42.) Karl Scheible and Gail McGuire won Production handily in the rented Golf GTi, nearly 10 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher in the class. 43.) Right behind them came Group 5 winers Henry and Cindy Krolikowski (Dodge Shadow), less than three minutes in front of second in the class.
44.) Wayne and Annette Prochaska were the Group 2 winners in an extremely tight finish. They brought their Volkswagen Golf GTi home a mere 14 hundredths of a minute ahead of the Suzuki Swift of David S. and David L. Cizmas.
45.) Here is the finishing order for the first 15 finishers: 1.) Tom Ottey/Pam Garvey, Mazda 323 GTX, 2.) Jon Kemp/Brian Maxwell, Audi quattro, 3.) Peter Lahm/Matt Chester, Mitsubishi Evo IV, 4.) Chris Czyzio/Eric Carlson, Mitsubishi Eclipse, 5.) Cal Landau/Eric Marcus, Mitsubishi Eclipse, 6.) Rob Bohn/Todd Houtz, Mitsubishi Eclipse, 7.) Garen Shrader/Doc Shrader, Mitsubishi Evo IV, 8.) Celsus Donnelly/Brendan Lawless, Eagle Talon, 9.)Brian Pepp/Jerry Stang, Eagle Talon, 10.) Karl Scheible/Gail McGuire, Volkswagen GTi, 11.) Henry and Cindy Krolikowski, Dodge Shadow; 12.) Mark Utecht/Diane Sargent, Dodge Omni, 13. Brian Vinson/Richard Beels, Volkswagen Golf GTi, 14.) Jeremy Butts/Peter Jacobs, Plymouth Arrow, 15.) Wayne and Annette Prochaska, Volkswagen Golf.
46.) The next round of the Michelin SCCA ProRally Championship will be Doo Wop III & IV, Mar. 12-13 in Olympia, Washington.