ProRally: Sunriser 400 Forest Rally report


CHOINIERE TAKES BIG STEP TOWARDS '96 SCCA/MICHELIN PRO RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP WITH CONVINCING WIN AT FAST, SLICK SUNRISER 400 FOREST EVENT CHILLICOTHE, Ohio - Sept. 29 -- With two competitors breathing down his neck in the SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally point standings, defending champion Paul Choiniere, from Shelburne, Vermont - along with co-driver and former rally champion John Buffum - showed why he is the best by thrashing the Sunriser 400 Forest Rally field by more than 2-1/2 minutes in the damp, slippery but fast Ohio State Forests here. Choiniere, who had only a slight lead in the season points despite his four victories thus far, put himself in perfect position to clinch his fifth national title in six years as his car responded perfectly to the task at hand. "The roads here are very fast, but very narrow - with lots of pavement as well as the usual gravel conditions - so my precise, controlled style of racing meant that our Hyundai Elantra had to run its best for us to take the win, and we were very pleased with its performance," said Choiniere, whose previous victories this year were in South Carolina, California, Pennsylvania, and Maine. Paul's perfect performance left the Eagle Talons of Selcuk Karamaoglu/Yorgi Bittner and Doug Shepherd/Pete Gladysz to duke it out for second place, with Selcuk gaining the upper hand to clinch second by 17 seconds, with Shepherd taking third. In the other classes, Cal Landau/Eric Marcus won the Production GT class in their Mitsubishi Eclipse; Henry and Cindy Krolikowski outdrove a terrific field of Group 5 cars (five cars were on the same minute late in the event) to win that class in a Dodge Shadow; Jim Anderson/Martin Dapot won their second straight Production class victory in a Honda Prelude VTEC; and Mike Whitman clinched his first national PRO Rally title by winning Group 2 with co-driver Paula Gibeault in a Datsun 510. Significant DNFs included the Saab 900 turbo of Sam Bryan/Rob Walden, who lost their engine, and Tom Ottey/Pam McGarvey - the local favorites from Columbus - who lost the turbo in their Hyundai Elantra. Also, the Carl Merrill/John Bellefleur Ford Escort Cosworth, second to Choiniere in the point standings, finished a distant fifth after many electrical problems and a driver's compartment fire. The 1996 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally Series consists of eleven events, and is sponsored by Michelin Tire Corporation, and sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America. The 1996 Sunriser 400 PRO Rally was presented by the Sunriser 400 Committee, and the River Cities Region of the SCCA. Local sponsors include The Kroger Company, Pepsi-Cola, and Budweiser. The next event on the schedule is the Prescott Forests Rally in Prescott, Arizona. # # #

1996 Sunriser 400 Forest PRO Rally Round #8 - 1996 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally series Final Results - National Event Car Class Num. Driver/Home Town Navigator/Home Town Vehicle/Tires Time ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Paul Choiniere John Buffum Hyundai Elantra Open Shelburne, VT Colchester, VT Michelin 1:26:11 15 Selcuk Karamanoglu Yorgi Bittner Eagle Talon Open Bath, ME Plain City, OH Michelin 1:28:50 14 Doug Shepherd Pete Gladysz Eagle Talon Open Plymouth, MI Troy, MI Michelin 1:29:07 7 Cal Landau Eric Marcus Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX PGT Coraopolis, PA Dayton, OH Michelin 1:33:58 3 Carl Merrill John Bellefleur Ford Escort Cosworth Open Ogunquit, ME Thornhill, ONT Michelin 1:35:38 18 Henry Krolikowski Cindy Krolikowski Dodge Shadow Group 5 Wyandotte, MI Wyandotte, MI Michelin 1:35:43 10 Mike Hurst Rob Bohn Porsche 911 Group 5 Pendleton, IN Noblesville, IN Michelin 1:37:38 19 Jim Anderson Martin Depot Honda Prelude VTEC Prod. Mebane, NC Reston, VA Michelin 1:40:07 35 Mike Villamure Reny Villamure VW Beetle Open Westland, MI Flat Rock, MI Michelin 1:41:40 96 Bruce Newey Matt Chester Toyota Celica Turbo Group 5 Atlanta, GA Atlanta, GA Michelin 1:46:33 16 Ralph Kosmides Joe Noyes Toyota Supra Group 5 Newport Beach, CA Bothell, WA Michelin 1:47:16 25 Peter Watt Dick Casey Suzuki Swift GT Prod. Peterborough, ONT Fairfax Station, VA Michelin 1:47:51 77 Jay Kowalik Jeff Wheeler Honda Civic Prod. London, OH E. Liberty, OH Michelin 1:51:19 28 Al Kaumeheiwa Craig Sobczak Dodge Neon Prod. Brighton, MI Marquette, MI Michelin 1:55:16 39 Mike Whitman Paula Gibeault Datsun 510 Group 2 Farmington, NM Ridgecrest, CA Michelin 1:57:58 20 Greg Healey John MacLeod Dodge Ram 50 Pick-up Prod. Poughkeepsie, NY S. Easton, MA BFGoodrich 2:00:35 22 Lon Peterson Bill Gutzmann Kia Sephia Prod. Victorville, CA Ontario, CA Toyo 2:09:14 # # # Did_Not_Finish 33 Tom Ottey Pam McGarvey Hyundai Elantra Open Columbus, OH Columbus, OH Bridgestone Turbo 31 Craig Kazmierczak Diane Sargent Mazda RX-7 Group 5 Ann Arbor, MI Duluth, MN Bridgestone Diff. 32 John Shirley Kendall Russell Triumph TR-8 Group 5 Knoxville, TN Knoxville, TN Michelin Trans. 4 Sam Bryan Robinson Walden Saab 900 Turbo Group 5 Kent, WA Seattle, WA Michelin Engine 21 Rick Davis Ben Greisler BMW M-3 Group 5 West Chester, PA Philadelphia, PA Michelin Crash 29 Pete Lahm Jimmy Brandt Datsun 510 Group 2 Phoenix, AZ Lake Odessa, MI Michelin Crash SCCA/MICHELIN PRO RALLY SERIES 1996 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS EVENT DATE LOCATION Winner SAND HILLS/SAND BLAST March 16 - 17 Cheraw, SC Choiniere/Becker DOO WOP III & V March 23 - 24 Olympia, WA Karamanoglu/ Bittner WILD WEST PRO RALLY April 12-14 Olympia, WA Merrill/ Bellefleur RIM OF THE WORLD May 3 - 5 Palmdale, CA Choiniere/Becker SUSQUEHANNOCK TRAIL June 1 - 2 Wellsboro, PA Choiniere/Becker MAINE FOREST SUMMER RALLY July 26 - 28 Rumford, ME Choiniere/Becker OJIBWE FORESTS PRO RALLY August 23 - 25 Bemidji, MN Joy/Fennell SUNRISER 400 September 27-29 Chillicothe, OH Choiniere/Buffum PRESCOTT FOREST RALLY October 5-6 Prescott, AZ LAKE SUPERIOR PRO RALLY October 18 - 20 Houghton, MI PACIFIC FOREST RALLY November 8 - 10 Olympia, WA (plus year-end awards) 9/29/96

-- Ben Bradley *There are only two types of rally drivers: Those who HAVE rolled and those who WILL Portland, Oregon USA *Will co-drive for food... *89 323 GTX, 67 Cortina GT

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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Ralph Kosmides , Joe Noyes , John Shirley , Peter Watt , John Buffum , Jimmy Brandt , Greg Healey , Jim Anderson