ProRally: Wild West ProRally final results, notes

SCCA® ProRallysm Championship - Round ...

SCCA® ProRallysm Championship - Round #7 - Wild West
Noel Lawler returns to Top Podium Finish

Olympia, Washington: The SCCA Wild West ProRally came to a triumphant finish this evening for a victory starved Noel Lawler, and podium starved Garen Shrader. The second leg of competition, after a relatively sedate Leg One last night, was full of upsets, the final result being a lot of teams completely re-thinking their final, last quarter of the season strategies. ¨ Noel Lawler and Charles Bradley, the 1999 Overall Driver and Co-Driver Champions have had a tough, 'character building' season, failing to finish three of the first four events, and not visiting the podium until late July, with a 2nd place finish at the Maine Forest SCCA ProRally. Even that was hard fought, Noel having a brilliant drive of desperation, running on only 3 cylinders for much of the event. A fresh motor brought good luck at Ojibwe, with another 2nd place finish, and a lucky 1st car on the road seeded draw for the start of this weekend's event turned out to be a good omen. From the start, Lawler and Bradley ran off and hid, using the clear roads to good advantage, and letting his prodigious amounts of dust slow down teammate Paul Choiniere and early challenger Karl Scheible. In the end, Lawler, posted fastest times of the event in 11 of 16 stages, and nailed down one of the largest margins of victory of the 2000 season.

¨ Garen Shrader, who's 3-event old partnership with 1998 Co-Driver Champion Michael Fennell immediately showed strong signs of validity at the Maine and Ojibwe events, was irrefutably confirmed with an impressive 3rd place finish, his first podium in the 2000 season. The finish moves Garen up the Overall Drivers Championship ladder significantly, from (unofficially) 6th to 4th position.

¨ Karl Scheible, coming to this event with the Group N championship secure, had his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V converted from FIA specification to the higher horsepower SCCA Open Class spec, with his eyes on a dual championship for the season - Overall and Group N. Those hopes may now be dashed, with Scheible high-centering his car on a berm in the first stage of Leg 2. This is the second time Karl has had troubles this season with west coast logging roads, befalling the same fate at April's Oregon Trail event.

¨ British Columbia's Patrick Richard - "the hardest working man in North American Performance Rally," - the only driver running both full US and Canadian Championship series - had an extraordinary day today, muscling his normally-aspirated Production GT class 98 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS, to two fastest overall stage times of the event. Finishing 6th place overall, and missing 5th place by a mere 13 seconds over Paul Eklund's turbocharged Impreza today's performance virtually locks Richard into the Production GT Championship here in the US.

¨ Paul Eklund, who's season has been even more traumatic than Noel Lawler's, earning a mere 6 Championship points with 3 starts and only one finish, and that one being a demoralizing dead last at Ojibwe with a blown turbo, finally got the finish he has been searching for, right in his own backyard. The Tigard, Oregon resident also tied for fastest time on a stage with Eric Eaton's new Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS, making its debut in today's ClubRally support event.

¨ Perhaps the most dramatic story of the weekend was in Group 5. Mark Utecht and Bryan Hourt have been in a constantly evolving championship story, which got seriously twisted, literally, today. Coming into this event, Mark Utecht, with 3 consecutive class podium finishes held an 8-point lead over the now withdrawn Ralph Kosmides and a 20-point lead over Hourt. With Kosmides out of the way, Hourt seized the opportunity to gain points, not fully expecting the Minnesota residing Utecht to make the trip out west. Utecht made the trip, and was effectively keeping Hourt at bay, holding a comfortable lead over the Honda driver at the conclusion of Leg One. (Local favorite Carl Jardevall was leading Group 5 overall, and was the classes ultimate winner) Discouraged by his off in SS3 yesterday, Hourt was nearly 4 minutes behind Utecht, and was doing his best to catch up. Utecht got in trouble in today's first stage, running wide in a turn and getting in the marbles, flipping his Dodge Omni GLH turbo, totaling the car. Both he and co-driver emerged unscathed, but with this DNF, the Group 5 points battle has been narrowed to just 5 points between Utecht and Hourt. By the end of the day, Utecht had already secured two offers for rental rides at Prescott and Lakes Superior, and Hourt confimed that he would be at both events as well.

¨ In the Manufacturers Championship, with a growing string of strong finishes by Hyundai, the Korean manufacturer now has a solid 22 point lead over Mitsubishi, with the unofficial overall standings now at: Hyundai 122, Mitsubishi 100, Subaru 88, and Toyota 57. In an earnest effort to assist the independent teams that have pushed Mitsubishi to second place in the overall championship, the Japanese manufacturers US arm, Mitsubishi Motor Sales America, announced at Friday's press stage a contingency program for all entrants in Mitsubishi product, from Evo 6 all the way back to first generation Eclipses and trucks. The program went into effect with this event, and is similar to a support program that Subaru of America has had in place for the past two seasons.

¨ The penultimate round of the 2000 SCCA ProRally Championship will be in just two weeks, in Prescott Arizona, on September 28 - 29. The final round of the Championship, the Lake Superior SCCA ProRally, on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, will be held in mid-October.

<pre> Wild West SCCA ProRally Championship Round #7 15-16 September, 2000 Leg Two Finish Order (unofficial)

Times are in hours:minutes:seconds               
Start   Finish  Car#    Time    Seed    Class   Driver  Co-driver   year     Car
1   1   1   2:10:58 FIA Open    Noel Lawler Charlie Bradley 00  Hyundai Tiburon
2   2   2   2:15:20 FIA Open    Paul Choiniere  Jeff Becker 00  Hyundai Tiburon
4   3   4   2:17:42 1   Open    Garen Shrader   Michael Fennell 95  Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV
13  4   39  2:19:20 3   Gr 5    Carl Jardevall  Amity Trowbridge    83  Volvo 740 turbo
6   5   32  2:21:31 2   Open    Paul Eklund Scott Huhn  95  Subaru Impreza
10  6   162 2:21:44 2   GT      Patrick Richard Ben Bradley 98  Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS
8   7   20  2:23:58 2   Open    George Plsek    Alex Glesomino  90  Audi Quattro 90
16  9   201 2:25:14 5   Gr 2    Todd Hartmann   Shawn Callahan  86  VW Golf GTi
5   9   89  2:25:33 1   Gr 2    Dave White  Jimmy Brandt    88  VW Golf GTI
17  10  51  2:26:30 3   Gr 2    Jay Streets Bill Feyling    85  Toyota Corolla
11  11  71  2:28:18 2   Gr 5    Bryan Hourt Jay Kowalik 97  Honda Civic
9   12  35  2:31:32 2   Open    Lee Shadbolt    Robert Sherman  97  Subaru Impreza
19  13  55  2:33:11 3   P       Brian Vinson    Richard Beels   97  Plymouth Neon ACR
29  14  275 2:35:40 6   Gr 2    Nat T-Stow  Aaron Montgomery    87  VW Golf GTI
48  15  206 2:38:55     Gr 5    Peter VanBogart Matt VanBogart  79  VW Rabbit
31  16  250 2:39:51 6   Gr 2    Jeff Call   Rick Meade  00  VW Golf
26  17  379 2:40:43 6   Open    Jonathan Ryther Nicholas Taylor 00  Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS
25  18  131 2:40:44 5   P       Jon Tabor   Kevin Poirier   92  Nissan Sentra SE-R
23  19  232 2:45:16 5   GT      Mark Tabor  John Elkin  89  Mazda 323 GTX
47  20  271 2:46:33     Gr 2    Matt Tabor  Kristen Tabor   86  Toyota Corolla
50  21  263 2:50:35     Gr 2    Daniel Garber   Troy Grabtree   86  Toyota Corolla
49  22  208 3:08:14     Gr 5    Martyn Ford David Weimen    82  Alfa-Romeo GTV-6
42  23  288 3:18:35     Open    Gary Cavett Mika Lepisto    85  Subaru RX turbo
40  24  214 3:22:21     Gr 5    Joe Noyes   Ken Ruiz    93  Toyota Supra
41  25  287 3:51:52     P       Andrew Jacobs   Scott D Morgan  89  Honda Civic DX entries shown above with no seeding are ClubRally (support event) entries.

Leg One Retirements - unofficial Car # Drivers Name Co-Drivers Name Class Year Make stage Retirement cause (unofficial) 160* Eric Eaton Kenny Almquist Open 99 Subaru DNS Engine electronics 252 Scott Trinder Bob Trinder Open 88 Toyota DNS unknown 283* Nate Tennis Nate Petitt Gr 2 73 SAAB SS1 Accident 254* Jack Brodhead Jim Jump GT 91 Eagle SS1 Mechanical 110 Mark Nelson John Dillon FIA-N 97 Mitsubishi SS2 Accident 223* Greg Lingenbach Steve Andrews GT 90 Eagle SS2 Mechanical 242* R Scott Koch Jarred Swalwell Gr 5 79 Datsun SS2 Mechanical 261* Ron Sorem Josh Sorem GT 87 Subaru SS3 Accident, roll-over 248* Mike Mailman DJ Flagg Open 84 Audi N/A Mechanical(retired at service after SS3) 304* Lon Peterson Bill Gutzman Open 00 Subaru N/A Fuel pickup, gearbox, (retired at service after SS3) 245* Carey Wright Alan Wright Open 88 Mazda SS4 Accident 74* Ramana Lagemann John Allen Open 91 Mitsubishi SS4 High-centere on berm, time barred 207* Dave Hintz Rick Hintz Gr 5 87 Mazda SS6 Off-road, stuck, time barred 251* Kevin Pennington Janice Damitio Open 84 Audi SS6 Mechanical * indicates entries that will be allowed to re-start Day Two.

Leg Two Retirements - unofficial Car # Drivers Name Co-Drivers Name Class Year Make stage Retirement cause (unofficial) 272 Robert Reaves Tammy Reaves Gr 5 73 Mazda SS7 Accident 107 Tim Paterson Scott Ferguson Open 97 Mitsubishi SS7 Accident 61 Karl Scheible Russ Hughes Open 98 Mitsubishi SS7 High-centered on berm 83 Mark Utecht Brenda Corneliusen Gr 5 86 Dodge SS7 Accident 255 Andy Sharples Julie Sharples Open 89 Subaru SS7 Mechanical 398 Kurosh Jahromi Gunda Jahromi Open 93 Ford SS9 Rear suspension, front axle 256 Neville Green James Patton Gr 5 88 Merkur SS9 Mechanical 264 John Teeter Lee Sorenson 91 Mitsubishi SS9 Accident 165 Dennis Chizma Claire Chizma P 73 Porsche SS10 Engine 274 Ian Drucker Robert Mahoney Open 89 Toyota SS11 mechanical 84 J.B. Niday Al Kintigh Gr 2 86 VW SS13 Fuel pump 299 Michael Leonard Leon Owens Gr 2 79 SAAB SS15 Mechanical 286 Roger Jackman John Meloy Gr 5 77 Dodge SS16 Steering rack

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-SCCA/SCCA Pro Racing-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Jeff Becker , George Plsek , Ralph Kosmides , Joe Noyes , Paul Eklund , Scott Huhn , Carl Jardevall , Amity Trowbridge , Jay Streets , Bill Feyling , Mark Nelson , John Allen , Rick Hintz , Scott Trinder , Todd Hartmann , Nate Tennis , Dave White , Michael Leon , Patrick Richard , Jimmy Brandt , Scott Ferguson