ProRally: Wild West Saturday Notes

Wild West ProRally Notes 31.) The switchover to two-minute starting intervals to deal with the heavy dust did produce one logistical problem. The change made it impossible to get the necessary Emergency Medical Technician from his previous...

Wild West ProRally Notes

31.) The switchover to two-minute starting intervals to deal with the heavy dust did produce one logistical problem. The change made it impossible to get the necessary Emergency Medical Technician from his previous post to Stage 6 in time to run the stage. Therefore, cars will transit what was to have been the last stage of the evening. 32.) Mark Williams, John Buffum’s navigator did the last ProRally (Susquehannock Trail) with Mexican national champion Gabriel Ortiz-Marin, where he had to give instructions in Spanish. Just to have a little fun with Buffum, Williams started out today’s event giving him instructions in Spanish. He says that it got a rather puzzled look from Buffum. 33.) Teams are beginning to arrive back at the headquarters hotel. Noel Lawler has had a great evening. “Just havin’ fun and keepin’ it between the ditches” he says. Maybe so, but he’s nearly two minutes clear of teammate Buffum. Running first on the road, Lawler found the stages very slippery due to loose gravel, and felt that he was losing a great deal of time on the first pass through the set of three stages that was run twice. However, he was surprised to find that he was only a couple of seconds faster the second time through, even though the traction was greatly improved. 34.) Buffum is still having overheating problems. The crew looked things over earlier and concluded that he could continue. However, they have installed a special sensor, according to navigator Mark Williams. They’ve put an overflow bottle down by his feet. He says that when he can feel his feet getting wet, they know to slow down and take it easy for a while. 35.) Like so many others, Ralph Kosmides, had considerable problems with the dust, especially after catching Buffum. He also found the roads hard to read and a lot rougher the second time through. The car is running well, though, and he has a positive outlook for Saturday’s nine stages. 36.) On Stage 4, Gail Truess and Cindy Krolikowsky saw the tail of a red car sticking up out of the underbrush. Thinking that it was Kosmides and Noyes and that they may have been hurt, they stopped to check. It turned out that the car was a leftover from the previous running of that stage, and everything was okay. The stewards will make a time allowance to account for their stopping to render aid. 37.) At the start of Stage 5, Truess and Krolikowsi had their driving lights fail totally. So they drove the stage on just headlights. Perhaps the most disappointing part was that the car was running better than it had for a couple of events, but they just couldn’t use its performance. 38.) Lauchlin O’Sullivan and John Oxford finished the evening in third overall, and were feeling good, despite virtually stopping three times due to the dust. Having won here a few weeks ago, O’Sullivan felt as though he had sort of a home-field advantage and was looking forward to Saturday. 39.) Tony Chavez and Ken Cassidy (Mitsubishi Galant VR-4)had their share of excitement this evening. Two miles from the end of Stage 4 they came charging into a fast downhill lefthander, and the brake pedal went straight to the floor. Cassidy says that Chavez’s hands “got very busy” on the shifter. They made the turn, but had to drive the rest of that stage and the next, and the transits without brakes. 40.) Paul Eklund and John Allen (Subaru Impreza)had to deal with serious overheating for the first three stages. A friendly farmer lent them a hose to refill the cooling system. Later, the crew was able to look the car over and pronounce it fit to continue. They’re looking forward to moving through the field on Saturday. 41.) John Lane and Scott Huhn bent a strut early on in their Volvo with the claimed 600-hp (yes, six hundred). They hit a rock in the road so hard that the whole car gave off a loud, resonating bong. They also lost a minute to a wrong slot. Lane loves his high-intensity discharge lights. Compared to the usual halogen rally lights, he says that the difference it like bright black-and-white versus brilliant color. 42.) Gerry Valentini and Lee Sorenson (Mazda Rx-7) wrong-slotted on Stage 4 and then lost three and a half minutes when they got stuck trying to turn around. They’re hoping for a bit more fun on Saturday. 43.) Other than wrong-slotting in a spot where the banner guard may have been down, and another car was blocking the right choice, Kendall Russell and John Dillon are having a pretty good time in their Dodge Shadow.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Ralph Kosmides , Paul Eklund , Scott Huhn , John Allen , Ken Cassidy , John Buffum , Mark Williams
Teams Williams