Maine Forest PRO Rally Round ...
Maine Forest PRO Rally Round #6 - 1998 Michelin PRO Rally Championship Rumford, Maine Press Notes #3 - Friday, July 31 - 7:00 PM
9. Another note from an upcoming rally - this one from the organizers of the Ojibwe Forests PRO Rally. Both the headquarters hotel - the Northern Inn - and the neighboring Comfort Inn - are full of PRO Rally people. The organizer has reserved a block of rooms at the Best Western - Bemidji (less than a mile away), so get your rooms quickly. The Best Western's number is (218) 751-0390.
10. The resources of a special guest came into play last night when Carl Merrill's car had its problems on a demonstration run yesterday. Here on vacation from Borham, England, is Gary "Gazzer" Baker, a veteran car preparer of Ford Escort Cosworths for the World Rally Championship. WeeGee Smith, Merrill's car preparer, has established a relationship with Baker from his numerous trips to England for technical info on the Cosworth, and Baker is returning the favor by coming to Maine to help Carl this weekend. And last night, he was a big help as WeeGee replaced the turbo and installed new gears 4-7.
11. The advantage of being an airline pilot is that you might be able to arrange your schedule around rally activity. Mike Whitman, a resident of Farmington, New Mexico, left his car in Pennsylvania after STPR, but was able to arrange his America West flying schedule to swoop by Penn. several times since early June to work on the car - especially brakes which were troublesome at that event.
12. With registration coming to a close, it looks like 61 cars - a record field - will start this event. The cars will run two 4-1/2 mile stages just north of Rumford, and then come back to town to run two stages through the streets of Rumford. These are the only two PRO Rally stages in the U.S. that run on downtown streets. The downtown stages will be run in reverse starting order at 30-second intervals.
13. The Gail Truess/Patti Hughes Mazda 323GTX, formerly an Open class car, became a Production GT car courtesy of Bill Driegert's co-driver Tony Lumino, who lent Truess a back seat to make the car legal.
14. 55 cars - all the national entrants - started the 11th Maine Forest PRO Rally in downtown Rumford, and the only car which did not make it back to the downtown area after the first two stages was the Audi 4000 Quattro of Jon Kemp/Gail McGuire, which went off the road at speed and hit several hard objects before coming to a stop. Details to come.
15. Bruno Kreibich/Rod Hendricksen Audi Quattro and Lee Shadbolt/Paul Eklund Subaru Impreza both spun on stage #2, losing valuable time in class, but staying on the road.
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