RALLY: Maine PRO Rally - Notes #6

Maine Forest PRO Rally Round ...

Maine Forest PRO Rally Round #6 - 1998 Michelin PRO Rally Championship Rumford, Maine Press Notes #6 - Saturday, August 1 - 9:00 PM

Note: Notes #5 - containing item #22 - were the standings from Friday night which were already posted previously - this note was issued at the event in order to print card copies.

23. In for service after seven stages (three stages today), Paul Choiniere and Jeff Becker in their Hyundai Elantra continue to lead the David Summerbell/Michael Fennell Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV by 24 seconds. The third car in the mix - the Carl Merrill/Lance Smith Ford Escort Cosworth - got airborn on stage #5 and hit a rock upon landing, pulling the half-shaft out of the transmission. It's a particularly costly DNF for Merrill, who had a points lead on both Summerbell and Choiniere going into the event. Noel Lawler/Charles Bradley move into third place in the Libra Racing Hyundai Elantra, 57 seconds behind Summerbell.

24. The classes after #7:

--Bill Driegert/Tony Lumino Mitsubishi Galant (fourth overall - first in Production GT). --Chris Havas/Eric Trembley VW GTI (8th overall - first in Group 2). --Ralph Kosmides/Joe Noyes Toyota Supra (9th overall - first in Group 5). --Jay Kowalik/Scott Embree Honda Civic VTEC (20th overall - first in Production.

25. Other DNF's include:

--Hynds/Mitchell VW GTI - suspension --Smejkal/Hladky Ford Escort Cosworth - transmission --Rosenshein/Cote Suzuki Swift - suspension/crash --Mendham/Mendham Nissan Sentra - engine --White/Casey Saab 99 - engine

26. Other service reports:

--The Tom Ottey/Pam McGravey Mazda 323GTX, which has a new transmission and rebuilt engine since STPR, lost the lead in PG to Bill Driegert as Tom was afraid to strain the new tranny by turning up the turbo boost. But he wants to get the class lead back, and plans to turn up the boost for the longer stages this afternoon.

--The Mike Hurst/Rob Bohn Mazda RX-7 lost six minutes on stage #7 when a rock hit the right front rim, breaking the wheel and leaving only the immediate area around the bolt pattern attached to the car. The wheel and perfectly-inflated tire is still out in woods somewhere.

--The Vinnie Frontinan/Frank Cunningham VW Corrado is lagging behind the Group 5 field as the supercharger is not working.

--The Lesley Suddard/Marc Goldfarb Dodge Charger, currently third in Group 5, is running 100 percent better than the last event after engine work, but Suddard was replacing a MAP sensor at service after experiencing ignition problems.

--The Mike Whitman/Paula Gibeault Ford Sierra Cosworth broke two axle hub bolts - a nasty problem as it is difficult to remove the broke bolts. Enter service neighbor Guy Light, who lent his expertise and a torch to remove the bolts, and let the Whitman crew

27. The battle lines have been drawn for the final stages in several classes:

--Paul Choiniere and Jeff Becker continue to maintain a 20 - 30 second lead over David Summerbell/Michael Fennell throughout the rally, but the two cars are turning similar stage times. Both have to go all out to gain a win, but a mistake could put either out of the competition. --In Production GT, the Bill Driegert/Tony Lumino Mitsubishi Galant continues to hold a slim lead despite the best efforts of the Steve Gingras/Eric Carlson Eagle Talon. Gingras said he ran the best stage of his life on stage #9, only to find out that Driegert beat him by 1/100 of a second. --Although he will not make it to enough events to run for the national title, the Chris Havas/Eric Trembley VW GTI is showing the Group 2 drivers from the West Coast that the class is alive and well in New England. Havas has maintained a 30 - 60 second lead over White - the national points leader - all day, with the Bill Malik/Christian Edstrom Volvo 240 another 30 seconds back. --Group 5 points leader Ralph Kosmides/Joe Noyes has a comfortable lead over the Vinny Frontinan/Frank Cunningham VW Corrado, thanks to the crash of closest pursuers Rick Davis/Ben Greisler in the BMW 318ti. Rick went into a ditch at high speed, rolled his car over, and came to rest on the car's side. The drivers and spectators couldn't quite get the car pushed onto its wheels, causing a DNF. --Jay Kowalik/Scott Embree in the Honda Civic VTEC have a comfortable lead in Production.

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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Jeff Becker , Ralph Kosmides , Joe Noyes , Christian Edstrom , Frank Cunningham , Lance Smith , Marc Goldfarb