Start Order & Late Breaking News: SCCAÂ® ProRally Championship Round ...
Start Order & Late Breaking News: SCCA® ProRally Championship Round # 2 - Cherokee Trails
Chattanooga, Tennessee: The FIA Internationally listed SCCA ProRally Championship event starts tomorrow morning with an impressive over 90 car field of manufacturer supported and top independently entered performance rally cars from the US, Canada and abroad. The one-day Rally starts at 6:00 AM Saturday morning, at the CricKet Pavilion in downtown Chattanooga.
Selected late entries, news
· The rally is substantially revised from its inaugural running last year, with the event trimmed down from 3-short days of rallying to just one that will be long and grueling. Several of the stage roads are new this year as well, so the Thursday availability of the roads for recce and pacenoting were vital. Some things haven't changed however, such as the use of the beautiful and convenient 1996 Atlanta Olympic's Whitewater Center as the single service point throughout the event.
· There are plenty of new Independent entries for the 2002 season that are making their debuts at Cherokee, including just out of retirement rally veteran Bob Henderson and recently retired Series Manager John McArthur in an all-new 2002 Subaru WRX. Seamus Burke and Rory Kennedy are debuting their all new TAD Motorsports prepared Mitsubishi lancer Evo 6.5.
· In the Subaru/Prodrive camp, things seem quiet on the surface, but this has been one busy outfit since January's Sno*Drift rally. 2001 Driver's champion Mark Lovell and Steve Turvey will be in an all-new, re-engineered 2002 WRX, and Ramana Lagemann, who did his best to knock down a very substantial tree with his WRX at Sno*Drift, has a thoroughly re-constructed ride for this weekend.
· Rallying Legend John Buffum made a big splash here last year, substitute driving for an ailing Paul Choiniere, and smoothly piloting his Tiburon to 2nd place overall. This year Hyundai is making an even bigger splash, synchronizing the launch of the all-new Tiburon coupe at dealerships with the debut of the all-new rally version of the car here in Chattanooga. When asked if the team would be using this weekends rally as a shakedown for these yet un-rallied cars, Hyundai Motorsports Manager Toni Honsowetz was clear: "We're ready to run at the front, right now. No holding back."
· Weather forecast: the substantial fog that has blanketed much of the Atlanta/Chattanooga corridor for several days (and was a factor in the huge 100+ car pileup on I-75 yesterday just south of town) has cleared, but more light rain is forecast for event day. This will keep dust to a minimum, but will also ensure that the red clay that makes up much of this part of the country remains very slick. While not snow and ice, it can be nearly as slippery, and just as at Round #1 this past January, tire choice will be a deciding factor for many teams success or failure here in the Tennessee forests.
For further information, please visit these Web sites: · SCCA ProRally: www.sccaprorally.org/ · International Cherokee Trails Rally: www.cherokeetrailsrally.com
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