RALLY: ProRally: Oregon Trail: Leg one report

SCCA® ProRally Championship - Round 3 - Oregon Trail Day One News HILLSBORO, Oregon Cooperative weather and a surprisingly large batch of mechanical woes shuffled the top deck of the field in Day One of the Oregon Trail Rally, placing ...

SCCA® ProRally Championship - Round 3 - Oregon Trail
Day One News

HILLSBORO, Oregon Cooperative weather and a surprisingly large batch of mechanical woes shuffled the top deck of the field in Day One of the Oregon Trail Rally, placing independent driver David Higgins on the top of the heap, while brother Mark, who set blistering stage times in his Hyundai early on, was setback with recurring transmission woes after SS5. 2001 Champion Mark Lovell had a driveshaft fail on his Subaru, and multi-time drivers and co-drivers champions Paul Choiniere and Jeff Becker also wound up watching the rally from the sidelines when their transmission came apart in SS3.

Key Notes and Quotes:

· "It's a clear indication that we are all running really hard" said Jeff Becker at this afternoon's service at the Tillamook Blimp Hanger and Air Museum, when asked about the high number of mechanical failures many teams that run the full season Championship has been experiencing lately. 'We're all asking everything from our cars and crews - so things are bound to break."

· Adding to the intense pressure on teams at Oregon Trail is the highly anticipated debut of Stage Noting - a new route instruction "language" to the vast majority of USA teams, but one that is familiar to many in the world-wide sport of rallying. Stage Noting, as it is called here, presents competitors with a highly detailed set of coded route instructions, vs the traditional graphical 'tulip' style of route booking used in the USA for decades. This new feature has nearly everyone rallying this weekend scrambling to learn the new process, but with good results. The overall competition is closer than ever.

· An unexpectedly high turnout of spectators caused some early event delays as course marshals were kept busy ensuring that the course remained clear for the competitors. No stages were canceled however, and the crowds estimated by several sources to be in the thousands, were all given a great show of SCCA ProRallying by both the stars of the national championship and the large array of local favorites entered in the Event.

· Among the local stars, Carl Jardevall and Amity Trowbridge shown brightest, running as high as 3rd place overall in today's competition. Paul Eklund and Scott Huhn, debuting their all-new and un-tested Subaru WRX had minor clutch and brake problems, and were unable to keep a leading pace for much of the day.

· In the overall standings, Ralph Kosmides of Newport Beach CA leads the FIA Group N category, by nearly 1.25 minutes over Tempe AZ's Peter Workum. Local favorites Dave and Rick Hintz lead the Group 5 class in their RX-7 turbo over fellow RX-7 driver Carey Wright by approximately 45 seconds. Production GT is being lead by Greg Linglebach over Mika Lepisto also by an approximate 45 second margin - neither of these two class leaders will be able to relax tomorrow. On the other hand, Josh Jacquot and Dave Coleman, driving Hyundai's all new 2003 Tiburon on its maiden voyage, are leading the Production class by a handy 2-minute margin over nearest competitor Jeff Field and Dave Wieman, in a 2002 Toyota Celica GT-S.

· Group 2, the popular small displacement (2-litre) two-wheel drive class, frequently has close competition, and this event is no exception. Scott Fuller and Jeff Call have been waging a real grinder between their independently entered VW Golf GTi and the Mitsubishi backed 2002 Lancer RMR of Lauchlin O'Sullivan and Matt Chester. Leading by a scant 13 seconds, this 9-car class has several contenders in the wings, so both these combatants will be driving hard, but watching their mirrors, as they rally the final stages in tomorrow's competition.

· Day two of the Oregon Trail Rally begins tomorrow at 8:00 AM from the West Coast Hotel in Hillsboro. A total of 5 stages will be run Sunday, several known for excellent spectating, with cars returning to Hillsboro in the early afternoon.

-scca pro rally-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Jeff Becker , Ralph Kosmides , Scott Huhn , Carl Jardevall , Amity Trowbridge , Peter Workum , Rick Hintz , Josh Jacquot , David Higgins , Dave Coleman