StudBug Stranded in the South Tulsa, Oklahoma -- September 6th 2001 -- The RealAutoSport, LLC Volkswagen New Beetle Rally Car will miss this weekend's Wild West Sports Car Club of America ProRally in Olympia, Washington due to a last minute ...
StudBug Stranded in the South
Tulsa, Oklahoma -- September 6th 2001 -- The RealAutoSport, LLC Volkswagen New Beetle Rally Car will miss this weekend's Wild West Sports Car Club of America ProRally in Olympia, Washington due to a last minute transportation problem. While this outcome appeared to end the StudBug driving team's quest for their respective 2001 Production Class titles, driver Michael Halley and codriver Ole Holter's hopes remained alive less than 36 hours before the start of the event.
Halley said, "The flood of responses to our rally forum and email list pleas for help were simply staggering. We examined possibilities offered by production class competitors that included Tony Chavez, Kevin Poirier, the Tabors, Paula Gibeault and 1998 class champion Trevor Donison. Right up to the last minute we discussed borrowing Amy BeberVanzo's new, California-based Mitsubishi Eclipse. We chatted with Amy, Carlos Arrieta, Doug Robinson and Claire Chizma hoping to coordinate fitting me into a driver's space crafted for a young lady but there were just too many variables to manage so the inescapable, late-hour decision to pass this event was made. Despite this setback it's hard to be depressed knowing I'm part of the greatest rally family in the world!"
Things have been less than perfect for the team all season long. Halley said, "SNO*DRIFT had been run before we even purchased the vehicle made famous in those Cute Car television ads. We had a great result in Tennessee mere weeks after my wife, Mary Jane, shared three magic words during a Valentine's Day lunch. 'Buy the Bug,' she said."
The season took a cruel turn when a large California rock knocked an in-tank fuel pump connection loose stopping the car at the Rim of the World ProRally. The roller coaster ride continued when another first-runner-up class finish was recorded at the Susquehannock Trails ProRally in Pennsylvania, but then a flat tire cost the team many positions in the Maine Forest ProRally a month later. After Tulsa's Brad Noe Volkswagen remedied an engine control malady that stopped the StudBug halfway through Minnesota' s Ojibwe Forest ProRally last month, support from Ackerman Erectors and Northwest Consulting Services, Inc. made the Seattle trip feasible. Now the team is left finalizing plans to lock up the final championship podium slot at Arizona's Prescott Forest and Michigan's Lake Superior SCCA ProRallys in October.
The SCCA ProRally Championship is the nation's only performance rally series with uniquely varied venues coast-to-coast. Teams compete flat-out for hundreds of miles over closed-to-the-public forestry roads separated into a series of special stages. A codriver warns the driver of jumps, dangerous turns, exposures and other obstacles thanks to the official route book and a hundredth reading odometer. All events are televised on Speedvision (www.speedvision.com).
The RealAutoSport, LLC Rallye Team is sponsored by Northwest Consulting Services, Inc. (http://home.pacifier.com/~rbruner/), Floor Gator spill remediation systems (www.okgator.com), Flower City Printing (www.flowercityprinting.com), KC HiLiTES HID Racing Lamps (www.kchilites.com), Competition Graphics (www.competitiongraphics.com), Lazer Incorporated and Ackerman Erectors. Volkswagen of America provides parts support for the StudBug. Information on performance rallying is available from the SCCA webpage (www.scca.org).