RALLY: ProRally: Sno*Drift news update 2002-01-25

SCCA® ProRallysm Championship Round ...

SCCA® ProRallysm Championship Round # 1 - Sno*Drift

Atlanta, Michigan: The season opening round of the 2002 SCCA ProRally Championship starts this afternoon with a record setting field of performance rally cars and drivers from the US, Canada and abroad. The Rally starts at 3:00 PM Friday afternoon, immediately following a Parc Expose of all the rally cars at the Old Atlanta Middle School in downtown Atlanta.

Selected late entries, news

* For the third year in a row the event has is the largest Sno*Drift SCCA ProRally ever, with 67 entrants on the start list. Included in that list are an impressive number of overseas competitors, including the Higgins brothers; Mark and David, along with their co-drivers Michael Gibson and Calvin Cooledge; 2001 Drivers Champion Mark Lovell, with co-driving regular Steve Turvey, and a new co-driver, Rory Kennedy, for 2001 Drivers Champion runner up Seamus Burke. Returning for a second season along with Turvey are Michael Kidd, co-driving for 2001 rising star Ramana Lagemann, and Ian Bevan with 2001 Production class runner-up Craig Peeper.

* If the name "Calvin Cooledge" sounds eerily familiar, that's because we had an early 20th century President with a similar name. And yes, he is related. According to Denbighshire, UK's Calvin, the family split occurred in 1634, with the future Presidential wing of the family settling in Watertown, NY, and the rallying family staying back in the old country. The exact moment of the spelling change isn't clear, but 10 rallys from now we will know if "Series Champion Cooledge" and "President Coolidge" are synonymous.

* Rallying Legend John Buffum landed the first surprise of the season, arriving with not two but three Hyundais, with Canadian rallying stars Frank and Dan Sprongl in the team's evergreen (and final rally) Elantra. Mark Higgins, with Michael Gibons will be driving the #5 Tiburon, and multi-time co-champions Paul Choiniere and Jeff Becker will be returning in the #6 Tiburon. Buffum and Hyundai have made sweeping changes in the team structure, and will be debuting radical, all new 2003 model Tiburon coupes at Round 2 - the Cherokee Trail International Rally, in March.

* Weather forecast: A distinct lack of snow and above average daytime temperatures this year is making tire choice the buzz word of the event. In the wooded areas of the rally, the roads are solid ice, but clear cut areas are 'defrosted' about 1 inch down, creating a slimy mud over hard packed frozen gravel. At night, with temperatures dipping well below freezing, road conditions will change dramatically. In addition, the forecast is calling for occasional snow flurries throughout the day and night, but with sharply warming temperatures on Saturday.

For further information, please visit these Web sites:
* SCCA ProRally: www.sccaprorally.org/
* SCCA Sno*Drift ProRally: www.sno-drfit.org

The SCCA ProRally Championship is presented by Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Subaru, and is televised on Speedvision in North America.

-scca pro rally-

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Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Jeff Becker , Seamus Burke , Mark Lovell , Craig Peeper , Michael Gibson , John Buffum , Rory Kennedy