RALLY: ProRally: Sno*Drift: Preview

SCCA ProRally Championship Round 1 -- Sno*Drift Rally First round (of ten) for the 2002 season. A record-breaking field of over 65 SCCA and FIA Performance Rally cars from across North America will race on demanding snow-and ice-covered roads at...

SCCA ProRally Championship Round 1 -- Sno*Drift Rally
First round (of ten) for the 2002 season. A record-breaking field of over 65 SCCA and FIA Performance Rally cars from across North America will race on demanding snow-and ice-covered roads at the northern tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. This televised event is sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).

When & Where:
* January 25-26, 2002; Atlanta, MI; approximately 100 miles (160km) north of Saginaw, MI
* Time zone at event: Eastern Time (same as New York)
* Headquarters Hotel & Saturday Press Room: A Win-Sands Motel, 11610 M33 North, Atlanta, MI 49709 - 989.785.2337 (switchboard)
* Event and Media registration (Thursday and Friday): Atlanta Senior Center -- 2/10ths of a mile north of A Win-Sands Motel on Hwy. M33 <pre> Schedule:

Thursday, 24 January, 2002 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM Registration - Atlanta Senior Center (1 hour break at 4:00 PM) 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM Scrutineering - Bus Garage - Atlanta (1 hour break at 5:00 PM)

Friday, 25 January, 2002 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM Registration - worker/entrant only - Atlanta Senior Center 8:00 AM - Noon Scrutineering - School Bus Garage - Atlanta 9:30 AM Media rendezvous for practice stage, Atlanta Senior Center - Credentials must be issued/reserved on Thursday 10:00 - Noon Practice stage (location confidential) 2:30 PM - 4:11 PM Parc Expose - Jerome Street - Atlanta 3:01 PM sharp First car starts Sno*Drift Rally - Jerome Street - Atlanta 5:00 PM First car arrives for Service - Win-Sands Motel - Atlanta 7:20 PM First car completes Day One of Sno*Drift Rally - Win-Sands Motel

Saturday, 26 January, 2002 8:01 AM sharp First car starts Day Two of Sno*Drift Rally - Win-Sands Motel 9:15 AM First car arrives for Service #1 - Win-Sands Motel - Atlanta 11:30 AM First car arrives for Service #2 - Win-Sands Motel - Atlanta 3:15 PM First car arrives for Service #3 - Win-Sands Motel - Atlanta 5:40 PM First car finishes Sno*Drift Rally - Hillman Community Center 8:00 PM Awards ceremony - Hillman Community Center {TX) Format: All events in the SCCA ProRally Championship consist of flat-out competition, in any weather, on challenging forest, mountain or desert roads. SCCA Performance Rally events follow a format similar to that used around the globe.

At-speed competition takes place only on "special stages," using challenging roads closed by local authorities for the event. "Transits" connect the "special stage" sections together and are driven at posted speeds, with teams fully subject to all traffic laws.

SCCA Performance Rally vehicles are production-based cars and trucks from manufacturers around the world. They compete both for the overall victory and wins within a class structure that groups together vehicles with similar performance capabilities.

Each vehicle carries a driver and a co-driver/navigator. Using a detailed route book and a rally computer, the co-driver keeps the team on-course and advises the driver of any hazards ahead. This role is as critical as the driver's skill, since the team is traveling at speed over roads they have not seen, in any type of weather.

Selected entries (driver/co-driver):
* 2001 Overall Driver Champion Mark Lovell with Steve Turvey, 2001 Manufacturer Champion, Open class Subaru WRX
* 8-time Overall Driver Champion Paul Choiniere & seven-time Co-Driver Champion Jeff Becker; Open Class Hyundai Tiburon
* 2001 Pikes Peak HP Showroom Stock Champion and record holder Rhys Millen with Gary Cowan, Open Class Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.5
* 2000 Group 5, 2001 PGT Driver Champion Mark Utecht with Jeff Secor - FIA Gr N Subaru WRX
* British Rallying Champions, and brothers Mark and David Higgins will be competing directly against each other for the first time in their rally careers, Mark making his US rallying debut with Hyundai, and David in the Pirelli supported AV Sport Subaru WRX.

Additional news interest:
* Several teams will be debuting all new sheet metal this year. Mitsubishi will debut the only works-backed Group 2 Lancer rally car in the world, with Lauchlin O'Sullivan at the wheel, and independent John Hamilton will take the wraps off his all new Production class VW Golf turbo diesel. Other new equipment unveilings include two independently entered new body Subaru WRXs, driven by 2001 Production GT Champion Mark Utecht and 2001 Production Class runner-up Craig Peeper.
* The Sno*Drift Rally has been re-formatted to a 2-day competition this year, but retains its popular "single service" operational layout, using the compact village of Atlanta, MI as operations headquarters, and the location of the start and all services, making this one of the most fan friendly and easiest press coverage events of the SCCA ProRally season.

Event Rank:
Sno*Drift is a full-points round for Driver & Manufacturer Championships in the SCCA ProRally.

Web sites:
SCCA ProRally: www.sccaprorally.org/
Sno*Drift Rally: www.sno-drift.org

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

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Paul Choiniere , Jeff Becker , Mark Lovell , Rhys Millen , Craig Peeper , David Higgins , Jeff Secor