North Woods Winter Rally January 27, 1996 FINAL RESULTS CAR # (DRIVER/CO-DRIVER) CAR SCORE 3 H Krolikowski/C Krolikowski Dodge 1:25:49 1 4WD 43 A.K. Kaumeheiwa/C Sobczak Dodge 1:28:08 1 U2 13 W Prochaska/A Prochaska VW 1:47:57 2 U2 5 R Villemure/M Villemure VW 1:48:57 3 U2 22 Chris Czyzio/Scott Cope Plymouth 1:52:57 1 O2 9 Rob Bohn/Lynn Dillon Mitsubishi 2:00:42 2 4WD 34 A Burmeister/E Burmeister VW 2:01:19 2 O2 16 Mike Hurst/Todd Houtz Nissan 2:15:05 4 U2 47 Ken Cashion/Bob Isaac Ford 2:20:34 5 U2 19 Mitch McCullough/D Dill Mazda 2:29:15 3 4WD 2 Phil Macy/Barb Steencken Plymouth 2:43:32 6 U2 8 Colin McCleery/T Beltman Ford DNF
by Mitch McCullough
ATLANTA, Mich., Jan. 27 -- Henry and Cindy Krolikowski drove the wheels off their Michelin-shod appliance-white Dodge Shadow to win the North Woods Winter Rally. They were followed closely by a beautifully prepared Dodge Neon driven by A.K. Kaumeheiwa and Craig Sobczak on Bridgestone Blizzaks.
A dozen teams had towed their race cars through flying snow up in northern Michigan to enter this second event on the SCCA Central Division PRO Rally calendar. More than 35 miles of narrow roads comprising nine special stages twisted and undulated through the dense woods on Lockwood Lake Ranch, owned by National PRO Rally standout Henry Joy.
A light dusting of snow provided little grip on the icy special stages and teams debated the relative merits of Michelin C5s, Bridgestone Blizzaks and Hakkas. Big flakes drifted through the trees until late afternoon when the skies cleared and the sun turned the rolling landscape gold, while service crews tried to stay warm around barrels of burning wood during the nine-hour event. Joy had plowed the roads and nearly everyone got stuck on the snow banks at least once.
Wayne and Annette Prochaska finished third in their Volkswagen Golf in spite of stopping numerous times to yank out their competitors with a tow rope. I was leading the event in the early stages with odometer-less navigator Doug Dill when we ended up on a snow bank at the bottom of a long downhill straight. Along came the Prochaskas with their tow rope.
We had possibly regained the lead near the end of the ninth and final stage when, rounding a 70-mph sweeper, I spun and high-centered the car on a steep snow bank. Along came the Prochaskas again, but this time even their mighty tow rope couldn't provide enough yank. We had been the third car out on the stage. The Krolikowskis' Shadow and Kaumeheiwa's Neon had motored on to champagne and stardom while the rest field behind us was held up by a steep hill that proved nearly impossible for the front-drive cars to negotiate.
Under a black sky studded with stars, we vainly tried to dig the car out with clubs and sticks, discussing the relative hazards of hypothermia and wolves. Every five minutes or so a rally car would pass by, yank a few times and continue. Finally, the sweep truck was successful and we finished brilliantly in 10th.
At one point, the Krolikowskis stuffed their Shadow and completely blocked the stage. We came upon Kaumeheiwa who had hooked up a tow rope and was trying to pull their car backwards. We attached our tow rope to Kaumeheiwa's Neon and had a successful menage-a-trois with the three cars as the rest of the field watched with amusement.
Reny and Mike Villemure finished fourth in their multi-louvered highly modified VW Beetle, sending up a white rooster tail in every corner, followed by Chris Czyzio and Scott Cope in similar form with their Plymouth Arrow.
We put a shovel on our shopping list and look forward to the summer edition of the North Woods rally.