|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||November 9, 1980|
HOUGHTON, Michigan -- New Zealander Rod Millen drove his specially prepared Mazda RX-7 to an impressive nine minute win over a field of 83 of the country's finest PRO Rally drivers at the 32nd running of SCCA's Budweiser Press On Regardless.
The rain, snow, ice and unforgiving roads of Michigan's Upper peninsula played havoc with the field and after two days and more than 600 miles of rally, only 22 cars finished.
Millen and co-driver Cam Warren of Reno, Nev. , had to overcome an early rally penalty and an accident late the second night. The win moves Millen into a tie for the lead in the U.S. Rally Championship and moves Mazda into a commanding lead in the manufacturer's standings.
Second went to SCCA race star Jon Woodner of Washington, D.C. , and partner Jerry Hinkle in a Triumph TR-8. It was clearly the best rally drive of Woodner's year-and-a-half career as a PRO Rally driver. Woodner was outspoken in his praise for his mechanic who, on one occasion, replaced a burnt out starter motor in less than 12 minutes and, on another, replaced a broken panhard rod in less than ten.
Third went to the team of New Zealander's, John Woolf and his co-driver, Grant Whittaker in a Mazda RX-3. As much as anyone else, this pair exemplified the Press On Regardless spirit by overcoming spins, flat tires, and a broken suspenalon to not only press on, but actually improve their position after losing 11 minutes fixing the cars suspension in the middle of one of the rally's 33 special stages.
The top five were rounded out by two Michigan teams. Guy Light and Jim Brandt took top four wheel drive honors in their CJ-7 Jeep while Larry Schmidt and Joe Andreini claimed fifth in their Dodge Colt.
Production Class was won by Mark Hardymon and Tom Drake, who were running Production for the first time in their Plymouth Arrow. They had been involved in a see-saw battle with the Saab 99 of Fred Stafford and Brick Hauge which went out half way through the second night after suspension failure put the car into the trees.
Reigning PRO Rally Champion John Buffum and partner Doug Shepherd were involved in a bad accident early Saturday morning while running in the lead. They went off the road at very high speed and wrapped their Triumph TR-8 around a tree. Buffum was trapped in the car for a short time, but escaped with only a pair of seriously bruised feet. Buffum's Triumph joined a long list of disabled cars which spent the night scattered over the Michigan countryside.
Press On Regardless was the 11th round of the SCCA PRO Rally Series. The next event is Sno*Drift in Grayling, Mich., Dec. 6-7.
SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044
EVENT: Budweiser Press On Regardless EVENT CONDUTED BY: Detroit Region, SCCA LOCATION: Houghton, Michigan LENGTH: 678 Miles, 33 stages DATE: November 7-9, 1980 WEATHER: Cold, intermittent rain and snow ENTRANTS: 83: FINISHERS: 21 TERRAIN: Forest, rolliny hills FIN CHAMP MFG. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. Rod Millen, Santa Ana, CA Mazda RX-7 6:03.61 100 100 Cam Warren, Reno, NV 100 2. Jon Woodner, Wash. D.C. Triumph TR-8 6:12.56 80 80 Jerry Hinkle, Columbia, MD 80 3. John Woolf, Santa Ana, CA Mazda RX-3 6:18.69 60 Grant Whittaker, Santa Ana, CA 60 4. Guy Light, Midland, MI AMC CJ-7 6:21.37 50 50 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI 50 5. Larry Schmidt, Rochester, MI Dodge Colt 6:22.57 40 40 Joe Andreini, St. Clair Shores, MI 40 6. Dick Turner, Lancaster, TX International Scout II 6:25.48 30 30 Tom Grimshaw, Aubrey, TX 30 7. Dave Schipper, Ann Arbor, MI Dodge Colt 6:40.22 20 Jim Kloosterman, Ypsilanti, MI 20 8. Bruno Kriebich, Ridgewood, NY Porsche 911 Carrera 6:58.30 19 Scott Hughes, Loveland, OH 19 9. Mark Hardymon, Powell, OH Plymouth Arrow 7:02.84 18 Tom Drake, Columbus, OH 18 10. Robert Schneider, Sylvania, OH VW Rabbit 7:20.87 17 Larry Ward, Toledo, OH 17 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Mark Hardymon, Powell, OH Plymouth Arrow 7:02.84 100 100 Tom Drake, Columbus, OH 100 2. K. Davieson Annis, Natick, MA Audi Fox 7:36.57 80 80 Jim Blumenfeld, Weston, MA 80 3. Henry Krolikowski, Wyandotte, MI Dodge Colt 7:59.12 60 60 John Furohak, Southgate, MI 60 STANDINGS AFTER ELEVEN EVENTS DRIVER PRODUCTION DRIVER 1. Rod Millen 500 1. Jon Davis 500 John Buffum 500 2. Dan Johnson 240 3. John Woolf 380 3. George Beckorman 180 4. Jon Woodner 330 4. Jim olinger 170 5. Dick Turner 200 Fred Stafford 170 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. Doug Shepherd 500 1. Harry Ward 500 2. Grant Whittaker 380 2. Waren Johnson 240 3. Tom Grimshaw 200 3. Doris Beckerman 180 4. David Orrick 190 4. Greg Harris 160 5. Joe Andreini 187 Ron Richardson 160 Harry Ward 187 MANUFACTURER PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Mazda 840 1. Saab 900 2. Triumph 770 2. Plymouth 650 3. Dodge 350 3. Dodge 430 4. Datsun 270 4. Audi 140 5. IH Scout 260 5. Mercury 110 Toyota 110