|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||December 13, 1982|
RENO, Nevada. -- Deep snow and icy roads took a heavy toll on the entrants at the Reno International PRO Rally Saturday. Only 21 of the original 81 starters were around to take the checkered flag at the MCM Grand Hotel at midnight Saturday. On top of the pack by more than eight minutes were New Zealander Rod Millen and his co-driver R. Dale Kraushaar of Tigard, Oregon. Millen said his Mazda RX-7 performed flawlessly all night, enabling him to win his fourth event of the season in the Sports Car Club of America PRO Rally Championship.
John Buffum of Burlington, Vermont and Doug Shepherd of Livonia, Michigan, were second in their four-wheel-drive Audi Quattro. The finish was enough to clinch the SCCA PRO Rally Championship for Buffum for the sixth time. It also marked Audi's first manufacturer's Championship in the series history and will go well with the German firm's World Rally Championship won earlier this year.
The Production Class victory went to Guy Light of Midland, Michigan, and his partner, Jim Brandt, of Lake Odessa, Michigan, who won their second PRO Rally in 10 days in their Oldsmobile Omega. They won the Sno*Drift Rally Dec. 5 in Michigan. Another Michigan pair, Gary and Carolyn Eaton were closing in on Light in their Peugeot 505 until they became blocked in the Giant Ice Jam on the seventh of the rally's 11 Stages. Sandy and Linda Liversidge then came on to finish second in their Saab 99, giving Sandy second overall in the Production Class National Standings.
Winner of the 1982 PRO Rally Production Class was Steve Nowicki of New Berlin Wisconsin, who finished third overall at Reno in a Plymouth Arrow -- which he had prepared in three days after wrecking his car at Sno*Drift a week earlier. Nowicki had been lucky enough to be running at just the right place in the rally to not get too deeply ensnarled in the blockage on Stage seven,
At least a dozen cars were so delayed by the ice and snow that they were not able to get into the next control within the time allowed and were timed barred. Several protests were then filed and it took a long time to finally resolve the conflict. Reportedly, after the Datsun 280Z of Nobuhiro Tajima of Japan got stuck and blocked the stage, most of the rally cars piled up behind the Datsun. The lucky ones who got through then came upon the Renault 5 Turbo of Jean-Paul Luc of France. The French car was also stuck, but competitors were able to get around it and continue. Luc was finally able to get through, but was unable to finish the rally due to electrical problems later on. Fourth overall went to Larry Schmidt and Joe Andreini in their Dodge Colt. This marked the second time in two years that this team and car finished fourth, making them the best private entry at the event. The most incredible finish of the night goes to Kris Mellon and Kathy Sautter, as the California team finished 10th overall and fifth in the Production Class in spite of rolling their Plymouth Arrow twice on the tenth Stage.
Notable non-finishers included Jon Woodner whose Peugeot 504 Coupe went out with broken suspension; Steve Mizel and Clark Bond who rolled their Ford Bronco on Stage two; and Louise Aitken of Scotland who blew the engine on her Plymouth Arrow on Stage four.
The Reno International PRO Rally was the final stop on the 13-event PRO Rally Championship, but the schedule for the next year is already posted and judging from the manfacturers, foreign press and drivers who were at Reno, 1983 could well be the best season ever for PRO Rallying.
SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044
EVENT: Reno International EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Reno Region, SCCA LOCATION: Reno, Nevada LENGTH: Approx. 250 total miles, 120 stage miles DATE: December 11-12, 1982 WEATHER: Cold (snow and rain prior to the event) ENTRANTS: 81 FINISHERS: 21 TERRAIN: Desert and low mountains. Roads muddy FIN. CHAMP. MEG. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, Calif. Mazda RX-7 138.02 20 20 R. Dale Kraushaar, Tigard, Oreg. 20 2. John Buffum, S. Burlington, Vt. Audi Quattro 146.69 15 15 Doug Shepherd, Livonia, Mich. 15 3.(1P) Guy Light, Midland, Mich. Oldsmobile 156.83 12 12 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, Mich. Omega 12 4. Larry Schmidt, Rochester, Mich. Dodge Colt 157.46 10 10 Joe Andreini, St. Clair Shores, Mich. 10 5.(2P) Sandy Liversidge, Jericho, Vt. Saab 99 164.00 8 8 Linda Wilcox, Jericho, Vt. 8 6. Steve Parker, Redmond, Wash. Mazda RX-3 184.76 6 Goran Ostlund, Seattle, Wash. 6 7.(3P) Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, Wis. Plymouth 212.31 4 4 Ty Holmouist, Mission Viejo, Calif. Arrow 4 8. Kenneth Smith, Northridge, Calif. Plymouth 219.18 3 George Kapatanakis, Glendale, Calif. Fire Arrow 3 9.(4P) Bill Brooks, Olympia, Wash. Audi Coupe 227.32 2 Bill Banger, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 2 1O.(5P) Kris Mellon, Kings Beach, Calif. Plymouth 217.52 1 Kathy Sautter, Bakersfield, Calif. Arrow 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Guy Light, Midland, Mich. Oldsmobile 156.83 20 20 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, Mich. Omega 20 2. Sandy Liversidge, Jericho, Vt. Saab 99 164.00 15 15 Linda Wilcox, Jericho, Vt. 15 3. Steve Nowicki, New Berlin, Wis. Plymouth 184.76 12 12 Ty Holmquist, Mission Viejo, Cal if. Arrow 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER THIRTEEN EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. John Buffum, Audi 135 1. Steve Nowicki, Plymouth 124 2. Rod Millen, Mazda 125 2. Sandy Liversidge, Saab 117 3. Jon Woodner, Peugeot 73 3. Guy Light, Oldsmobile 101 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. Doug Shepherd 135 1. Linda Wilcox 117 2. R. Dale Kraushaar 125 2. Jim Brandt 101 3. Ginny Reese 64 3. Jim Kloosterman 87 MANUFACTURERS PRODUCTION MANUFACTURERS 1. Audi 195 1. Saab 164 2. Mazda 185 2. Plymouth 162 3. Peugeot 114 3. AMC 103