100 Acre Wood Pro Rally 1980



ROLLA, Missouri -- Defending PRO Rally Champion, John Buffum, proved that he is still the man to beat in U.S. performance rallying. The South Burlington, Vermont resident and his partner, Doug Shepherd, drove their Triumph TR-8 to a slim 48-second victory In the 14-hour, 400 mile 100 Acre Wood Rally. Buffum's fourth win in the 100 Acre's four-year history makes him the event's only winner.

The victory didn't come easily. Buffum's fiercest challenge came from New Zealander, Rod Millen, in his brand new Mazda RX-7. Millen and co-driver John Grimshaw were in a car which was finished only two days before the rally. They stayed close through the entire night, winninj six of the rally's 12 special stages. But in the end, it was Buffum running a car that has a full year's development who claimed top money.

Third went to Jon Woodner of Washington, D.C., and his partner from England, David Orrick in another Triumph TR-8. For the former SCCA racer and second year rallyist, it was his best finish at a PRO Rally.

The 52 car field was decimated by the rough, challenging roads of southern Missouri and by a significant number of driver-error accidents which were due, in part, to the rally's considerable length. At least four cars rolled including Tom Bell who completely destroyed his Datsun 240Z when he rolled twice trying to pass a slower car. Texan Tom French was somewhat luckier. He rolled his Saab 99 twice on the fourth stage. The car landed on its wheels and he and co-driver Dave Fremder got it going again. They did some quick repairs at a service break and went on to finish 21st in a car that certainly looked like it had been beaten with large hammers.

Production class honors went to George and Doris Beckerman of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, in a Dodge Colt. Jon Davis and Harry Ward had production all wrapped up until they went "off into the boonies" on the last stage dropping them to 15th overall and second in Production. One team who was expected to figure high in the standings went out in one of the strangest incidents in PRO Rally history. Californians Hendrik Blok and Rod Sorenson were in Blok's new (and very trick) Mazda GLC Rotary. On the first stage, a hot exhaust caused Sorenson's seat to burst into flames. After some very tense moments, they were able to get stopped, put the fire out and, in the process, put themselves out of the rally.

In spite of the terrible havoc visited on the cars, the safety equipment which all cars and drivers are required to use prevented serious injury -- except to some egos.

Four-wheel-drive is starting to come on very strong in PRO Rallying and three of the top cars weren't "cars" at all. Garry Henderson and Mike Van Loo finished fourth in their AMC CJ-7 Jeep. Sixth went to Dick Turner and Tom Grimshaw in an IH Scout II with Guy Light and Jim Brandt taking eighth in another AMC Jeep.

The hard luck drive of the weekend was that of Wayne and Debra Baldwin. They had flat-towed their Volvo l42S from their home in Waldwick, New Jersey, over 600 miles away. For the entire rally, they ran with the leaders When scores were posted, they picked up a six minute penalty that they didn't know anything about. A check of the scoring logs could not resolve the problem and the score stood dropping them from third to fifth place.

The rally marked B.F. Goodrich's first foray into PRO Rallying in several years. They couldn't have been happier with the results. The first, second, fourth and sixth place teams were on Goodrich rubber.

In all, over $5,000 in prize money was paid and several thousand dollars more went directly from companies to teams through contingency winnings.

Before anyone can catch a breath, the PRO circuit heads for the mountains and forests of Washington state and the Tour de Forest rally. It will be run out of Shelton, south of Seattle, in the Olympic Mountains. Fifty teams are expected for the March 22-23 rally. Buffum, Millen, Woodner, Turner and Blok (who promises to fix the co-driver' s hot seat problem) will all be on hand along with several talented West Coast drivers. As things stand now, the PRO Rally Championship will probably pay close to $100,000 in direct prize money over the course of the 12 event season and nearly twice that much in contingency monies.

Millen won the Tour do Forest last year, just ahead of Blok. Buffum stayed home. This year with so much at stake, no one is sitting out any of the PRO Rallies. It is going to be an exciting year.

SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044



EVENT: 100 Acre Wood 						EVENT CONDUCTED BY: ST Louis Region, SCCA
LOCATION: Rolla, Missouri					LENGTH: 407 miles, 12 stages, 145 stage miles.
DATE:  March 8-9, 1980						WEATHER: Cool, clear, dry.		 
ENTRANTS: 52 FINISHERS: 25 					TERRAIN: Forest, rolling hills


FIN											CHAMP	MFG. 
 1.	John Buffum, So. Burlington, VT		Triumph TR-8		15,460		100	100
	Doug Shepherd, Ann Arbor, MI							100

 2.	Rod Millen, Santa Ana, CA		Mazda RX-7		15,541		 80	 80
	John Grimshaw, Denton, TX							 80

 3.	Jon Woodner, Washington, D.C.		Triumph TR-8		16,842		 60
	David Orrick, Lancaster, U.K.							 60

 4	Garry Henderson, Dearborn Hts, MI	AMC deep CJ-7		17,033		 50	 50
	Mike Van Loo, Farmington Hills, MI						 50

 5.	Wayne Baldwin, Waldwick, NJ		Volvo 142		17,248		 40	 40
	Debra Baldwin, Waldwick, NJ							 40

 6.	Dick Turner, Lancaster, TX		IH Scout		17,360		 30	 30
	Tom Grimshaw, Lewisville, TX							 30

 7.	John Chalmers, Findlay, OH		Dodge Colt		17,363		 20
	Bill Potvin, Toledo, OH								 20

 8.	Guy Light, Midland, MI			AMC Jeep		17,367		 19
	Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, MI							 19

 9.	Brune Kreibich, Ridgewood, NY		Porsche Carrera		17,716		 18
	Scott Hughes, Loveland, OH							 18

10.	Colin Whittingham, Tyler, TX		Mazda RX-3		17,753		 17
	Andrew Magnus, Arlington, TX							 17


 1.(11)	George Beckerman, Mt. Carmel, IL	Dodge Colt		18,252		100
	Doris Beckerman, Mt. Carmel, IL							100

 2.(15)	Jon Davis, Houghton, MI			Saab 99			18,973		 80
	Harry Ward, Toledo, OH								 80

 3.(16)	John Olinger, Sacramento, CA		Dodge Champ		19,056		 60
	Ron Richardson, Sacramento, CA							 60

1. John Buffum     100		1. Doug Shepherd    100		1. Trimph    100
2. Rod Millen       80		2. John Grimshaw     80		2. Mazda      80
3. Jon Woodner      6O		3. David Orrick      60		3. AMC        50

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