Chisum Trail Pro Rally 1980



PARIS, Texas -- Over thirty of the top PRO Rally teams in the country squared off at the Chisum Trail Rally Memorial Day weekend. When the dust cleared (and that took several hours due to the hot, dry conditions) John Buffum of S. Burlington, VT had another victory to his credit. Buffum and co-driver Doug Shepherd of Ann Arbor, MI, used luck, dust and good driving to put their Triumph TR-8 on top of the thirty-one car field.

Their luck started early when New Zealander Rod Millen spun his Mazda RX-7 into a ditch on Stage One and lost eleven minutes. Then Dutchman Hendrik Blok (who won the first stage) began having trouble with his Mazda GLC. First it was fuel starvation, then a flat tire, then the brakes locked up.

The most forceful challenge came from two foreign drivers. John Woolf has been running his Mazda RX-3 in New Zealand and came to the U.S. to have a go at the PRO Rally Championship. He finished Chisum Trail in second place, seven minutes behind Buffum. Woolf's parents made the trip all the way from Auckland, where they run a muffler business, to watch John run. He plans to stay in the U.S. "as long as I keep winning enough money to pay the bills."

Polish ex-patriot, Marek Baranski, debuted his new Group 2 Renault 5 (Le Car) and promptly claimed third place. Team members say the car is not fully developed, but will be a winner before the season is ever.

Dust was a factor all night -- and so were cows. Sixth pLace finisher John Chalmers said that "the dust was bad enough, but we sometimes had to dodge cows." Chalmers' Dodge Colt was )ust a half minute behind the Colt of Larry Schmidt. The dust gave Buffum a decided advantage because he was first on the road after the fourth stage.

Dick Turner's International Scout finished its fifth PRO Rally (in five starts) of the season, this time with novice co-driver, Tamara Newell. That moves International into fourth in the manufacturer's standings and Turner to fourth overall in the driver's championship race.

Beside Millen, notable DNF's included Jon Woodner whose Triumph TR-8 packed up a clutch while in third place. Garry Henderson had been in third place, but he had transmission trouble which put his AMC jeep out for the night.

Production honors went to Dan and Karen Johnson in their Plymouth Champ. The California couple have only been in PRO Rallying about a year and the win was very sweet. Second production went to Tom French and Dave Fremder, a pair of Texans who took time out in the middle of the event to give some Cub Scouts a ride in their rally car.

The next rallies on the SCCA PRO Rally schedule are susguehannock Trail, June 8-9, in Wellsboro, PA, and La Jornada Trabajosa, June 22-23. in Bakersfield, CA.

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


EVENT: Chisum Trail Rally                     		EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Texas Region, SCCA
LOCATION: Paris, Texas                             	LENGTH: 328.3 miles, 16 stages, 125.9 stage miles.    			    
DATE: May 24-25, 1980                          		WEATHER: Hot, dry, dusty
ENTRANTS: 31,  FINISHERS: 18                		TERRAIN: Forest, Rolling Hills

FIN											CHAMP	MFG. 
 1.   	John Buffum, 5. Burlington, VT    	Triumph TR-8    	2:19.78       	100  	100
     	Doug Shepherd, Ann Arbor, MI                                      		100

 2.  	John Woolf, Auckland, NZ        	Mazda RX-3      	2:26.53        	 80  	 80
     	Grant Whittaker, Auckland, NZ                                     	 	 80

 3.   	Marek Baranski, Ann Arbor, MI     	Renault Le Car        	2:32.25        	 60   	 60
      	Virginia Reese, Ann Arbor, MI                              		 	 60

 4.   	Hendrik Blok, Los Angeles, CA     	Mazda GLC       	2:36.45          50
      	Jean Rizor, Ann Arbor, MI							 50

 5.   	Larry Schmidt, Rochester, MI      	Dodge Colt      	2:37.31          40   	 40
      	Joe Andreini, St. Clair Shores, MI                                 	 	 40

 6.   	John Chalmers, Findlay, OH        	Dodge Colt      	2:37.80          30
      	Phil Schmidt, Maumee, OH                                           	 	 30

 7.   	Dick Turner, Lancaster, TX        	International Scout    	2:45.33          20
      	Tamara Newell, New York, NY                                 		 	 20

 8.   	Eric Jones, Columbus, OH          	Datsun 510      	2:50.21          19
      	Ralph Starr, Denver, CO                                            	 	 19

 9.   	Kim Demotte, Emperial, MD         	Saab 99         	2:55.09          18
      	Jon Wickens, St. Clair Shores, MI                                 	 	 18

10.   	John Witt, Mesquite, TX           	Datsun 280ZX    	2:58.87          17
      	Liz Witt, Mesquite, TX                                                     	 17

 1.   	Danny Johnson, Hermosa Beach, CA    	Plymouth  Champ      	2:58.95         100	100
      	Karen Johnson, Hermosa Beach, CA    						100		   

 2.   	Tom French, Dallas, TX              	Saab 99         	3:06.40          80	 80
      	Dave Fremder, Dallas, TX							 80

                            STANDINGS AFTER FIVE EVENTS

DRIVER                                         		PRODUCTION DRIVER
1. John Buffum          400                  		1. Jon Davis             180
2. Rod Millen           260                  		2. Jim Olinger           160
3. Jon Woodner          200                 		   Dan Wing              160
4. Dick Turner          150                  		3. George Beckerman      100
5. Steve Roberts	 90                   		   Dan Johnson         	 100
							   Bill Brooks		 100

CO-DRIVER                                      		PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER
1. Doug Shepherd        400                  		1. Harry Ward            180
2. Dave Weiman          180                  		2. Ron Richardson        160
3. David Orrick         140                  		3. Doris Beckerman       100
4. Tom Grimshaw         130				   Bill Banger           100
5. Don Gibson            90                        	   Karen Johnson         100

MANUFACTURER                                   		PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER
1. Triumph              460                  		1. Saab                  440
2. Mazda                340                  		2. Plymouth              290
3. Datsun               120                  		3. Dodge                 150
4. IH Scout             110                  		4. Mercury               110
   AMC Jeep		110                             5. Toyota                 80

Results 1980
RRN Index