|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||June 15, 1981|
WELLSBORO, Pennsylvania -- Kiwis, Mazda, and B.F. Goodrich continue to dominate the SCCA PRO Rally Championship. At the seventh round of the 14 event series, the Susquehannock Trail in northern Pennsylvania, New Zealanders John Woolf and Grant Whittaker put their Mazda RX-7 in front of a 66 car field. It was the quiet Kiwis first win since winning this rally a year ago. Second on the 233 mile, 12 stage rally were current champions John Buffum of S. Burlington, Vt. and Doug Shepherd of Livonia, Mich. in their factory built Audi 4000 followed by current series leaders Rod Millen and Bob Kraushaar in another Mazda RX-7.
Weather was the determining factor in the nine hour rally as the dry, dusty day turned into wet, foggy night just after the rally started, and kept the average speed of the winning car down to under 47 mph. There was still plenty of action, however, as the lead changed several times and front runners Jean-Paul Perusse in the Peugeot Coupe and Wayne Baldwin in his Volvo GLT ended up in the woods by the rally's halfway point.
Production honors went once again to Jon Davis of Houghton, Mich. and Harry Ward of Toledo, Ohio in their Saab 99. They had to overcome an early encounter with a tree which rearranged some sheetmetal and headlights as well as a stiff challenge from Michiganders Guy Light and Jim Brandt in their 4wd AMC Eagle SX-4 to win by less than a minute. Third in Production went to the Wisconsin team of Erik Zenz and Dave Hueppchen in another Saab 99. Davis, Ward, and Saab now have a virtually insurmountable lead in the class.
Jon Woodner has finally gotten his Datsun 510 going right and finished fourth losing third when an off road trip flatted a tire and packed everything up with mud causing them to lose several minutes changing. Fifth overall went to Sandy Liversidge and Linda Wilcox in a very tired Saab 99. The Vermont pair turned in a truly remarkable drive for their best finish ever in a PRO event.
Texan Dick Turner brought his new Ford EXP "funny car" out for its first appearance, but it turned out to be a non-factor in the rally as severe overheating problems forced the car out on the way to the first stage. The beautiful red, white, and blue car certainly drew the lion's share of attention of the Wellsboro fans.
The weather really took a toll as only 29 of the original 66 starters finished. Buffum took a one minute lead into the final section of the rally which dissolved when the Audi jumped out of gear putting them into the bushes long enough to allow Woolf to slip past.
The next event on the PRO Rally Schedule in the non-Championship Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb the Fourth of July weekend.
SCCA CONTACT: Tim Cline (203) 453-1742, T. Michael Moreland (303) 770-1044
EVENT: Susquehannock Trail EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Finger Lakes Region, SCCA LOCATfON: Wellsboro, Pennsylvania LENGTH: 233 miles, 13 stages DATE: June 13-14, 1981 WEATHER: Heavy rains ENTRANTS: 66 FINISHERS: 29 TERRAIN: Forests, rolling hills FIN CHAMP MFG POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. John Woolf, Santa Ana, Calif. Mazda RX-7 2:57.81 20 20 Grant Whittaker, Santa Ana, Calif. 20 2. John Buffum, S. Burlington Vt. Audi 4000 2:59.38 15 15 Doug Shepherd, Livonia, Mich. 15 3. Rod Millen, Santa Ana, Calif. Mazda RX-7 3:10.04 12 Bob Kraushaar, Tigard, Ore. 12 4. Jon Woodner, Washington D.C. Datsun 510 3:13.06 10 10 Clark Bond, Ray City, Mich. 10 5. Alexander Liversidge, Jericho, VT Saab 99 3:19.08 8 8 Linda Wilcox, Jericho, VT 8 6. Larry Schmidt, Rochester, Mich. Dodge Colt 3:22.21 6 6 Joe Andreini, St. Clair Shores, Mich. 6 7. Eric Jones, Columbus, Ohio Datsun 510 3:23:02 4 Gary Grebus, Columbus, Ohio 4 8(1P) Jon Davis, Houghton, Mich. Saab 99 3:27.92 3 Harry Ward, Toledo, Ohio 3 9(2P) Guy Light, Midland, Mich. AMC Eagle 3:28.59 2 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, Mich. 2 10. Calvin Landau, Coraopolis, Penn. Mercury Capri 3:29.91 1 Karen Landau, Coraopolis, Penn. 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Jon Davis, Hougoton, Mich. Saab 99 3:27.92 20 20 Harry Ward, Toledo, Ohio 20 2. Guy Light, Midland, Mich. AMC Eagle 3:28.95 15 15 Jim Brandt, Lake Odessa, Mich. 15 3. Erik Zenz, West Allis, Wisc. Saab 99 3:35.48 12 David Hueppchen, Plymouth, Wisc. 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER SEVEN EVENTS DRIVER PRODUCTION DRIVER 1. Rod Millen 119 1. Jon havis 130 2. John Buffum 74 2. Gary Eaton 63 3. John Woolf 52 3. Guy Light 50 4. Larry Schmidt 48 5. Taisto Heinonen 35 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. Bob Kraushoar 119 1. Harry Ward 130 2. Doug Shepherd 89 2. Carolyn Eaton 63 3. Grant Whittaker 52 3. Jim Brandt 50 4. Joe Andreini 48 5. Harry Ward 29 MANUFACTURER PRDUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Mazda 127 1. Saab 133 2. Peugeot 75 2. Peugeot 55 3. Dodge 40 3 Dodge 54 4. Audi 39 5. Toyota 35