|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||September 12,1983|
IT'S BUFFUM/SHEPHERD/QUATTRO ONCE AGAIN AT MANISTEE PRO RALLY
MANISTEE, Michigan -- Even though it was only a co-efficient B event. it seemed as though every PRO Rally car in the country turned up at this little Michigan resort community for the first running of the Manistee Trails PRO Rally.
It may have been a new event, but the results were the same old thing. it is getting so that the Buffum/Shepherd/Quattro combination are completely dominating U.S. PRO Rallying. This time, however, Rod Millen in his 4wd Mazda RX-7 prototype really gave them a run for their money, and a slight change in luck could have made the results a lot different.
Millen lead the 69 car field after the first five stages by about half a minute as the Quattro was suffering from ignition trouble. Then in the next set of three stages, the Mazda had a puncture and Millen and R. Dale Kraushaar had to slow down a bit. Not only that, but the stage where Buffun had had the most trouble with the car was thrown out because of an accident which required medical assistance. That allowed Buffum to move into a lead that he never gave up.
Jon Woodner and his Peugeot 504 Coupe were third, less than a minute ahead of Mark Hardymon and his Mazda RX-7. These were clearly the fastest of the two-wheel drive cars, but the night belonged to the four wheel drives. A hard rain shower early on turned the Michigan roads into bogs, and the 4wd's ate it up.
In Production Class, Gene Henderson's 4wd AMC Eagle was five minutes faster than Gary Eaton in the Peugeot 505. Henderson was so quick that on the first of the rally's 16 stages, he tied the Quattro for fastest time. The win moves Henderson into second for the Production Drivers Championship just behind Steve Nowicki, who rolled his Plymouth Arrow on the second stage. Guy Light's Oldsmobile was third in class after losing two minutes at a start control changing a tire. Without that penalty, he would have been an easy second in class and sixth overall.
In addition to Nowicki's problem, the Production Dodge Shelby Charger of John Crawford bought a tree and went out on stage two. Bruno Kreibich got about 500 feet into the first stage and struck a curb with his Audi Quattro breaking a rear axle. Dave Lapham hit the same curb with his Toyota Celica with essentially the same results. Also on the first stage, Walter Boyce's Ford Escort broke an input shaft and went out. Taisto Heinonen lasted only three stages before the clutch went away on his Mercury Lynx.
Bob Townsend and Alan Doughtry had the most serious accident of the night when their Datsun 510 hit a tree on stage four. Both men insisted that they were okay, but Townsend was taken to the local hospital for an examination where x-rays revealed a broken sternum (chest bone), He was treated and released.
This was the first National PRO Rally staged by the Western Michigan Region. and there were some growing pains due mostly to the much larger than anticipated entry. For the most part, problems were handled well, and once the rally got going, things went smoothly. The host community of Manistee went all out and featured the cars in a parade down the main street and a special stage at an industrial park within the city. In all, Manistee Trails proved to be quite a successful second level event.
The next event is the Texas PRO Rally in Ft. Worth, October 15.
SCCA CONTACTS: Tim Cline, 321 Saw Mill Road, Guilford, Connecticut 06437 (203)453-1742
T. Michael Moreland, 6750 South Emporia Street, Englewood, Colorado 80112 (303)770-1044
EVENT: Manistee Trails EVENT CONDUCTED BY: Western Michigan Region, SCCA LOCATION: Manistee, Michigan LENGTH: 230 miles, 86 stage miles DATE: September 10-11, 1983 WEATHER: Warm, rain ENTRANTS: 71 FINISHERS: 43 TERRAIN: Forest, rolling hills PROD. FIN. CHAMP. CHAMP. POS. DRIVER/CO-DRIVER/HOMETOWN CAR SCORE POINTS POINTS 1. John Buffum, S. Burlington, Vt. Audi Quattro 53.59 20 Doug Shepherd, Livonia, Mich. 20 2. Rod Millen, Costa Mesa, Calif. Mazda RX-7 54.52 15 R. Dale Kraushaar, Tigard, Oreg. 15 3. Jon Woodner, Washington, D.C. Peugeot 504 62.16 12 Ginny Reese, Chelsea, Mich. 12 4. Mark Hardymon, Powell, Ohio Mazda RX-7 63.07 10 Tom Drake, Columbus, Ohio 10 5.(1P) Gene Henderson, Pinckney, Mich. Eagle SX4 64.32 8 20 Jim Kloosterman, Ypsilanti, Mich. 8 20 6. Mike Purzycki. Fenton, Mich. AMC Jeep 66.48 6 Ken Middleton, Holly, Mich. 6 7. Clive Smith, Costa Mesa, Calif. Volkswagen 67.79 4 Harry Ward, Toledo. Ohio Rabbit 4 8. Tom Bell, Williamsburg, Mich. Datsun 280Z 68.71 3 David Stone, Acme, Mich. 3 9.(2P) Gary Eaton, Pinckney, Mich. Peugeot 505 69.37 2 15 Carolyn Eaton, Pinckney, Mich. 2 15 10. John Ricker, Foxboro, Mass. Dodge Colt 69.39 1 Art Mendolia, Suffern. N.Y. 1 PRODUCTION CLASS WINNERS 1. Gene Henderson, Pinckney, Mich. Eagle SX4 64.32 20 Jim Kloosterman, Ypsilanti, Mich. 20 2. Gary Eaton, Pinckney, Mich. Peugeot 505 69.37 15 Carolyn Eaton, Pinckney, Mich. 15 3. Guy Light, Midland, Mich. Oldsmobile 69.62 12 Terry Conklin, Midland, Mich. Omega 12 UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS AFTER EIGHT EVENTS DRIVER (Current Car) PRODUCTION DRIVER (Current Car) 1. John Buffum, Audi 135 1. Steve Nowicki, Plymouth 80 2. Rod Millen, Mazda 95 2. Gene Henderson, AMC 75 3. Jon Woodner, Peugeot 80 3. Gary Eaton, Peugeot 54 CO-DRIVER PRODUCTION CO-DRIVER 1. Doug Shepherd 100 1. Jim Kloosterman 63 2. Ginny Reese 80 2. Terry Conklin 53 3. R. Dale Kraushaar 65 3. Brian Berg 48 MANUFACTURER PRODUCTION MANUFACTURER 1. Audi 115 1. AMC 76 2. Mazda 95 2. Plymouth 68 3. Peugeot 48 3. Dodge 55